Semi-Structured Interviews: Top 25 Questions and Answers (2021)

1) What is a semi-structured interview?

It is a meeting in which recruiter does not follow a formalized list of questions. The recruiter asks open-ended questions.

2) What is the importance of the semi-structured interview?

This interview provides interviewer comparable, reliable, and qualitative data.

3) Describe the characteristics of semi-structured interviews

Characteristics of semi-structured interviews are as follows:

  • It allows the interviewer to be conversational and facilitate two-way communication.
  • The interviewer can create and utilize an ‘interview guide’.

4) When will you use semi-structured interviews?

Semi-structured interview technique is used when you do not get many chances to interview a candidate. These interviews are preceded by observation. It allows the researcher to develop various topics necessary for developing semi-structured questions.

5) When not to use semi-structured interview questions?

You cannot use a semi-structured interview to collect numerical information such as the number of farmers growing cereals, the number of students who got a first-class in their exam, etc.

6) List benefits of semi-structured interviews.

Benefits of semi-structured interviews are:

  • With the help of semi-structured interview questions, the Interviewers can easily collect information on a specific topic.
  • Informants will get the freedom to express their views.
  • These interviews provide the most reliable data.

7) What are the disadvantages of semi-structured interviews?

  • Semi-structured interviews require multiple resources. These resources are very costly.
  • These interviews are time-consuming in order to collect information.

8) What are the guidelines for designing semi-structured interview questions?

Following are guidelines to develop semi-structured interview questions.

  • Use open-ended questions so that you can get descriptive answers.
  • You have to use language that participant can easily understand.
  • Keep questions short as short as possible.
  • Do not phrase questions as negative.
  • Always ask important questions first.

9) How many times should you conduct semi-structured interview questions?

Semi-structured interview questions are conducted once only with a group or an individual. These questions cover a duration of 30 minutes to one hour.

10) Why you require an interview guide?

Interview guide helps the interviewer to explore a respondents experience and keep the interview focused on the desired line of action.

11) Why should you record an interview?

You should record conducted interview to capture its data efficiently.

12) Explain open-ended interview questions.

It is one of the ways to gather information from people. The interviewer asks various essential questions to the participant.

13) Explain four types of Open-ended interviews.

There are three types of open-ended interviews 1) Informal 2) semi-restrictive, and 3) Structured:

  • Informal: In this interview questions, interviews do not prepare interview questions in advance rather than asking questions spontaneously.
  • Semi-restrictive: In this interview guide, the interviewer uses a general outline of questions or issues. Interviewers can also ask questions on other topics based on the response of the participant.
  • Structured: It is the most restrictive. Here interviewers can only ask questions on a specific topic.

14) How is a comprehensive discussion possible in semi-structured interviews?

Semi-structured interviews lead to two-way communication. In this type of interview, interviewer and candidate can ask questions which allows comprehensive discussion on a specific topic.

15) How will you phrase semi-structured interview questions?

Interviewers have to phrase questions in a way that the respondents will give you detailed answers, instead of then ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

16) Give an example of semi-structured interview questions.

Some examples of semi-structured interview questions are:

  • What is your task in this project?
  • What are the challenges you have faced while completing the project?
  • How will other people get benefit from the project you have developed?
  • How you gather requirement for the project?

17) When will you end your interview?

Following factors demand that interviewers should end the interview:

  • In the situation when the interviewers feel that they have asked enough questions and they are not getting new information.
  • When interviewers find the respondent is tired.
  • Sometimes a respondent has another commitment to attend.

18) Explain how will you identify recurrent, common, and emergent themes?

You have to take the help of the second person to review the notes or transcripts. It is the most convenient way to confirm themes and discuss the information. You can also discard data that is not relevant to the questions you have asked.

19) What is the best method to enter responses data?

Responses can be easily entered based on the question identifier or question number. If the respondent has given both positive as well as negative responses, then, ideally, you enter one theme per line to help to code.

20) Why is sorting question number vital?

Sorting question helps you analyze patterns amongst themes you have. It is vital that you sort questions by the respondent or response codes, or question number.

21) Explain transcription.

Once you complete asking semi-structured interview questions, you have to transcribe notes by copying answer into a word process document.  For that, you can use the latest digital recorder to slow down to a useful speech.

22) Differentiate between qualitive and quantitative data.

Difference between qualitative and quantitative data is as follows:

Qualitative Data Quantitative Data
This data deals with descriptions. It deals with numbers and statistics.
You can observe the data. It is not possible to measure data. Quantitative data can be measured.
Examples of qualitative data are color, texture, tests, smells, etc. Examples of quantitative data are the length, height, volume, area rime, cost, etc.

23) Explain the data presentation.

You can use charts, graphs, and tables to present your data in a better and impressive way.

24) Explain data interpretation.

When you interpret interview data, it is very important to understand the method used, the context of information, and type of information you have.

25) What is the interview protocol?

It is a process of asking questions related to specific information.  Interview protocol helps you to gain in-depth information from the respondent.

26) When learning interview is crucial?

If interviewers are not experienced, then, they should conduct practice interviews with other team members so that they able to become familiar with questions.

27) What is the best way to focus fully on the conversation?

In order to focus fully on the conversation, you should record interviews. This helps you to focus on interview conversation.


  1. thanks for your help

  2. Avatar Fatchima G says:

    Thanks a lot for giving me more clarity on semi-structured interview. You have helped me lot.

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