Panel Interview Tips

Heading into a panel interview? Get ready to talk to a lot of people. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll be and the better you’ll fare.

What is a Panel Interview?

Instead of the standard one-on-one conversation with a single person, a panel interview is with several people, all at the same time. Each member of the group of interviewers will have their own questions about your credentials, experience, and skills.

Why Do Employers Hold Panel Interviews?

Remember how we mentioned that panel interviews can be intimidating? Well, for some employers that’s one reason to use this type of interview: it allows the company to get a realistic preview of how candidates perform under stressful, tough conditions.

However, for some jobs—sales, for instance—the skills and attitude required to perform well during a panel interview mimic the job requirements. You’ll be selling your credentials to the panel, rather than to a customer. Panel interviews can also reveal how candidates respond to group situations, work with others, navigate internal conflict, or balance handling of different personality types.

How do you prepare?

As with any interview, preparation, and practice instill confidence and make the process easier. So, put aside your anxiety! Review the strategies and tips below so that you feel confident and perform well during your panel interview.

  • Research the company and individuals that will be interviewing you. Learn their names and job titles.
  • Know their roles, study key details such as their major accomplishments, and have at least one question for their area.
  • Prepare to answer how you see yourself working with/complimenting their work; engage with everyone in the room—EYE CONTACT;
  • Be conversational, and turn the meeting into a conversation. Try referring to exchanges from earlier in the interview to indicate that you have been listening carefully and processing what your interviewers have said.
  • Talk to everyone when you answer not just the person who asked; send thank you to everyone.

Learn more about Panel interviews from the below resources:

How to have a successful panel interview

The firing squad – How to survive a panel interview

Career advice – Panel interviews