A panel interview differs from usual interviews in that, instead of being questioned by 1 person, you will be questioned by 2 or more people. This is an ideal way for the company to see how you’ll handle this pressurised situation, so play it right and you could significantly increase the chance of being recruited.
One of the major advantages of a panel interview is that it saves both you, and the company time by meeting various people at once, rather than having to attend more than one interview. It is also advantageous for the company in that it will save them money.
In your interview panel, you may need to identify the ‘important’ people. These could be your potential Manager, the company’s Managing Director and even a potential colleague. This is an ideal opportunity to for you to find out more about the people you could be working with.
You may find that only one person has been allocated the position of asking you questions. However, it is more than likely that each of the panel members will have a say in the recruitment decision so ensure you treat each member with the same level of importance.
When in front of an interview panel, try not to talk directly to one person – acknowledge all people during the interview but always finish answering a question looking at the person who initially asked it. You may also notice that the questions during the interview may be more rapidly paced than normal one-to-one interviews.
Do I need to remember each panel member’s name?
No. They will realise you’ll be nervous and will have enough on your mind. In addition, you’ll probably find nameplates on the panel member’s desk.
How should I prepare for a panel interview?
Preparation for a panel interview is pretty much the same as a usual interview.
Should I send a thank-you letter after the interview?
Yes. If possible, send a letter to each panel member.