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The Pros and Cons of Pre-interview Questions

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago
  • Author:by Katie Ashenhurst
​DID YOU KNOW...

… that 46% of our network agree that employer’s should share interview questions beforehand for job applicants? This is against 15% who disagree with it, and 39% who feel they can see pros and cons.

Providing candidates with interview questions before the actual interview allows them to anticipate what’s coming, prepare thoroughly, and present their best selves.

Giving Candidates a Confidence Boost

Providing interview questions beforehand boosts candidate confidence, leading to clearer, less anxious interviews—particularly beneficial for those who excel but struggle in high-pressure situations, but...

The Confidence Boost Can Be A Double-Edged Sword

On the flip side, this advantage can come at the cost of authenticity. Over-prepared answers may sound scripted, making it hard to gauge true personality and team fit.

Levelling the Playing Field

Offering interview questions beforehand levels the playing field, giving all candidates, especially those from diverse backgrounds, an equal chance to prepare and be fairly assessed.

The Resource Disparity Dilemma

Conversely, it can create an unfair advantage for candidates with more resources, like coaching or study materials, allowing them to outperform others - not due to greater capability, but because they are able to be better prepared.

Preparation vs. Creativity

Knowing the questions in advance allows candidates to prepare thoroughly, leading to more productive interviews where they can clearly articulate their value. However, this might stifle creativity, as candidates may focus on the 'right' answers, losing spontaneity and the ability to showcase true innovation and quick thinking.

Enhanced Specificity

Providing questions ahead of time leads to more specific and targeted answers, making the interview process more focused and efficient. This is especially useful for technical roles requiring detailed knowledge.

Inclusive Preparation: Empowering Neurodiverse Candidates

Receiving interview questions in advance can help neurodiverse candidates by allowing thorough preparation therefore reducing anxiety. It lets them anticipate challenges, strategize responses, and effectively convey their skills, promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities.

Tips for Managing This Interview Practice Successfully

  • Clearly communicate to candidates that providing questions in advance is meant to help them prepare thoroughly and reduce interview anxiety.

  • Select questions that are critical to assessing the core skills required for the role while ensuring a balance that allows for some spontaneous thinking during the interview.

  • Give candidates ample time, typically 3-5 days, to prepare by sending the questions via a professional and secure method such as email.

  • Let candidates know how the interview will be structured and advise them to think deeply about their experiences rather than memorising answers.

  • Be open to exploring answers more deeply during the interview and ensure it remains a dynamic conversation rather than a rote Q&A session.

  • Provide the same set of questions to all candidates for the same position to maintain fairness, while avoiding overwhelming them with too many questions.

  • After the interview, offer feedback on how their preparation helped and use candidate feedback to refine and improve the process for future interviews.

Providing interview questions in advance is a balancing act.

Employers must weigh these factors and consider their needs when deciding on this practice. The goal is to create a fair, comprehensive interview process that finds the best fit for the role.