Companies will choose to use the panel interview format for a variety. In some cases, they simply want to avoid a wrong hiring decision and figure that more experience and discussion will help in the right decision.
Sometimes, the process is used to speed up the hiring process, rather than doing subsequent interviews with various levels of management. Another reason is that the company values team work in all areas, including the hiring process. Whatever the reason for the format, you can use some simple panel interview tips to make the process work to your advantage.
Essential Tips for a Perfect Panel Interview
1. First of the panel interview tips is to find out ahead of time, if you can, how many people will be on the panel interviewing you. If they will tell you, also find out the names or job titles of those individuals.
Though there is always the possibility of a member being switched out or added on the interview day, having additional information can help you enter the room confidently. Be sure to prepare enough resumes and portfolios for each member of the panel and yourself.
If you have names, memorize them and a little information about them if it is available through the website or company literature. You don’t have to reveal this information but it may illuminate the slant of a question asked during the interview.
Looking the Part in a Panel Interview
2. Second, dressing and acting appropriately for your interview is one of the most essential panel interview tips. This particular format for an interview can make many people nervous or ganged up on.
Looking your best can help boost your confidence. Intentional use of relaxed and pleasant body language helps convey your professionalism and willingness to work with others. Make eye contact with each of the members of the panel and smile at them throughout the interview, but answer questions primarily to whoever asks each specific one.
3. Third, think team. Panel interviews are often indicative of a culture of teamwork in the company. Bring a cooperative and team affirming slant to your answers. Be complimentary in your comments about the company or the particular panel members. Use the panel members’ names right away and throughout the interview.
4. Fourth, have a good working knowledge of your resume and portfolio so you can find examples quickly during the interview. Prepare to share several experiences where you took action that resulted in a positive outcome.
At least one or two of these examples should begin with a negative occurrence that your actions helped to resolve. Ask ahead of time if there are any specific items the panel would like you to bring to the interview with you. Even if they say no, panel interview tips recommend bringing resume portfolios anyway to impress the interviewers.
5. Fifth of the panel interview tips is to end the interview well. At the conclusion of the interview, have at least one question ready for the panel if they give you that opportunity. Shake each one’s hand and thank them by name for their time. It is also a good idea to send a thank you note to each of the panel members after your interview.