Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    -174.18 (-0.76%)
  • S&P 500

    -128.61 (-2.31%)
  • DOW

    -504.22 (-1.25%)

    -0.0017 (-0.23%)

    +0.49 (+0.64%)
  • Bitcoin CAD

    +340.63 (+0.38%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -13.04 (-0.95%)

    -7.70 (-0.32%)
  • RUSSELL 2000

    -47.89 (-2.13%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    +0.0470 (+1.11%)

    -654.94 (-3.64%)

    +3.32 (+22.55%)
  • FTSE

    -13.68 (-0.17%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    -439.54 (-1.11%)

    -0.0005 (-0.07%)

An $850 million retail giant is giving candidates their questions before a job interview because ‘nerves can seriously impact performance’

Xavier Lorenzo—Getty Images

Employers are constantly finding new hoops for candidates to jump through, from endless rounds of interviews to 90-minute tests and presentations. But one major employer is doing the opposite and making the process less “daunting” for overloaded job seekers.

Those applying for a job at John Lewis Partnership, the U.K.’s largest employee-owned business, now won’t have to panic about which dreaded questions could arise during the interview because the $850 million retail giant has just published them all online.

Giving job seekers the chance to script their answers in advance of the interview may seem like giving students the answers to the test in advance—rendering the test itself pointless.

However, JLP, which employs around 83,000 “partners,” thinks that it will increase its odds of finding the perfect match for vacancies.


"We want the right people from a variety of backgrounds with the best talent to join our organization,” Lorna Bullett, JLP's talent acquisition lead, said in a statement to Fortune. “It makes absolute business sense to find ways of helping candidates to really demonstrate what they can do so that we get the right fit for the role.”

She said that “nerves can seriously impact performance”. Helping people prep prior to the interview, is a good way of calming candidates who have the skills to do the job but let nerves get the better of them—particularly those who are neurodiverse—and giving employers a better grasp on their actual abilities.

"Anyone who has ever recruited will know that there are sometimes candidates who would be capable of performing to a high standard in a role but don’t always give the best performance at an interview,” Bullett added.

“It made us question why we couldn’t do something different with the assessment process and we decided to publish our interview questions.”

Even senior leaders can peak at interview questions

Whether you’re interviewing for a management or assistant role, recruits of all seniority can now head to JLP’s website to see the entire application process laid out bare, including how to prepare for the online assessment and which capability interview questions could crop up.

Sample questions included for someone applying for a role with no people management responsibilities include, “Tell me about a significant change that you have had to adapt to in the past” and “Imagine you are interacting with a peer you have never met before. How would you go about trying to establish rapport with this person?”

But JLP is still leaving space for serendipity: There’s no guarantee which of the potential questions listed you’ll be asked on the day. Meanwhile—to suss out those who are bragging from those who are genuine—candidates won’t be able to predict or prepare for any follow-up questions they get.

“The interview process will be no less rigorous,” Bullett warned. “But it sets up the foundation of an honest conversation between the hiring manager and the candidate.”

“Interviewers can very quickly get a sense of whether their answers are authentic and based on real experience by asking probing follow up questions and technical questions prompted by their answers."

Skills-based hiring is en vogue

The unusual move from JLP comes as employers across the board are re-evaluating their recruitment methods.

Reports consistently show that employers are increasingly ditching CV requirements altogether in favor of skills-based hiring.

Last year, three-quarters of businesses used skills-based assessments during their hiring process—up from 56% the year prior—and they’re reporting big results.

According to TestGorilla’s research, skills-based hiring reduced the number of mis-hires by 88%, total time spent searching for the perfect candidate by 82%, and hiring-related costs by 74%.

Overall, 92% of the employers surveyed reported that skills-based hiring is more effective at identifying talented candidates than a traditional CV. Meanwhile, over 80% said it’s more predictive of on-job success and leads to new hires staying longer in their roles.

The uptick in skills-based hiring comes as degrees have slidden down the priority list for employers.

Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple have all eliminated their long-held degree requirements to remove barriers to entry and recruit more diverse talent. Meanwhile, recruiters globally are five times more likely to search for new hires by skills over higher education.

This story was originally featured on