Tips for Panel Interview

Posted 2020/3/11

Panel interviews are most common in larger companies and local / central government departments.

Walking through a door only to find that you have three or four interviewers lined up to conduct your interview can be particularly daunting, especially if you're not expecting it, or have never experienced this type of interview before.

Each person on the panel will most likely have a different function and will usually comprise a departmental manager, a representative from HR, maybe a team member from the department where the vacancy is.

As you might expect, each of these individuals will have their own agenda and though you'll find yourself having to address questions from each person, it's the departmental manager who will have the most influence.

The important thing in a panel interview is to maintain eye contact, particularly with the person who's asking the questions at the time, but also remember to smile and make eye contact with other panel members when answering questions.

It's likely that you'll be given a business card by each person present, but if not, be sure to acknowledge each person by name as you are introduced to them - even if you forget the names as soon as you've been introduced.

For example, the first person might introduce himself as John Smith. You should shake hands and say something like like, "Nice to meet you John" - doing the same with each member of the panel.

You'll be doing a lot of talking at the interview, so mentally prepare some material in case you're asked certain questions.

You will be asked about day to day duties, your motivations, your tun-offs, your interests and of course, all about your track record in your curtrent or last position.

Think of some anecdotes about your job. Think of the successes. How you've made a positive contribution and be ready to talk about them, a lot.

Think of ways of getting your message across in more than one way, as panel interviewers rarely prepare well and each person will likely ask you similar questions.

Although panel interviews can be a little nerve-racking, they can also be quite fun, especially if you are prepared to ask questions too.

Try to think beforehand what you'd like to ask of the HR people, your potential line manager and even a peer, since the panel gives you a great opportunity to ask questions and take the heat off you.

For example, imagine turning the tables on a departmental manager and asking, "what is it that keeps you motivated here"? Not only will it throw him or her, but it will give you an opportunity to see what they think and of course, whether there might be advancement opportunities for you in the future.

If the manager says (s)he's be in the same job for the past 10 years, forget promotion!

Don't be afraid to ask what the department has achieved. Ask what the company has achieved, what the growth plans are, etc.

Interviewing is a two-way street and good candidates are very rare.

By asking better questions, you'll demonstrate that you are in fact worth employing and they'll have to fight in order to get you.

far from being intimidated by a panel interview, go in with the intention of gaining control and making a grerat impression.

These really are the easiest to perform well in, if only because most people do so poorly. Use that fact to your advantage.


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