Unstructured Interview (2002)

Identifying counterproductive behaviour

A study by Professors Melinda Blackman & David Funder, University of California (2002) highlights that an unstructured interview conducted by an experienced interviewer is more likely to uncover counterproductive behaviour than a formal interview.

Experienced interviewers will make a good connection, help the candidate feel relaxed & allow them to be themselves.

Unstructured interviews with experienced interviewer:

  • Yielded more valuable information for personality judgement such as potential to engage in rebellious behaviour
  • Asked less personality questions
  • Appeared that candidates could have felt less pressure to fake good behaviour
  • Candidates talked significantly longer than in a formal interview even though there were similar no. of questions
  • Elicited a wider range of information & more candid responses
  • Interviewers could identify inconsistent responses.

The study recommended multiple methods for interviewing.

For permanent roles we recommend:

  • Informal coffee with hiring manager
  • Formal interview
  • Meet the team
  • Then probity.




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