It’s not really news to say that job interviews are stressful – everyone knows that. But some types can be more stressful than others. One of the more anxiety-producing types of interviews is known as the group interview or the panel interview. This is where a group of people interview the job candidate in one setting. So, you are dealing not just with one interviewer, but several. Here are some tips on how to handle this kind of format.
1. Learn who is on the panel beforehand.
Find out who will be on the panel before you go into the interview, and if possible, some background on each of them. The people on the panel will probably include your supervisor if you are hired, people from other departments, and possibly someone from human resources.
Each person on the panel will naturally be interested in your skills as they relate to their particular department. This will give you time to consider where each person will be coming from and how to respond to their interests.
2. Work with everyone on the panel
When someone asks you a question, you will naturally direct your answer to them. But after you have answered the question, address the other members of the panel as well. How does the question relate to the interests of each person on the panel? Respond to them as well.
3. Be aware of your movements
When you respond to a person, look directly at them and make eye contact. Turn your body so that you are facing the person, and do this for each person as you respond to them.
4. Control the tempo
With several people on the panel, each will want to get their questions in, and so you may face a situation where someone is asking you a question before you have finished answering the previous one. When this happens, tell the interrupting person politely that you will get to their question shortly, but that you have a few more things to say. Write down their question as well (if you can) so you don’t forget their question after you finish answering the original one.
5. Follow up questions
A question from one person may spark a follow-up question from one or more of the others, so you need to be prepared for this. You will be dealing with more follow-up questions than you would with just a single interviewer. Make sure you come to the interview prepared with a lot of examples and stories you can use to highlight your skills and experience to each person.
It may help to practice this scenario with some friends before the actual interview. You will feel comfortable and can get honest feedback from people you trust.
Arrow Staffing can help prepare you for any type of interview – panel or otherwise. We can help you find the job that fits your skills and background, contact our team today to work with a top staffing agency in the Inland Empire.