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

The résumé can be traced all the way back to the late 15th century, when Leonardo Da Vinci sent a letter to the regent of Milan seeking a job and outlining his relevant work experience. It was then a few centuries later that this concept gained real traction, and by the early 19th century, having a piece of paper that highlighted your experience, skills, and qualifications started to become a prerequisite to getting a job.

But are we seeing the era of the résumé starting to come to a close?

Maybe, but not immediately. Our latest LinkedIn poll highlighted that the first thing the majority of employers considered when hiring someone new was their experience (51%), followed by their qualifications (19%) and then finally their skills (14%). Now, this isn’t to say that all three of these things are not considered, but it was interesting to see that experience outranked all other factors. While this suggests that there is still a place for the résumé, with the working world going through exponential changes – catalysed by the pandemic and its fallout – is it time for employers to consider evolving their hiring strategy to remain in step with the accelerated pace of change?

Well, according to TestGorilla’s The State of Skills-Based Hiring 2023 report, the answer may indeed be yes. Of the 1500 employers and 1500 employees surveyed, 70% agreed that all forms of skills-based hiring are more effective than a résumé. 87% of employers said that they experience problems with résumés, most notably determining whether it is accurate, determining a candidate’s skills, and the struggle to easily rank potential hires to identify the strongest talent.

What we are starting to see is that employers are beginning to adopt a skills-based approach when it comes to identifying the best talent during their recruitment. This would see hiring managers doing away with résumés, and instead employing skills-based assessments to determine which candidates are best suited to the role. These assessments would include cognitive ability tests, role-specific skills tests and assignment or work samples – all of which were viewed as being more effective measures for identifying talented candidates over résumés.

And it is no wonder that employers are thinking this – moving away from the résumé and the ‘degree-inflation mindset’ allows organizations to gain access to a wider, more diverse talent pool, inviting in more opportunities for innovation. There is also a much lower chance of hiring the wrong person as employers would have seen their abilities in action, which helps to avoid the estimated cost of a bad hire (which ranges from five to twenty-seven times the amount of the person’s annual salary).

Experience and qualifications are still notable considerations when it comes to selecting a candidate, but employers who are expanding their horizons to skills-based hiring practices may yield the best – and most economically friendly – results in the years to come.

If you would like to discuss how we can help evolve your recruitment process by infusing skills-based assessments into it, then please get in touch with me at

chevron-downchevron-down-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram