Template: Interview structure

This template offers interview panels a structure that will save you time and ensure you provide information that helps the organisation, the interviewee and the panel.

The structure comprises four main segments:

  1. Introduction
  2. Evidence gathering
  3. Applicant’s questions and comments
  4. Close.

For each segment, you need to decide who will do and say what.

Here’s what each segment covers:


Meet and greet the applicant, escort them to the panel, introduce the panel. Identify all people in the room and what their role is.
Build rapport with the applicant so they settle. This is done with conversational chit-chat.

Overview of the agency and the position. This is a public relations component as well as serving to ensure the applicant is clear what role they are being interviewed for.

Explanation of the process. Here you outline for the applicant how the interview is structured, what will take place, who will do what, opportunities for asking questions, as well as enabling the applicant to feel comfortable about seeking clarification about anything not understood, making notes, referring to any material brought with them. It is also the time when you would give the applicant a copy of the questions (unless you were doing this at another time or not at all). This section sets the tone of the interview – how formal or informal, conversational or interrogatory it is going to be.

Evidence gathering

Here you explore responses to the mix of prepared questions. These questions will be directly linked to the work qualities of the job or role, and you will assess the responses against the behaviours identified as reflecting each of the points on your rating scale.

Ideally the questions will be prefaced with a lead-in statement that sets the context of the question. Otherwise the interview starts to sound like an interrogation.

Applicant’s questions and comments

Here the applicant has time to ask questions and make further comments in support of their application. It is not essential that this comes after your evidence gathering. It could precede your questions.


Here you could outline what the next steps are, such as any other selection methods to be used and how long you think it will be before the process is finished. Thank the applicant for their interest and make any final comments about the agency or role. Again, this is part of the PR element of the selection process. You want the applicant to have a positive impression of your organisation and of you as the representatives.

Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.