Fi Interview Questions

Should Employers Publish Interview Questions Prior to the Interview?

Published by
29th May 2024

Recently, UK department store John Lewis Partnership announced that they would be publishing their interview questions for all of their roles online for everyone to be able to access prior to their job interview.

This has since sparked an interesting debate over whether this move will catalyse a new trend for employers everywhere to consider doing the same. There are an array of positives that could come from having interview questions readily available to potential candidates, but there are also some potential drawbacks that should be considered too.

So, what are the pros?

  • Having preview questions available for candidates can be so helpful for those who have the correct skills and experience but may struggle to convey this clearly in an interview setting. This is especially true for those who are neurodivergent, as traditional interview methods are known to not be considerate or inclusive of neurodiverse needs.
  • Interviews can tend to focus solely on experience, skills, and competency, but having set questions can allow the employer to make room for questions that focus on value alignment, too. This helps hiring managers get a real sense of who the candidate is beyond their qualifications.
  • From an internal perspective, having pre-set questions creates consistency across the hiring process, and mitigates the risk of subconscious bias, as all questions have been pre-approved and are given to all candidates.

However, there are some potential obstacles to consider:

  • If candidates can pre-prepare answers, then this can hinder the organic element of an interview – and potentially offer a further advantage to those individuals who can answer template questions well. There is also the potential issue of candidates using AI to generate ‘ideal’ answers to these questions, but later when hired, employers may find that a candidate oversold their experience and skillset.
  • Another thing to consider is whether or not employers are updating the questions they ask on a regular basis. If not, then it is likely that candidates will be able to access forums with generalized answers that could essentially be copy and pasted, running the risk of making interviews less about getting to know someone and more of a standardized, mechanical process.
  • Having questions set in stone can potentially limit candidates in what they might want to discuss or certain qualities they want to highlight about themselves. Interviews that are rooted in rigidity can lend towards them becoming impersonal.

Overall, making interview questions available to candidates can act as a great step towards more inclusive hiring practices, ultimately expanding a company’s hiring horizons and granting them access to new pools of talent. However, the best approach to this may be a hybrid one – having a set of questions available for candidates to prepare for, and then having a few additional follow-up questions in the actual interview that are more tailored to the candidate themselves. This gives employers the opportunity to see how well someone prepares, and how well they are able to think on their feet. After all, there are a lot of instances in business where you will have to adapt and display agility.

What I would recommend for this is starting the interview with the pre-available questions, as this helps to set the tone for the interview and allows time for the candidate to relax into the setting and get a sense of who you are as a company, too. This offers some time to establish a psychologically safe space for follow up questions, where the candidate will likely feel much more confident to answer. After all, the overarching goal of an interview isn’t to “catch people”– it’s to get to know them, and for them to get to know your business.

If you would like to discuss how we can help your organization thread diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies into your hiring processes, please get in touch with me directly at

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