10 Semi Structured Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Posted by IntroMagic Team on October 16th, 2021

Do you want to be prepared for qualitative interviews, or do you have one coming up? Well, then this article will lead you to a set of semi structured interview questions that expand on your relevant experience and interpersonal skills that cannot be shown in a typical resume. It could also benefit recruiters in preparing questionnaires suited for particular types of candidates. 

But before you get any further, let’s decipher why semi structured interview questions matter. In qualitative interviews, recruiters hope to gain insights into the interviewee’s personal experiences, beliefs, and opinions.

The interviewer will often begin with questions that evaluate intentions rather than just work experience. Also to be clear, semi structured interviews are great in certain aspects but fall short on others. So read on till the end to know how you ace a semi structured interview like a pro. 

What are Semi Structured Interview Questions?

Semi structured interviews haven’t been interpreted the way they should be because many assume all interviews are the same with formal questions and straightforward answers.

If you’re on the job market or recently invited to an interview, you should know there are several ways to assess aptitude, and semi structured interview is one of them. It’s a balance of opposites – structured and unstructured interviews. 

Recruiters begin by studying the requirement to define the type of candidate they feel are suited. From there, questions are tailored around interviewees to carry the conversation further than work experience.

For example, more questions could follow general ones to understand the candidate’s potential thoroughly. It also allows respondents to talk about things that recruiters may not have previously considered.

For candidates, semi structured interview questions offer great opportunities to expand their skills with vivid themes and anecdotes to sell their value proposition. In addition, asking open-ended questions gives recruiters better insights of their career highlights.  

10 Best Semi Structured Interview Questions and Answers

Unlike general interview questions that elicit predictable answers, semi structured interviews guide people into comfortable situations where they can express themselves without constriction.
This allows for a comprehensive debate or discussion depending on the engagement. So here are some of the best semi structured interview questions and answers that help recruiters and candidates to explore untouched themes:

1. How did you find out about this program?

Why do recruiters ask this:

The goal is to understand how aligned candidates are with the role in question. Recruiters seek answers that show conviction so they can tell whether the interviewee is genuinely interested in the role or they’re throwing darts to find what sticks.

If candidates have extensively prepared, it should be easier to tell why the role matters and how specifically they searched for it.

How to answer it: 

2. Why are you applying for this role? What about the role appeals to you?

Why do recruiters ask this:

Since you’ve already applied for the role and spoke passionately about it in the leading question, the interviewer will be inquisitive whether you’ve had experience in a similar program. They want to be sure you haven’t stretched facts on the resume to land the job.  

How to answer it:

3. How has your career shaped your life?

Why do recruiters ask this:

They are curious whether you’ve had a life-changing experience in your chosen career. Recruiters know you’ve shared your experience that meets the requirement. But they are intrigued whether your work experience has had any impact on yourself.   

How to answer it:

4. How do you harness new knowledge to improve your daily life?

Why do recruiters ask this:

While corporate experience can feel like a rat race driven by remuneration, employers know a ton of candidates who choose to ignore the value of adding up knowledge to further their skill.

So while asking this question, in the back of their mind, interviewers are checking if you have the attitude and aptitude to continually upskills yourself and pursue learning as a daily objective.

How to answer it:

5. Tell me the time you faced hurdles in explaining tough concepts to others?

Why do recruiters ask this:

Recruiters measure reasons that make it difficult to explain an important concept to understand whether you stumbled due to communication issues, heightened self-consciousness, or hastiness in uploading concepts into someone else’s head.

In addition, they assess whether you know why explaining was tough and what other methods you chose to broaden the knowledge.

How to answer it:

6. How would others benefit from the project you have worked on?

Why do recruiters ask this:

They are unsure whether candidates value the role like others who are part of it. So when this question crops, it is the curiosity about how much the candidate knows to create transferable values. 

How to answer it:

7. What other programs do you think should be built on the current one?

Why do recruiters ask this:

Growth is only evident when you stack new knowledge over the last. The purpose of asking this question is to know if candidates have made assumptions on how to make a proposition seem more attractive. It might sound like a trick question to peek into your basket of ideas, but it isn’t always the case. 

How to answer it:

8. Tell me about your failure in the project and how you avoided it?

Why do recruiters ask this:

From this question, the organization is trying to extract the interviewee’s knowledge, style of leadership, ethics, dependability, and ability to learn quickly. Also, they want candidates that feel confident in telling them they have erred and have learned what not to do from mistakes.   

How to answer it:

9. How do you gather project requirements?

Why do recruiters ask this:

Whenever projects go sideways, the common refrain is that “the requirements were improper”. It leads to passing blame which can be challenging for any unit to think and act cohesively. So they want a gatekeeper to show accountability and good judgment in gathering requirements.      

How to answer it:

10. Which other companies do you admire?

Why do recruiters ask this:

When you apply for jobs, it’s more likely you have shortlisted companies based on what you value the most. Most interviewers are just interested in your reasoning. The type of company you’ve shown interest in tells them where you stand in the corporate race and where your goals are. 

How to answer it:

Final Words

Semi-structured interviews give employers the flexibility to explore more about the candidate and evaluate what they can bring to the job role.

With this type of interview, a candidate might not know the exact structure of the interview. Hence, it is important to be prepared and be well-equipped to handle the interview structure. No matter what format that is, at the end of the day, an interview is an opportunity to sell yourself, so make a great impression!

About Us

IntroMagic is a company started with the mission of enabling every candidate to find their dream role by putting their best face forward. We also aim to help recruiters find the best candidate by enabling acceptance of professional video introductions that complement the traditional resume.