Receiving an interview call is always the primary objective of every job seeker, as it enables them to be one step closer to their dream job. However, you need to understand here that interviews are not always one-on-one; they can be panel interviews as well.
Many industries conduct such interviews, and the number of interviewers in a panel interview can range from two to eight or, in some cases, even more.
Preparing for a personal interview in itself can be a little daunting for many of us. Then if the recruiting team of your prospective employer calls you for a panel interview- it can for sure be a nerve-racking experience.
To succeed in such interviews, you need to understand what is a panel interview exactly, key tips that you should follow, mistakes that you should avoid, kinds of questions you should expect in your panel interview. Let us understand everything in detail here and now-
What is a Panel Interview?
When in an interview, there are several interviewers asking questions to an interviewee simultaneously, then it is a panel interview.
At times in some other cases, the panel might pose interview questions to different interviewees simultaneously as well.
In a panel setting, every interviewer on the board will pose you at least one question. If there are various interviewees or candidates, the recruiters or interviewers may pose every candidate one question in turn.
Though such an interview may sound somewhat threatening from the start, with somewhat preparation and readiness, it’s conceivable to feature your best skill-sets in front of them to make a good association with every one of the individuals who are assessing you in the panel setting.
Now, after understanding what panel interviews are, let us now have a look upon tips to handle a panel interview-
How to Successfully Handle a Panel Interview – 10 Tips to crack a Panel Interview
1. Eye-to-Eye Contact & body language
Not realizing where to look during a panel set is a worry for many candidates.
When in doubt, you should begin responding to questions while looking at who posed that question to you. At that point, you should glance around at other interviewers as well and wrap up the answer while looking at the individual who posted the inquiry.
2. Ask questions
Asking relevant questions to the leader of the panel as well as to the other panel members as per their role in the organization is a critical tip for handling panel interviews adeptly.
For instance, if you ask the HR manager a question about the staff management responsibilities, then it will show that you have done your homework about that specific role.
3. Stay Focused
Interviewees might use the tactic of someone being friendly while some other ones are harsh to you.
You need to stay focused on your purpose and never lose your calm. They use such strategies to check how you react in upsetting and stressful circumstances.
4. Regard the Silence
This one is one of the most crucial tips for handling panel interviews. You should not try to occupy each of the unfilled spaces in the interview.
Managers and recruiters opt for this silence strategy to put you in a zone where you uncover that info that you commonly would not. You have to abstain from falling into such traps, and after finishing the answer, quit talking.
5. Use Follow-up Letters
Sending a thank you letter to each of the interviewees, plus the focus of each of the letters should be as per their job title of the interviewee.
For guaranteeing you get the spelling of everybody’s name and email right, you may also request everybody’s business card.
6. If possible have prior knowledge about panel-members
It is also essential that you know what number of individuals are going to be there in the panel in advance.
You can get these details from the Human Resource division, plus some of the times, you can get their details upon the paperwork that asks you to come to the interview.
Knowing about panel members lets you answer a relevant member using their name.
7. Do proper research about the job
If the advert has anyone’s name to contact, you should attempt to talk with the named individual to have the proper comprehension of the job.
In case you can go with a casual visit, it will be fantastic, as you would then be able to utilize this info to handle your panel interview with better insight.
8. Highlight your skills
When setting up your answers, you should also try to feature your skills and capacities according to the job.
You need to showcase your strengths here, as your panel interview setting is your chance to show your extraordinary relational abilities.
9. Learn speaking clearly and slowly
You should practice talking in the right manner. Speaking clearly at the right pace is very important for putting forward your thoughts, constructively, and productively.
You should also work upon breathing, plus you may also try to count to three before responding to an inquiry, as it will let you control your nerves.
10. Add relevant examples of your previous work, skills, and experience
Adding this in your conduct in a panel interview setting will help you in exhibiting what it is you can bring to the position you have applied for.
Frequently it merits attempting to give answers after analyzing the perspective of the interviewee. Like, if an interviewee asks something about marketing, try to add some instances of your previous marketing work that you think can emphasize your expertise in front of them.
After going through the best tips to crack a panel interview, let us now have a look at some of the most common types of questions that can be part of your panel interview session-
Common Questions asked in Panel Interviews
- Tell me about yourself
- Why would you like to work for our organization
- Tell me about the greatest quality or strength
- Where do you see yourself in the next 3 to 5 years
- Tell me about your biggest weakness
- How would an associate or team member portray you
- How would you handle opposition from coworkers while introducing a new policy to them
- Have you ever faced conflict in the team members in your previous job and how did you handle that
- Share examples when you dealt with a difficult client without aggravating the situation
- Tell me your worst mistake in your previous job, and how did you manage that later
- Do you have any instance when you helped someone to understand and resolve a complicated issue when he or she was entirely unaware of that thing
Mistakes you should never make during a Panel Interview
- Never talk with just a single individual in the panel
- Never forget to make additional copies of your resume or business cards
- Never get distracted by the strange or odd behaviors of interviewer/interviewers
- Never forget to get the contact information of panel member
- Never stress unnecessarily because you are going for a panel interview
- If you know then never forget names and roles of interviewers
- Never get defensive and ignore your body language
- Never rush and do not forget to balance answering with listening
- Never leave the room before asking relevant questions
If you want to get favorable outcomes from a panel meeting, you need to understand that it begins from the very moment you enter into the interview room.
Therefore, you ought to be perfectly dressed, on schedule, and comprise the right body language. The more you will be ready to plan for your panel interview session, the more productive it will be for you.
If you are keen on making the most out of your panel interview, you should always recall that practice is the only thing that ensures promising results. Follow the tips as mentioned above, and learn everything relevant to your job profile.
What are your thoughts about the significance of panel interviews in hiring the right candidate for a job profile?
Do you feel intimidated while facing panel interviews? Share your views with us in the comment section below.