A structured interview version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (SI-HDRS) is described. Data are presented in support of its inter-rater and internal consistency reliability. SI-HDRS scores were reproducible by trained interviewers who lacked psychiatric backgrounds. Test-retest scores of a subset of patients who were interviewed twice (once in person and once by telephone) were highly correlated. Scores on the SI-HDRS did not differ between face-to-face and telephone administration groups, controlling for demographic factors, depression-specific indicators, and social and physical functioning. Since the SI-HDRS does not require a face-to-face interview by an experienced clinician, this instrument can be used economically in large-scale, community-based research projects.