A panel interview is one where you are interviewed by two or more interviewers. In some cases there are two interviewers, more commonly it’s three or four interviewers. I have heard of panel interviews with ten interviewers!
When are Panel Interviews Used?
There are a fairly wide range of reasons for organisations to use a panel interview. You will be relieved to hear that none of them are to make the interview more stressful. The main reasons for using them are:
- In public bodies there are often a range of people that need to meet a candidate eg HR Manager, Line Manager, Member of the Council or Board of Governors. Using a panel interview avoids the candidate having four or five separate interviews. In fact panel interviews will speed up the selection process in most organisations that use them.
- If organisations use competency based interviews whilst one person asks questions other members of the panel can keep notes of the answers.
- By using panel interviews organisations can be more certain that each candidate is treated fairly by the different managers in the selection process. They are all there at the same time. Any bias from one manager can be balanced out by the views of others on the panel
How do they Work?
The best way to view a panel interview is as a normal one to one interview. However the questions are divided among the different panel members. So you need to prepare for this kind of interview like any other. You can see our guides on interview preparation for more help on this.
How to be Successful at Panel Interviews
This list of hints and tips will significantly improve you chances of success at a panel interview:
- When asked to attend an interview, if you are not told, ask who will be interviewing you. By doing this you will avoid the surprise of walking into an interview thinking you are meeting one person, only to find there are three interviewers
- Work out the likely areas of interest of the panel members – your background, your skills and experience, technical qualifications
- Ensure you can headline your CV in no more than 4 minutes, or you will lose the attention of the interviewers. Practice this in a mirror and with a friend beforehand. This is likely the first thing you are asked to do, so it’s important to be able to do it confidently
- Make sureyou have thought about examples of your skills and experience that match the requirements of the job description. Again practice them out aloud prior to the interview
- Arrive early to give you time to relax and focus on the interview
- Be polite and courteous with everyone you meet when you arrive. This includes Receptionists and whoever takes you to the interview. You are on stage and people may be asked about you after the interview
- Walk into the interview room confidently. Smile and make eye contact with each member of the panel
- One of the panel members will introduce you to the others. Wherever possible make sure you shake each panel members hand and say hello or good morning etc
- When asked questions by a panel member address your answer to that panel member. Don’t try to continually scan the panel as you are giving an answer. It may be appropriate to look at each panel member once during each answer, but you main focus of attention should be on the person who asked the question
- Ensure you have one or two questions to ask the panel that show your interest in the job. Good subjects are about the training you will receive, career development, or a question about the organisation that demonstrates your research on it
If you follow these simple guidelines you really will enhance your chances of success. I’d also strongly suggest you read our article on competency based interviews as competency based questions are often a key part of any panel interview.
If you are seeking help in preparing for an interview please give us a call or email us. We are experts in providing this kind of help and have helped many of our clients get the job that they want.
Executive Coaching|Executive Coach
Very often when I start working with a new executive coaching client they do not really understand what it is an Executive Coach does. Here I explain what to expect in ...
What is Executive Coaching?
As an Executive Coaching Company we find that we are often asked 'what is Executive Coaching?' It seems there are many views about what executive coaching is and what executive ...
Executive Coaching – is a Key Development Tool
As an Executive Coaching Company you might expect us to promote executive coaching as a key development tool. However the latest CIPD Learning and Talent Development Survey finds that executive ...
Popular ArticlesExecutive Coaching Success Stories
People are sometimes unsure of how Executive Coaching might help them. These Executive Coaching ...
Mentoring or Executive Coaching?
Mentoring is one of the services our Executive Coaching company provides to some clients. ...
What Was Executive Coaching Like?
What an Executive Coaching Company does is still a mystery to some people. So ...
Executive Coaching – is a Key Development Tool
As an Executive Coaching Company you might expect us to promote executive coaching as ...
- 01789 261202
- 186 Loxley Road
Stratford upon Avon CV37 7DU