Yes or No? Should you give interview candidates their questions in advance?

Dear Candidate: Here are the questions we will ask you in your interview next week…… 🤩
Screenshot 2023 08 18 at 16.10.30

Should you give your interview candidates their questions in advance of their interview?

One of the most lively debates we have in our interviewer training workshops is how much to tell candidates about what to expect in their interview when inviting them.  A common view is:

➡️ “They have the job description- that’s enough – let them figure it out. No spoon-feeding in our organisation”. Others think:

➡️ “Let’s tell them the 4-5 areas that will be examined in the interview – it’ll be useful for helping them to prepare”

John Lewis recently announced that they will be giving their interview candidates access to all of the questions they may be asked in their interview. They are assuming that candidates will probably be using ChatGPT anyway to research possible questions so why not be transparent with the questions. Their interviewers will spend most of the interview on the probing or follow on questions (which are not given to candidates). A great approach assuming their interviewers are skilled at listening and reacting to what the candidate says by asking the all-important follow-on questions.

As yet none of our interviewer workshop attendees have recommended this “Give them all the questions” approach.

What do we recommend? 

Yes or No? Should you give interview candidates their questions in advance?

Let’s establish a few facts about your interview process:

✅ You want to get the best person for the job
✅ You would like to get good answers rather than long awkward pauses where they are trying to figure out what to say
❌ You don’t want them to sing off prepared answers like as if they have memorised them
✅ You want them to know that you value the time they will spend preparing for this interview
✅ If they don’t get the job you want them to feel they were treated fairly and with respect and still have a positive opinion of your company.

🔳 Don’t make your interview process a black-box mystery. 👻

Instead, when inviting candidates tell them the areas that will be examined at the interview. You don’t need to give them the exact questions but try this:

“In your interview we will be asking questions to evaluate your:
Work Experience
Collaboration Skills
Technical Skills
Knowledge of our organisation and industry
Career Aims”

Add a link to a guide on using STAR to structure their answers.

🤔 And while you may be thinking that this is BLINDINGLY obvious to candidates, we know from working with 1000’s of candidates preparing for interviews that this is not.

Help them out a little…and improve your process and candidate experience at the same time.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you design your interview process to hire great people.