Career Tools

Panel Interview

Category: Interviews

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The golden rule of a panel interview is to engage with the whole panel not just one specific member of the group.   By definition a panel job interview is when an applicant is interviewed by a group (panel) of interviewers.  In many instances a candidate will meet the panel separately; this is most common for a senior position.  However, in other scenarios there will be a panel of interviewers and several candidates all in the one room.

A panel interview can be extremely uncomfortable for a candidate nevertheless it saves an employer time and money because it creates an opportunity for the employer to screen multiple candidates at once.

It is the usual practice for multiple candidates to sit behind a desk whilst the interviewers sit facing the desk, each interviewer will then ask every candidate a question.

If you cannot anticipate likely questions, study the job specification to best effect, prepare as far as possible questions and a response.  Maintain eye contact at all times with the person asking the question and do not be disrupted by other people in the room.

When entering the room look at all of the interviewers, try and remember the names of each and address them accordingly.

The whole idea of a panel interview is to put an interviewee under a lot more pressure rather than a typical one-to-one interview.  It could be the case that you will have four or five people all asking you questions.  The panel will consider how you cope under this pressure.

This could be your opportunity to make your interactive practical skills shine, bear in mind that you want to appear better than your qualifications on paper.

Although it may be an intimidating experience it has its benefits because it is much more objective and reliable due to multiple opinions and of course a collective decision.