Conversation with a Head of IT
on Structured Interview Process


A Structured Interview Process (SIP) is an interview session which combines both Technical Interview and Behavioral Interview into one session. By simple definition, it is a consistent set of pre-determined and objective questions to be asked of each candidate being interviewed for the same role.


Recently, I had this conversation with a Head of IT where I had earlier mentioned the importance of using an SIP to select and hire the best talents into his team.

HIM: Mike, I am not convinced that an SIP would make any difference for me in my hiring. I have been using my own way to interview for many years, and I have always been able to hire the candidates with the skills that I need. And I can finish up with my interview sessions in much shorter time that your proposed SIP sessions. I feel SIP is an unnecessary waste of time!

MIKE: I agree with you that a non-SIP interview session can still help you hire the candidates you need and in a shorter time, no doubt about that.

However, would you agree if I say this: after each of your non-SIP interview sessions, you really do not know anything more about each interviewee other than whether he/she has the skills to do the current role you are hiring for, right?

HIM: [Kept quiet but was nodding his head slightly…]

MIKE: An SIP, on the other hand, allows more information to be gathered about each candidate. More importantly, it allows you to have a glimpse of what other roles that each candidate might be able to take on in the future in your team or even in other departments in your company.

HIM: [He sat up, confused but quite interested] What do you mean by that? How can I know that?

MIKE: Well, simply put, aside from professional competencies match, your pre-determined interview questions are going to help you unearth their personal strengths and weaknesses plus their career aspirations, which allows you to make projections of them into future roles.

And because you are asking identical questions with all your candidates, when you are ready to make hiring selection(s), you are able to make “apple-to-apple” comparisons and to know exactly who tick the most boxes, both technically as well as behaviorally.

In other words, the candidates you are going to hire, ultimately are more likely able to rotate into other roles internally when they are ready to move on from their current existing roles. So you will be able to sustain and keep your talents in your team and/or your company.

Want to know all the key importance and benefits of SIP and also how SIP lends itself strongly to creating sustainable staff for you in your organization?

You have curbed staff turnover in your team already…

HIM: [Deep in thought] Interesting…

Is There Such Thing As A “Natural” Organic Talent Attraction Strategy?

I am sure that no one would object if I say this: nowadays, it takes more than just monetary or tangible items to attract external talents to your organization; what more so to attract them (after these external talents became your staff) to stay on and sustain in your company, right?

I always share this litmus test to senior management and HR teams: if you were to ask this following simple question to a population of your staff, do you think you can get a 100% vehement “YES” for an answer? And the million-dollar question is:

Would you recommend any of your family members and close friends to work for our company?

Anything less than a 100% zealous “YES” means that there are hesitations; in other words, what attract them to your company might just sadly be the salary packages and the fact that they have a job. Nothing more than that.

Only when you hear heart-felt stories from your staff who endear their family members and close friends to your company (on their own accord) – and perhaps intimating to you details on how they are working towards ensuring that the field of studies for their daughters/sons are aligned to key areas of your companies, getting them internships and hopefully, permanent roles in your company – that you would have organically grown beyond monetary attractions of external talents and staff alike to your company and its brand.

No amount of PR, marketing efforts and corporate communication press pieces can beat these kind of natural talent attraction (perhaps I can also say “staff attraction”) strategies!

The good news is this:

You can actually work on creating such positive affinity within your company environment, what I call positive Cultural Affinity, such that your staff want to stay on – they will, in fact, proudly tell others there are no compelling reasons for them to even think of wanting to move out.

When they (your staff) begin to expound all positive virtues of your company to their family members and close friends, the rest of the jigsaw puzzle will magically fall in place!

Let us partner and work together to co-create this for you and your company!



This article was written by Mike Leong, Human Resource Coach.

Mike helps Clients achieve Staff Happiness, without using traditional and typical monetary retention strategies such as retention bonuses and/or salary increments, but using my C.A.S.H. Methodology.



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