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Investing in Transparency: Enhancing the Candidate Experience by Sharing Interview Questions

A group of professionals are casually meeting in interview style.

A new interview trend has started to pick up steam across the recruitment
landscape: Disclosing questions to candidates in advance of their interview.
Below, Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group Managing Director Alex
Corvin explores this trend.

Advocates for this practice believe that enabling candidates to prepare for
interviews upfront can lead to a more positive candidate experience, reduce
stress levels, increase transparency and equity, and ultimately contribute to
well-informed hiring decisions. By affording candidates a sneak peek at
interview questions, recruiters can empower individuals to confidently
present their skills and qualifications during the interview process and focus
on substance more than style.

One advantage of sharing interview questions is the opportunity for better
preparation. This transparency aids in eliminating potential barriers and
enables candidates to exhibit their qualifications with heightened confidence,
fostering a more equitable evaluation process rooted in authenticity and

Moreover, sharing interview questions in advance can significantly impact
the overall candidate experience. By helping to ease nerves, candidates can
focus on providing robust and detailed evidence of their skills and
experiences. This shift can also enrich the recruiter-candidate interaction,
building mutual respect and deeper collaboration.

Molly Brennan, Global Managing Partner and Nonprofit Practice Lead,
comments: “We have seen success with this approach with many clients,
particularly for First Round interviews, when candidates are all asked the
same questions for consistency. When they are shared in advance we’ve
seen that our clients’ assessments of candidates can be rooted more in
evidence than charisma or style.”

While there are concerns about candidates rehearsing responses to
anticipated questions, supporters of this approach underscore the
significance of preparation. Preparation enables candidates to effectively
represent their skills and experiences, facilitating more nuanced
conversations that ultimately lead to hiring decisions rooted in a candidate’s
actual proficiencies and potential contributions to the organization. Even
when the interview questions are shared in advance, follow up questions still
happen in real time, giving interviewers an opportunity to see candidates
‘think of their feet’.

Alternatively, instead of providing the specific interview questions in
advance, there is a middle ground of sharing the themes and key topics so
candidates can think through the specific experiences they want to share.
Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group Managing Director, Alicia Salerno notes that
her clients appreciate when candidates are able to provide relevant detailed examples, which lead to more organic interview conversation versus a
typical Q&A back and forth. Alicia states, “When candidates know the
themes and topics they will be asked about, they can prepare their best
examples and are ready with the specifics, supporting more productive
conversations between candidates and clients.”

The shift to interview question transparency represents a reprioritization of
candidate experience and inclusivity. The Koya team has seen this work
effectively in many situations as means to foster more engaging, candidate-
centric, and mutually beneficial recruitment experiences for all stakeholders
involved. The Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group team predicts that this
approach will continue to gain traction in the future.