Pre-Disclosure of Interview Questions: A Progressive Move in Recruitment?


In an intriguing move by John Lewis Partnership, the company has started publishing its interview questions online for all candidates to review before their interviews. This innovative approach is not just about transparency but also aims to democratise the recruitment process by alleviating some of the stress interviews can cause.

Why this matters

For anyone who’s ever felt the jitters before an interview, knowing what’s coming can be a game changer. John Lewis is leading the way by allowing candidates to see the questions ahead of time. This initiative seeks to level the playing field, particularly benefiting those who may not traditionally excel in high-pressure interview settings, such as individuals who are neurodiverse.

A balanced perspective

However, this strategy does raise some interesting questions about the recruitment process. Andy Taylor, Director of Exchange Street Recruitment, provides a thoughtful take on this. He appreciates the intent behind John Lewis's approach, recognising its potential to reduce anxiety and increase fairness. "Interviews can be daunting, resembling exams where not everyone performs at their best under pressure”.

Yet, Andy also highlights a critical point about authenticity. While candidates might come in better prepared, there’s a challenge in ensuring that responses remain genuine and not overly rehearsed. He suggests, "Providing some questions in advance is beneficial, but it’s the spontaneous, follow-up questions that will really show a candidate's ability to think on their feet."

Industry insight

The broader industry response has been mixed. Some see it as a progressive step towards more inclusive hiring practices, while others caution about the potential for overly scripted answers. The strategy undoubtedly helps in some areas but might require adjustments to keep the interview process rigorous and authentic.

It’s clear that John Lewis is setting a potential new standard in the recruitment process, their approach could encourage other companies to adopt similar practices, which might lead to significant changes in how we think about job interviews.

Interested in exploring innovative recruitment strategies or seeking to stand out in your next job interview? Get in touch and we can help you navigate job market successfully.

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