At any time, you could walk into a job interview to face an entire table full of hiring managers. This is called a panel interview and it’s often used as part of the final round of interviews, or to cut down on the time it takes to interview individuals. You can look at this as a positive aspect of interviewing for a job.
To really shine in a panel interview, use these tips for success.
#1 – Walk into the room confidently
As a candidate, don’t view a panel interview as an ambush. Instead, look at it as your chance to shine in front of the decision makers at your dream company. Hold your head high, make good eye contact, take the time to greet everyone at the table, shaking hands if you can, then introduce yourself and your strengths with confidence.
#2 – Use great communication skills
A panel interview is your opportunity to demonstrate your strength as a communicator. Be prepared to answer a multitude of questions and remember everyone has different communication styles. If you have brought your resume with you, make sure to take notes. Use an active conversation style. Maintain good eye contact, open body posture, and smile frequently. Be personable and professional.
#3 – Ask great questions
During the panel interview, you will probably be asked if you have any questions. Have at least 4 or 5 questions you would like to ask that demonstrate an interest in both the company and the job itself. You can do research ahead of time on the company website and by browsing the Web for any news or reports about the company. This may impress those who are conducting the interview and give you talking points.
#4 – Be prepared for the next steps
Sometimes, a panel interview may also involve doing an exercise that is related to the job, or you may be asked to come into one of the panel members’ offices for further discussion. It is critical that you are flexible and prepared for whatever the next steps are. Don’t be surprised if you are offered a job very soon after the interview. During this time, you may also be negotiating for your initial salary and benefits. Be willing and able to discuss these things with confidence, knowing your value.
Preparing for a panel interview is not unlike preparing for any other type of job interview. Just remember, this is your chance to look great in front of a group of people and is an indicator of your future success at the company. Take it seriously, but have fun. Contact our professionals today for any interview preparation needs you may have.