Most people get nervous at the thought of an interview, but the thought of a panel interview can really instill fear in a job seeker’s heart. The stakes can be pretty high in a one-on-one interview, but having several people interview you at the same time can really be stressful.
So how do you prepare for a panel interview? How do you make sure that you don’t get tongue-tied and fail to represent yourself properly?
Here are six quick tips for acing that panel interview:
1) Maintain eye contact with everyone. It may seem easier to just maintain eye contact with the person on the panel who seems friendliest, but keep in mind that everyone on the panel has some input as to who will be hired. So you need to win over as many people on the panel as possible and convince them that you are the right person for the job.
2) Research the interviewers ahead of time. LinkedIn is a great place to do your due diligence. Find out about the backgrounds of the people who will be interviewing you, including education, work experience, and any awards that they might have won. This can give you information about what you may have in common with the interviewers as well as an idea what they bring to the table.
3) Establish rapport with all of the interviewers. This is very important. As was stated earlier, everyone on the panel has input into the hiring process. If there are one or two people who don’t seem particularly engaged, try to draw them into the conversation. The ones who are quiet may have more influence than the ones who are talkative.
4) Generate ideas of what questions you may be asked by the different interviewers based on their job titles. If you are able to find an organizational chart on the company website, you will probably have a good idea of how the position you are interviewing for relates to the positions of those of the interviewers. So a potential co-worker will probably ask you different questions than your potential boss will. Try to think from the interviewers’ different perspectives. If you were interviewing a candidate for this position, what types of questions would you ask based on your position within the organization?
5) Make sure to get the business cards of all of the interviewers at the end of the interview. Of course you know that you should follow up with a thank you note after the interview. But because all of the interviewers will be weighing in on the new hire, you should send a thank you note to all of the interviewers. The best way to make sure that you have the correct information for everyone is to ask for everyone’s business cards before you leave.
6) Take the time to assess the interactions of the team. Remember that it is not just the interviewers who are interviewing you. You are also interviewing the interviewers. You need to know if this is a place where you want to work. Given that reality, it is to your benefit to take note of how the interviewers interact with each other. After all, they are a microcosm of the company itself. Are they respectful to one another? Does there seem to be a good camaraderie between them, or do you sense tension and friction? Remembering that you are there to determine whether or not this will be a good fit for you can help to ease your nervousness.
*Need help preparing for an upcoming interview? Don’t leave it to chance! Get professional assistance from a certified career coach. Call 877-743-9521 or send an email to email@example.com today!