Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I have a panel interview - what should I expect?

Panel interviews tend to be more formal than other types of interviews and can be especially nerve racking if you allow it to! Panel interviews can be more time and cost effective for the employer and may result in a quicker hiring process.

Most often, the employer representatives will hold different roles. For example, a Direct Supervisor, Manager, District Manager, Human Resources and Administrative Assistant may all be involved in interviewing perspective candidates. Each will have questions relevant to their roles and/or interests.

Think about the interview as if it were a business meeting or group and you should be fine! Answer each person's questions as if they were the only one interviewing you. Even if a question from one representative is similar to another's answer with their role in mind to give the most meaningful answer.

Panel interviews can be confusing - it is perfectly acceptable to come with and refer to notes. It is also fine to jot notes if they tell you something you might like to ask more about etc. - just let them know you may take a few notes to remember the important information they are giving you!

Bring 7 resumes if they told you 5 people - you will want one for yourself that is exactly like theirs to refer to so you don't get confused! Here are some interview questions to practice: Practice Interviewing

Some questions to ask the employer:

  1. What brought you to work for this company? 
  2. What do you like best about working here? 
  3. Ask for  tour to if it is possible to shadow someone doing this job. 
  4. How did I do? 
  5. What is the best way to follow up? 
  6. Research and be prepared to ask a couple of questions from that. 
  7. What advice can you give someone like myself who would like very much to obtain this position? 

To banish nervousness prior to the interview:

  1. Get a good night sleep and set alarm for well ahead of when you need to get up. 
  2. Eat the day of the interview! 
  3. Get all of your resumes and handouts ready and by the door/in the car the night before. 
  4. Drive to the interview location ahead of time and add on 15 minutes. 
  5. Don't forget to be aware of "hall room behavior" - you never know who you might be in contact with from the parking lot on in! 
  6. Make sure your elevator pitch is polished beyond perfection! 
  7. Breathe. 

Remember - just treat it like a meeting or a group and you won't feel nervous. Tell them you are nervous at the outset if that is the case. Explain that you are really excited about the opportunity and want to do well!


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