The interview guide: 7 key elements (2023)

The interview guide: 7 key elements

An interview guide can be a great tool to use when interviewing candidates. In this article, we'll walk you through the interview guide. We'll look at the benefits of using one, 7 key elements of an interview guide and share a downloadable interview guide template.

What is an interview guide?
The benefits of using an interview guide
An interview guide example – key elements
Interview Guide Template
on a final note
frequently asked questions

What is an interview guide?

An interview guide is a document that allows organizations to structure the way they interview their candidates. It helps interviewers know what to ask and in what order, and ensures the same candidate experience for all candidates.

The content of the interview guide depends, among other things, on the position you are hiring for, the interview method you choose, and your specific organizational needs.

The benefits of using an interview guide

Using an interview guide during the hiring process has several benefits:

  • A structured process.Having all the interviewers go through the same steps in the same order creates structure. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood that people will forget to ask candidates certain questions or provide certain information.
  • candidate experience.Using an interview guide ensures that all candidates have the same experience. Of course, not all interviewers are the same, so there will always be differences, but at least the process and questions are the same for everyone.
  • Same rating.If you use the same interview method and ask each candidate the same questions, you can also use the same score to evaluate them. This reduces the risk of bias in the interview process.

An Interview Guide Sample - 7 Key Elements

Ideally, your interview guide forms part of a well-structured script.selection process. As such, it serves all parts of this process.

This means that, for example, the requirements for a new position mentioned in the job description (i.e. the required skills, personality and abilities of a suitable candidate) should already be taken into account in the interview and therefore should be included in the leadership . Let's take a look at the 7 key elements of an interview guide.

1. Invitation and briefing

Make sure all candidates who make it to the round of interviews receive the same invitation, including a briefing on what to expect from the interview (how many people they will speak with, how long the interview should last, whether or not they need to prepare ). a little earlier, what documents you need to take with you, etc.).

Here is an example of whatInterview invitation emailit can look like this:

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Subject line: [COMPANY NAME]: availability of interviews


Thank you for applying for[PROFESSIONAL TITLE]to bring together[COMPANY NAME]. We have carefully reviewed your application documents and look forward to inviting you to interview for the position!

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Your interview will take place[FORMAT]and lasts approximately[DURATION OF INTERVIEW]. you will talk to[INTERVIEWER], our[INTERVIEWER AREA],Y[INTERVIEWER], our[INTERVIEWER AREA]to whom[COMPANY NAME].

Please let us know when you can be found at the following times:




Don't forget to bring your[DOCUMENTS]it's him[WORK SAMPLE TEST]you prepared

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Thanks again for your interest in participating in the[COMPANY NAME]Equipment! We look forward to speaking with you.


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The interview guide: 7 key elements (1)



Of course, the exact content and tone of your interview invitation may differ, but the parts between [ ] are items that definitely need to be covered. To ensure that all candidates receive a complete invitation, you can include a link to your company's interview invitation template in your interview guide, preferably stored in Google Drive or a similar solution.

2. Scenography

This is a practical problem. Where would you like to interview people? Who interviews the candidates? If it's a video interview, where is the best place to make the call? Again, it's good to have the same settings for each candidate so that everyone has the same experience. Include "setup" requirements in your online and offline interview guide.

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If during the interview the interviewers have with them a copy of the candidate's CV or a copy of a sample of the work they had to do or the interview guide they had to follow! – or any other document, which must also be included in the interview script.

3. Welcome

Without a doubt, there are things you definitely want to mention when welcoming applicants. They can relate to the company, its history, the office, the job, whatever. Include the interview opening and everything that goes with it in the interview guide.

4. Questions

A standardized questionnaire is used in a structured interview. This provides the interviewer with a uniform method of gathering information and a standardized assessment of the candidate's qualifications. It also allows the interviewer to accurately compare candidates and make the best decision based on the data.

In addition to standard questions, the usual method in interviews is theSTAR method. This method provides a structured way to retrieve candidate information. STAR means:

  • Situation. Ask the candidate to describe the situation he was in.
  • Task. What goal was the candidate working towards?
  • Action. Ask the candidate to describe in detail what actions he took to make the best of the situation and complete his assignment.
  • Result. Ask the candidate to describe the outcome of the action and what he learned.

We highly recommend using the STAR method to test the core competencies needed for the job. By asking all candidates the same question, you can easily compare how much experience they have in these key skills.

Here we also see the importance of aligning the different parts of your recruiting process; The interview guide questions should include the key competencies and skills identified in the job description.

The interview guide: 7 key elements (2)

5. Questions from Candidates

Your interview guide should include a section on candidate questions. Typically, at the end of the interview, the interviewer asks the candidate if he has any questions about the position, the company, the team, etc. The kind of questions people ask, if any, can say a lot about their interest in working for your company.

6. Summary

Before you fire a candidate, there are a few things you should do. First, thanks for your time. Second, tell them what the next steps are. When will they know if they've moved on to the next step in the selection process, what the next step is, and how they'll contact you (by email, phone, etc.). Third, if you haven't already done so earlier in the process, ask them who their references are and how you can contact them. This will help you with your reference check. Fourth, let them know who to contact and how if they have questions after you leave. Make sure all of these are included in your interview guide.

7. Score

Once the actual interview is over and the candidate has left, it's time to evaluate them. How well did you do on each of the questions? The interviewer should record these points immediately (if not during the interview), with the interview and the candidate's responses fresh in his memory.

Interview questions can be divided into several categories, e.g. B. Person-place and person-organization adaptation. The first involves questions designed to determine a candidate's fit with the requirements of the job they are applying for, while the second involves questions about an individual's fit with the organization (its culture). The weight of each category depends on your organizational needs.

While person-to-job fit questions vary depending on the role you're hiring for, person-to-organization fit questions are not, or at least not as pronounced. Therefore, you may choose to include them directly in your interview guide. If not, you can opt for a link to Google Drive (or a similar solution) where you save these types of interview questions.

A template for an interview guide

We've created a downloadable interview guide template that you can use as the basis for your own interview guide. It covers the 7 sections we've outlined in this article, including some items that should be covered in those sections.

The model is, of course, just an example. You can add or remove as many elements as you need to create a conversation guide that works for your organization.

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You can download the interview guide templateHere.

on a final note

Using an interview guide is a great way to ensure interviewers treat all candidates equally. It is also a good tool to provide structure during candidate interviews and facilitate assessment and assessment. The exact content of the interview guide varies by organization and role, but the 7 items listed in this article provide a solid foundation.

frequently asked questions

What is an interview guide?

An interview guide is a document that allows organizations to structure the way they interview their candidates. It helps interviewers know what to ask and in what order, and ensures the same candidate experience for all candidates.

What are the benefits of using an interview guide?

The benefits of using an interview guide include: 1) It creates a structured process, 2) It provides the same experience for all candidates, and 3) It makes it easy to assess each candidate the same way, which reduces the risk of job bias. interview.

What elements should an interview guide cover?

An interview guide should include a section on interview invitation, setting, greeting the candidate, questions to ask, candidate questions, closing the interview, and evaluating the candidate.

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