Should you send interview questions in advance?

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should you send interview questions in advance

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Should you send interview questions in advance? Why or why not?

Here are 11 answers to the question, “Should you send interview questions in advance? Why or why not?”

  • Keep It Conversational
  • Definitely – It Shows How the Candidate Thinks
  • Depends On the Interview’s Purposes
  • Many Fail to Review & Absence of Emotion
  • Yes, but Prepare Follow-up Questions
  • Absolutely Not
  • May Take Away From an Authentic Experience
  • Sending Interview Questions in Advance Reduces Hassle
  • Send in Advance to Gauge Candidates’ Preparation
  • Reduces Anxiety and Stress
  • Why I Like Interview Questions in Advance

Keep It Conversational

I wouldn’t recommend sending interview questions in advance because it can be intimidating for candidates. By sending questions in advance, you’re essentially telling the candidate they need to be smart enough to come up with the right answers. By not sending questions in advance, you’re putting the pressure on yourself to think of questions on the spot. This will help you get a better sense of the candidate’s personality and whether they will fit into the company culture. It also helps make the interview more of a conversation rather than an interrogation.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

Definitely – It Shows How the Candidate Thinks

Sharing interview questions in advance is an excellent way of creating a sense of trust between the employer and potential employee. I don’t see why it would be a bad idea to do so if the job itself doesn’t require the ability to answer tough questions on the go.

Most of the time, your workers do their research in order to complete their tasks better, so why shouldn’t your candidates do the same? Providing some time will allow them to show their accurate way of thinking – and not the one sabotaged by unnecessary stress.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing and Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD

Depends On the Interview’s Purposes

The question of whether to send interview questions in advance or not depends on the interview’s purpose. There are many different types of interviews and different purposes of them, so the details of the interviews can either be answered easily without preparation or require certain types of preparation beforehand.

We should send interview questions in advance if the interview is more for educational or informative purposes, by interviewing experts in the field who will need to explain some information to the audience.

We can even send some information about the possible questions and what kind of information we are looking for them to share. We do not have to send questions in advance if the interviewer is looking for more spontaneous answers, such as in job or college interviews or street interviews.

Georgi Todorov, Founder, ThriveMyWay

Many Fail to Review & Absence of Emotion

You shouldn’t, in my opinion, send interview questions in advance. The interviewee doesn’t care to read the questions, which is the most frequent issue we observe when we send questions in advance.

Seasoned interviewers are aware that it is unwise to assume that interviewees will be prepared and are able to make adjustments on the spot to gather the necessary data. The lack of emotions can also occur when questions are given in advance.

When conducting an interview, it’s extremely important to capture emotion, especially if the interview will be used as part of a video case study or audio testimonial. When a customer expresses relief at a situation being handled or excitement at an exceptional outcome, you want to record that unprompted display of feeling. However, if you send interview questions ahead of time, candidates may practice their responses, which lessens the emotional impact. Avoid including inquiries on your list that are likely to elicit strong emotions and save them up.

Joe Li, Managing Director, CheckYa

Yes, but Prepare Follow-up Questions

It is generally good practice to send interview questions in advance, as it allows the candidate to prepare. This can lead to more meaningful and organized responses, allowing the interviewer to better understand the candidate’s skill set, experience, and qualifications.

However, the interviewer must also prepare follow-up questions in addition to those sent in advance to further probe the candidate’s responses and get a complete picture. This will also ensure that no crucial topics are overlooked in the interview.

Mariusz Michalowski, Community and Career Expert, Spacelift

Absolutely Not

There’s no point in sending interview questions ahead of time. As a hiring manager, you want to see how well the candidate can think on their feet. While it’s considerate to send them ahead of time, it doesn’t do any good. Ask the questions during the interview so you can see how they react when they don’t have time to prepare. They won’t always be able to prepare for a presentation or work project, so don’t give them the opportunity to prepare for your questions.

Randee Machina, Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures

May Take Away From an Authentic Experience

I wouldn’t recommend sending specific interview questions in advance; this gives too much opportunity for a candidate to potentially put together the “perfect” answers and may take away from an authentic experience. However, I do believe in preparing a candidate for what types of questions may be asked during the interview. For example, giving the interviewee a heads-up of situation-based questions can give them the opportunity to adequately prepare and work on appropriate use of the STAR method.

Kristina Ramos, Reverse Recruiter, Find My Profession

Sending Interview Questions in Advance Reduces Hassle

Yes, it can be a good idea to send interview questions in advance. However, a lot depends on the kind of interview you’re conducting and with whom. By sending interviewees their questions in advance, you offer them time to prepare and can expect a more thorough response.

They have the chance to fill any knowledge gaps if they exist. Before sitting down with you, if they know you’re going to question them about A and they don’t already know about A, they can consult with other team members who do. If interviewees are unable to respond to your questions immediately, this can minimize or even eliminate the need for follow-up.

It expedites the process and lessens both of your hassles. This is crucial since individuals are far less likely to consent the next time if taking part in case studies is a burden. Your interviewee should arrive prepared with responses and anecdotes if your main output is a video testimonial so that they are not taken off guard or rushing to respond.

Himanshu Sharma, CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

Send in Advance to Gauge Candidates’ Preparation

Sending interview questions in advance is an excellent practice that allows you to gauge the preparation level of the candidates attending the interview.

This practice allows you a unique criterion for disqualifying candidates, with those that are ill-prepared automatically failing the test. Sending interview questions in advance is also a great way of allowing the candidates to research more about your company; hence, you can get more knowledgeable people coming through the door and make the interview more competitive and beneficial for your company in its search for a new employee.

Alvin Wei, Co-founder and CMO, SEOAnt

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

This is a question that is sure to divide the audience. In my experience, I have had the most recruitment success when I provided the interview questions in advance.

To clarify, my experience has been providing the questions to the candidate to peruse for 10 minutes once they arrive at the interview location. I have not sent them out days in advance. I believe that providing interviewees with a small amount of time to review the questions reduces anxiety and stress and improves the quality of the answers they provide. This is a win-win for both the interviewee and the interviewer, and makes for a far more productive and pleasant interview experience.

Will Baker, Founder, Skirtings R Us

Why I Like Interview Questions in Advance

In our past lives, we have probably all had those silly job interview questions: “Tell me about a time when you’ve made a mistake and how you fixed it” and “Where do you see yourself in five years”?

If not, strap in your default answers, because a new employer (or a VC investor, or even a new date) will probably ask you something similarly banal. Most of us have a short attention span, and do not want to sit through a 4-second uncomfortable pause when a podcaster or TV interviewer asks the guest a random question and they have to think about it for what seems like the lifetime of a gnat before answering, in a shambolic and unprepared way. “Dead air” is a waste of time for everyone.

I hosted a radio show in NYC, as well as a TV show in Australia, and have been a guest on countless shows over the last few years. I always provided my guests with the questions ahead of time, and as a guest, I always ask to see the interview questions, so I can prepare my thoughts and not stumble.

Jeremy Britton, CFO, Boston Trading.co

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