Empathy in Recruitment: The Case for Sharing Interview Questions


9th May 2024

Read Time

5 mins

I’ve always been of the opinion that interviews, and in fact end-to-end recruitment processes, should exist to dive into a candidate’s strengths, skills and experience and not be a terrifying “test”. When it comes to competency-based questions especially, having to deliver a relevant and polished example can be daunting to even an experienced interviewee.  

You may have read in the news that John Lewis have taken the decision to publish their interview questions on their website. In my opinion, it’s a fantastic leap forward, and I hope other companies are quick to follow suit. As an employer, you may be wondering why this is something you should do, but in fact interviewing a well-prepared candidate benefits the prospective employer as well as the interviewee. 

I can think of countless times on the bus on my way home after an interview when a far better example has popped into my head than the one I’d given. It happens all the time and is probably just as frustrating for the interviewer as the interviewee. Allowing candidates access to questions beforehand will in turn reward you with a candidate who performs on the day to the best of their ability, giving strong answers and you a clear idea of their experience and skills. 

You’ll also be meeting a more relaxed candidate who’ll be able to present their true personality, enabling you to make an informed decision around their fit to your business’ culture and values. 

Although feeling anxious prior to an interview is to be expected and is what most of us experience, for neurodiverse candidates those feelings are heightened. Doing what you can as an organisation to alleviate that stress, by daring to break the mould and making interview questions available ahead of time, sends a strong message to candidates that yours is a caring and supportive business. Demonstrating your company’s commitment to ED&I in your recruitment process is a way to stand out and become an employer of choice.  69% of millennials and Gen Z would be far more likely to work for an organisation for 5 years if it had a diverse workforce. 

For us at Connectr Talent Acquisition, delivering support and coaching to candidates isn’t a new concept. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to delivering pre-interview and assessment centre preparation calls. Though none of our clients have followed John Lewis’ suit (yet), we support the candidates to understand the types of questions they’re likely to be asked. We also encourage candidates, especially those who are new to interviewing – typically Early Careers applicants, to draw upon their various experiences which they themselves may not otherwise deem to be relevant. As experienced Talent Acquisition professionals, we know the value of the soft skills that are gained from a Saturday job in a fish and chip shop, in a way the candidate themself may not.