Archive for interview tips

Surviving a panel interview

The panel interview, once only preferred by academics, has recenly made solid inroads into the corporate sector.

During a panel interview, a job seeker meets with two or more individuals who work for the potential employer. Often, these people are hiring managers, HR representatives, upper management and potential peers.

“A panel interview measures how you interact with other people, many of whom will be your supervisors and colleagues,” advises Susan Britton Whitcomb in Interview Magic.

To achieve the best results during this type of interview, Whitcomb offers the following tips in her new book:

  • Ask the person setting up the interview, “Who will I be interviewing with and what are their job titles?” If possible, gather information on each of the panel members. Sometimes a Google search will bring up the relevant information you need.
  • Treat the interview like a business meeting and ask if it’s okay to take notes. Jotting notes will allow you to remember important points and occasionally buy you a few extra moments response time to probing questions.
  • Take it one question at a time, one person at a time. Address each response primarily to the individual asking the question, while also making eye contact with the rest of the panel.
  • Look for the key decision-maker on the panel—he or she is often the person who is last to the meeting because of a busy schedule, or the person to whom all the other heads turn when there is a question.
  • When the floor is opened up for you to ask questions, address a question to each person on the panel.
  • Send a separate thank-you or follow-up note to each panel member.

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