One of the latest interview trends that pops up quite frequently is the panel interview. This interview usually features one job candidate (you) to multiple interviewers. Companies like the panel interview because it saves them time and allows the candidate to meet with a variety of people that they would potentially work for or with. While the panel interview might only sound good for the employer, it actually has benefits for the candidate as well; you get a variety of insight on the company from a number of different positions and parts of the company. This could help you figure out if this is really a place you want to work.
All that said, a panel interview can still be a little intimidating. Here are a few tips to maximize your performance:
- Stay calm. It can be tough, but take deep breaths and pause slightly before answering. It will give you a second to collect your thoughts before you blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind.
- Know your judges. Usually you will be given a heads up on who will be on the interview panel. If so, try to find out as much as you can about these people. What are their positions? How long have they worked at the company? What are they responsible for? How would you work with them?
- Connect with each panel member. Try and find some common ground or interest with each panel member. It will make answering the questions seem more like a conversation than an interrogation.
- Stay engaged with the person who asked the question. Answer the person who asked the question. Even if other panel members jump in, always circle back to the originator of the question and make sure you met their needs.
- Have stories and examples ready. Come prepared with a variety of work examples and stories that could potentially appeal to each member of the panel.
- Have a question for each panel member at the end. When it comes time for you to turn the tables and ask the questions, make sure you have thought of a question for each member (time permitting.)
- Thank each member of the panel individually. Reach out with a timely and unique note for each person on the panel. Customize the follow-up with additional points on the questions they specifically asked.
Have you ever experienced the panel interview? What did you think? Any tips for success? Please share in the comments!
P.S. ManpowerGroup recently held a free webinar titled, “Today’s Job Interview: 10 Tips for Success. You can catch the replay and materials here.