As a job seeker, you’ve got plenty to stress about when it comes to finally getting called in for the big interview. What should you wear? Should you bring a copy of your resume? Is early really the new “on time” or do you just come off as desperate?
These burning questions are the things that keep candidate’s up at night, questioning the mysteries of the employment universe. In the list of concerns, however, there is one lurking, creeping, nagging monster that interviewee’s dread more than others. The multi-person, panel interview. If this scenario sounds familiar, there’s no need to worry. At SimplyHired we’ve got everything you need to ace a panel job interview.
6 Tips For Acing Panel Interviews:
Give Individual Attention To Each Member Of The Panel
As the old wisdom goes, you don’t love one child, or pet, more than the other. The same thing applies when interacting with individual members of a panel interview. Take the time to answer each person’s individual questions. When answering generic questions or supplying background information be sure to also make deliberate eye contact with all of the interviewers in turn. If your meeting will involve different levels of management, be careful to research each individual and to not focus on the senior members at the expense of the more junior participants.
Bring Resumes And Business Plans For Everyone
It’s always solid advice to bring an updated copy of your resume, CV, cover letter or other hiring credentials to the interview room. In panel interviews, be sure to bring enough copies for all participants. No one likes reading over another person’s shoulder, and this is doubly true when you’ll be facing multiple question askers during the interview process. The cost of printing and/or binding any materials will be minimal and should be considered a worthy investment in your career prospects.
Show Confidence and Friendliness
There’s a host of sayings that compare business-oriented folks to wild animals when it comes to sensing weakness. While these colloquialisms can be a bit exaggerated, the truth of the matter is that visible nervousness or shyness is a put off for potential employers. The ideal candidate shows calm and professionalism under even the most strenuous of circumstances. In fact, it’s this outdated but relevant thought process that gives rise to many panel job interview formats in the first place. Practice ahead of time with friends or colleagues and keep your cool. Confidence and friendliness in the face of adversity will help make you a highly attractive candidate.
Do Your Research And Come Prepared With Facts
This piece of advice is applicable to your interview, regardless of format. Research is king when it comes to preparing for interview day. Delve into details about the company history, current events, and corporate culture. You should also spend some time exploring the education and work history of each of your individual panel interviewers on professional networking websites. Use this knowledge to pull out tangible highlights from your applicable work experience to share with the group. Having qualities that answer to the job description and your interviewees is a sure fire way to earn yourself a follow-up or job offer.
Always Ask For The Job
This piece of advice also falls into the general interview tips category but takes on a special importance in the panel job interview format. Playing things cool or acting uninterested never worked when trying to score a date in high school and certainly doesn’t return any dividends in the interview room. Be sure to end an interview with an expression of interest, excitement and an overall desire to hear back soon. In short, make sure that none of the individual interviewers has any doubt that you’d love to receive a job offer. If there are doubts on this point, the panel members may end up discussing amongst themselves and exaggerating any deficiency.
Follow Up With Each Member Of The Panel
We all know about the all-important follow-up emails after the interview. The general rule of thumb goes that you should respectfully thank every person who took the time to meet with you during the process. For panel interviewers, this means an individual email personalized for each interviewer. Try to come up with specific details or references for each person you met with. Since interviewers often compare notes on candidates, doing so will come off as professional and on top of things, greatly increasing your chances at an offer.
As a final closing thought, panel interviews may seem like the big bad boogie man of job hunting, but much like the imaginary childhood foe, their hype is bigger than the reality. Panel interviews can be an efficient and effective interviewing technique. Use our handy tips and you’ll be seeing dividends in your preparation.