Panel interviews may seem intimidating… being faced with multiple interviewers when you enter the room is guaranteed to leave even the most confident of interviewees with sweaty palms. However, whether you like it or not “interview by firing squad” is a common way for companies to speed up their hiring process and see how candidates will react in a group setting
However, they do not have to be scary. If you know what to expect, and prepare by following our simple tips, panel interviews may not be so daunting after all…
Body language is key!
We all know that first impressions are extremely important, especially at a job interview. But did you know that there is only a 7 second window when making a first impression? Having good body language and making sufficient eye contact is imperative, especially during those first seven seconds! At panel interviews, maintaining eye contact and interacting with everybody in the room is essential, this not only ensures that each person is engaged but also shows you value everyone’s opinions equally. You should appear confident and prepared, shake each interviewers hand and greet them with a smile with your head held high!
Find out who is on the panel
If you really want to ace your panel interview, it’s vital that you find out who will be on the panel in advance.
Check out each interviewer on LinkedIn so you understand their experience and role within the organisation. This will help you feel more relaxed in the interview and answer questions in the most relevant way for your audience.
Expect to repeat yourself!
At a panel interview, it is likely that you will be asked to repeat yourself for clarity or because someone misunderstood the point you were attempting to make. Don’t be offended or put off if you are asked to repeat yourself, it is for your benefit, so that the panel are satisfied with your answers and are content that they understand everything you have said.
If possible, take note of each interviewers name when you first sit down. It will work in your favour if you were to remember each person’s name so that you could directly address them when answering their questions. Also, when your interview is coming to a conclusion, you will feel more confident and will also be more likely to be remembered if you can thank each person for their time by shaking their hand and addressing them directly.
Direct questions to the panel
Remember, a job interview is a two way street. Asking questions will give you the information required to decide if the role is for you, and it will demonstrate that you are keen and eager to understand the role and the company. Common questions include ‘Are there opportunities for learning and development?’ ‘How long should I expect to wait before I hear back?’ ‘Can you describe the working culture of the company?’. For extra bonus points, if you already know the names and roles of each of the panel, you can direct your question(s) to the most appropriate person in the room.
In conclusion, don’t let the fact panel interviews phase you too much. If you follow the above tips, study the job description, learn about the company, and are prepared to showcase how your skills and experience will make you successful in the role, you’ll have a great chance in securing a job offer from your next panel interview.
Need more job interview tips?
We hope this has helped you, good luck with your interview!