How to Prepare for a Panel Interview
An interview can create a lot of stress for a candidate. An interview with six people firing unrelated questions at you in rapid succession can exponentially increase your stress. It’s common to have managers from several departments conduct a panel interview to determine how well-rounded an applicant is and how they fit into the company culture. Rather than stress out dreading a group interview use these four tips to prepare yourself.
Find Out Who Will Be on The Panel
Most hiring managers will tell you in advance who will be on your panel. If they don’t tell you, make sure you ask. Once you have their names and titles it’s time to do some recon. LinkedIn is a great place to start your research. Knowing their job history, education, etc. can give you insight into what type of questions they may ask and allow you to prepare your responses.
Good Body Language
Just as in any interview it is important to make good eye contact, maintain good posture, and project good body language. Going forward you can expect many of these interviews to be virtual. This makes eye contact a bit more difficult, so remember to look into the camera and have appropriate facial reactions to questions and remarks. It’s a good idea to practice this in front of your computer. Record yourself answering practice questions. Play back the recording and correct any issues you see.
Hit It Off
Try to build rapport with each member of the panel. Start by memorizing their names and pronouncing them correctly. This should be easy if you got their names from the hiring manager prior to the interview. When researching the panel members look for common interests or connections. Perhaps you attended the same school or have a common friend, etc. Sprinkle these touch points into your questions and answers.
Asking thoughtful questions shows that you have done your research and that you are very interested in the position and company. Managers will usually ask you if you have any questions for them, however if they don’t, they still expect you to ask questions. Rather than saving your questions for the end of the panel I recommend sprinkling a few throughout the interview.
A panel interview doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Being prepared is the key to confidence. Do your homework and get to know all you can about the position, the panel members, and the company. The more you know the more relaxed you’ll be. A big part of a panel interview is to see how well you fit into the company’s culture.
Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.