A group of five individuals is interviewing Susmit today. He made a smart move and called the human resources manager in advance to understand who all would be asking questions. He knew that Mr. Naresh would be his reporting manager if he landed the job. Once the interview started, Susmit primarily paid attention to Naresh.
While it may seem harmless, Susmit made a mistake that job-seekers often make during panel interviews. Want to avoid such mistakes and win over everyone present at a panel interview? Read on!
What Is A Panel Interview?
A panel interview is a type of interview where several interviewers interact with one applicant. There is a panel of representatives from various departments including the human resources manager, hiring manager, potential supervisors (managers or team leaders) and other decision-makers. In a panel interview, every interviewer has an opportunity to ask questions about your qualifications, experiences and goals. But there are times when only one person asks the questions while the others observe.
Here are some of the other defining features you need to know about a panel interview:
Panel interviews eliminate the need for a series of interviews. There’s a collective assessment of your knowledge and skills. You need to communicate your ideas and convince an entire group—both at an individual and collective level.
Preparation Is Key
As a panel interview consists of people from various parts of the organization, you’re likely to encounter different questions. Simultaneously engaging with so many individuals can be stressful, which is why you need to stay prepared.
The presence of so many people at the same time is a great way to learn more about workplace culture. However, this also creates group dynamics—allowing potential employers to assess you in a group situation.
How To Prepare For A Panel Interview
Panel interviews may seem intimidating but with adequate practice, you can leave lasting impressions on a group of people. Here are a few effective panel interview tips that’ll help you truly engage with everyone present.
What’s In A Name?
The best way to build rapport is by addressing them with their names. It’s tricky to remember so many names on such short notice; remember to take notes at the beginning of the meeting.
Divide & Conquer
You may be tempted to be attentive to only one individual during your interview because they ask the most questions or hold the senior-most position. Engage with everybody by dividing your attention equally.
This type of interview invites multiple perspectives, so brace yourself for any surprise panel interview questions, especially follow-ups. Arm yourself with multiple anecdotes and reflections from personal and professional aspects of your life.
Frequently Asked Panel Interview Questions
There are no fixed panel interview questions, rather they’re a mix of different standard questions. You get the chance of highlighting your skills, qualifications, experience and so much more! Let’s look at some of the most common panel interview questions and answers that’ll help you prepare better.
How Are You?
What seems like a genuine query is one of the most important aspects of your interview. It’s the first question that any panel asks and it’s the only opportunity you get to leave a positive first impression. A smart way of answering this question is leaving room for more. For example, “I’m doing well, thank you for asking. It’s wonderful to see the organization’s motto on the wall!”.
Tell Me About Yourself
It’s an open-ended question, which makes it tricky to answer. What can you tell about yourself that you haven’t already highlighted in your resume? The best way to tackle this question is by illustrating your knowledge and skills differently. For example, “I have earned my degree in Media Communications and that’s when I discovered my passion for photography. I want to dedicate my entire life to capturing beautiful moments in life”.
By asking why you want to work for the organization, panelists want to assess whether your personal goals align with the overall goals. Additionally, they want to test your knowledge about the organization. You can make your response more engaging by adding, “I’ve recently read a news article about the work your organization has been doing. I have been passionate about the same cause and I believe working here will help me pursue my passion”.
Panel interviews are when multitaskers shine! The ability to coordinate with everyone, in addition to communicating and socializing, are valuable characteristics. But more importantly, confidence is instrumental in acing a panel interview. Harappa Education’s Ace The Interview course will teach you how to get comfortable with frequently asked questions. You’ll stay calm and project confidence but most of all, you’ll win the hearts of everyone present!
Explore topics such as General HR Interview Questions, What are the Common Questions to Ask an Interviewer, How to Follow-Up After an Interview, Ways to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview & How to Prepare for Mock Interview from Harappa Diaries and shine at your next interview.
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