How To Be A Top Performer In A Panel Interview

The interview process is becoming more and more thorough. There are often two or even three rounds before you are contacted and confirmed successful or not.

If you receive the call to attend a panel interview, what goes through your mind? Lots of individuals find this process quite intimidating; however, that is not the intention of the employer. If you will be working in a department where you need to report to more than one person, it can be quite beneficial to meet all members of the team beforehand. You can also find out what their expectations are of the individual they want for the role.

As with any interview process, there are ways to prepare and present yourself successfully in front of a panel.  I found an article on Careerealism that outlines these five steps:

1. Direct Your Attention To Each Person On The Panel:

Make sure you introduce yourself to everyone on the panel and engage with eye contact. Positive body language is important as well as showing each individual that same level of respect and attention. Even make a note to write down their names if need be to avoid awkwardness if you need to address them for questions afterwards.

I tend to have this problem if I am in a group with people that I don’t know very well. I tend to give eye contact to just one person when I am talking. If you are the same, try and be aware of this and shift your focus to each individual in the room. Project your answers confidently to the whole group, and don’t forget to smile when you can!

2. Expect To Repeat Yourself

As you will be dealing with new people in the panel interview, you may find that you have to repeat some of the information from your first interview. It is to be expected. The panellists want to get to know you, understand your skill sets and how they will apply to their department and the role you are applying for.

3. Find Out Who You Will Need To Impress The Most

As every individual in the group is different, there may be some panellists that you need to work a little harder at impressing or winning over. It shows your ability to work with all different types of people and also how to problem solve on the spot.

Make that pitch count, be clear and precise and do your best to make a lasting impression. If you are able to appeal to the toughest member of the group it may help influence the other members of the panel to look in your favour.

4. Be Prepared For At Least One Zinger Question

With most interviews there will be a question that puts you on the spot for various reasons. It can also feel a lot harder to address it to a group of people as opposed to a one-on-one interview. Take the time to brainstorm some difficult questions and practice your responses. This will help you to relax and address these questions in a confident, composed manor.

5. Thank All Participants Promptly

Similar to the first step, make sure you address each interviewer at the conclusion of the interview. Shake hands, thank them personally, and even collect business cards if you haven’t done so already.

You can use the business cards to your advantage if you send a prompt thank you email to those that attended the interview. This will help keep you fresh and memorable in their minds and also shows a level of professionalism.

Have you attended a panel interview before? What steps did you take to prepare for it? And what was the overall outcome?