Why panel interview tips? Because being interviewed by a panel of people is different than a one-to-one job interview
You'll definitely need to use slightly different job interview techniques if you want to impress the panel!
And......it is quite likely that you will have to face a panel of interviewers as part of the job interview process at some stage in your career, if you haven't already experience this.
Panel job interview techniques are probably the most frequently used process for candidate selection for government jobs, and in almost all large and medium sized organisations.
Are you about to graduate from college or university and want to move into a graduate level position? Organisations that have an annual block intake of graduates will do panel interviews to select their new employees. Panel interviews are also common for internships
So...... you have to be prepared to handle this type of interview!
The short answer is that the hiring organisations want to get it right......they want the best candidate for the job.
By involving several people in the decision making process to determine the best person for the job, the theory is...... a better hiring decision is likely to be made by a group of people rather than an individual.
Most people confess to feeling a little nervous about having to appear before a panel of people for their job interview.
Please be assured that, just as for one-to-one interviews, if you are properly prepared and apply these panel interview tips, there is really nothing to be anxious about.
So.....let's look at what panel interview selection processes are all about so that you can prepare properly for you upcoming interview.
This will of course vary in individual organisations....I've heard of job interview panels consisting of up to 5 or 6 people! Now, a panel of that size could be a bit intimidating, but this situation is not common.
Two and up to four people is the most common sized interview panel in my experience.
The panel could consist of any of the following:
The composition of the interview panel may also change depending on whether this is the first or second interview in the job interview process.
During a second job interview it is quite common for the panel to consist of only three people - your future boss,your future boss's boss and a representative from the human resources area.
During first round interviews it is much more likely that the panel will consist of future co-workers or other key stakeholders, in addition to your manager and a HR representative.
You'll find that each job interview panel will have it's own unique approach to the way it conducts the interview. There's no standard rule or operating procedure for these types of job interview techniques.
Usually members of the panel will have met as a group before your interview to:
This planning helps to ensure that your interview goes as smoothly as possible. Remember, the organisation conducting your interview is just as keen to make a good impression with you, as you are trying to show your best self to them!
Remember also, a number of candidates may be interviewed for the position. The panel will want to ensure that all job candidates will, as far as possible, experience the same approach to their interview. Therefore, thorough preparation by the panel is necessary.
It is common practice for the panel to have a leader, or chairperson. This is often the person who will be the first to greet and introduce themselves to you. Typically the chairperson will:
Be prepared for these types of things during the interview:
The body language of individual panel members at various time during the interview.....you may not always have the undivided attention of all the panel members, all the time during the interview. This can also be off-putting.
Different panel members playing good cop/bad cop roles in the interview.
Why? Depending on the job, some interview panels will want to explore how you deal with pressure, or conflict situations. So.....good cop, bad cop panel member!
Stay calm.....focus on the questions being asked, and in giving good answers.
In reality, a panel interview is not so different from being interviewed by just one person. There's just more people to impress!
You'll use the same job interview tips to prepare for your panel interview as you would for any other type of interview.
And......your interview responses to questions will also obviously be the same.
So what's different about a panel interview?
Here are a few panel interview tips that will make all the difference to your performance:
Sometimes members of the interview panel will give you their business card either at the beginning or end of interview.
If this happens that is a bonus. A well tried interview follow up tip is to send a letter, or email, to the interviewer, or in this case, to members of the interview panel.
The purpose of your letter or email is simply to:
If you don't have the business cards of all the panel members, at least try to get the contact details of the chair of the panel and send a follow up letter to them.
All well designed job interview processes essentially explore three broad areas of a candidates suitability. These job interview tips explain what these three areas area.
A panel of interviewers will be assessing you in exactly the same way. They will be evaluating:
Make sure then that your preparation covers each of these three areas.
As you probably realise now, panel interviews are different......but only to the extent that you're having to manage how to impress a group of people rather than an individual.
In all other respects, your preparation, interview responses and other job interview techniques that you might use in a one-to-one interview all still apply.