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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

How do I create structured interview questions?

Some tips for writing structured interview questions include ensuring the questions are: 

1) reflective of the job, 
2) tied to competencies identified through a job analysis, 
3) open-ended, 
4) clear and concise, 
5) at an appropriate reading level, 
6) free of jargon or "Governmentese", and 
7) written with superlative adjectives (e.g., ask for the most, last, worst, least, or best experience or example that demonstrates the competency).  

It also helps to write the question using the STAR method.  Such questions should elicit a response that includes descriptions of:  
-- Situation or Task:  the context or background 
-- Action:  exactly what was done or what would be done
-- Result:  the consequence of the candidate’s actions.

Writing effective questions is an art and it does take time, effort, and practice.  We suggest having other people (hiring manager, job incumbents, etc.) review the questions and even read them out loud to ensure they'll be clearly understood by applicants.

For more information about structured interviews, please visit the Structured Interviews page on the Selection and Assessment website (

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