Preparing for Panel Interview

A panel interview is definitely a different ballgame from that of a one-on-one rendezvous. However, there is no need to believe that you have to master a totally different set of skills in order to ace a panel interview. There might be a number of potential interviewees out there who have just received calls for panel interviews and are totally psyched about it. Relax. There is no need to go on a panic mode. Panel interviewers are not meant to intimidate you. They offer practical solutions to concerns related to time constraints. There are circumstances when employers require candidates to be interviewed by different supervisors or managers at different levels of an interview. However separate rounds is a more time-consuming affair whereas panel interviews can easily fulfill due requirements. Moreover they are considered to be culturally fair and more detailed than personal job interviewers. Here are certain ways to ace a panel interview.

Learn About the Judges: In a panel interview you are going to encounter an amalgamation of professionals who have different preferences, temperaments and ways of examining candidates. Therefore research about make-up of the panel and try to get an idea about the different kinds of questions you might have to face.

Be Prepared to Repeat Yourself: One of the crucial points to remember before attending a panel interview is that different panelists have different listening styles and one or two of them might as well require you to repeat particular points. While some of them might have skipped your point the first time you mentioned there are others who would like a clarification. Please steer clear of impatience in these circumstances. Handle these situations with due calmness.

Hone Your Listening Skills: You might have got used to coming across suggestions of listening to your interviewer properly before answering him. Be prepared to take this skill several notches higher this time.

Attend To Each Panelist Separately: Please adopt the skill of attending to multiple panelists at the same time. Divide equal attention among them. It will not be easy. You can’t engage yourself with just two or three of them, thereby unintentionally ending up ignoring or paying less attention to others in the process. Remember, this conduct can particularly go against you in a job interview as it would be a serious test of your ability of handling multiple clients as well. Therefore, adopt measures accordingly. Prepare questions to ask each judge post interview. In this way you would be able to engage the comparatively silent ones among the panelists as well. Connect with each of them by means of eye-contact. Focus on questions thrown by one of them at a time and then proceed to the next question asked by the other person.

Last but not the least brush up skills required for one-on- one interviews:
  • Stellar story –telling that involves challenge-action-outcome (all of which is relevant to the job profile you have applied for.
  • Research on the Company
  • Research on the Job Profile
  • Remember to follow up courteously

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