How to Interview With a Panel Interview


Interviewing for a new job can be stressful, and even more nerve-racking when you are face to face with not just one person, but a panel of interviewers. Knowledge about the company and polishing your interviewing techniques goes a long way toward getting your dream job. Being prepared, staying calm and looking your best can help you ace your panel interview.

  • Look professional. During a panel interview, you may be standing quite a bit if asked or when greeting several people during the process. In a panel interview, several people will be critiquing your demeanor and appearance. Iron your best conservative suit, get a hair cut, shave, polish your shoes and keep the jewelry minimal.

  • Bring copies of your resume for everyone on the panel. Include a list of references and samples of your work, if requested. Keep your copies sorted and organized for each panel member so you can hand them out without shuffling papers.

  • Maintain eye contact with each person interviewing you. During the interview, each member asks questions and makes comments or observations. Direct your answers to that person while also taking moments to glance over at others in the room. No matter who asks you a question, eye contact demonstrates confidence as well as respect.

  • Listen closely to the questions and answer articulately. Answer each question in a few concise sentences. Avoid rambling or going off topic. Don't fumble your words, and say "um" or "uh" between incomplete sentences. Avoid fidgeting when speaking because it may distract the interviewers. Breathe and think about an answer if the question is particularly tough.

  • Be friendly to everyone in the room. While its important to be professional, a friendly smile conveys that you are approachable. If you come across too calculated or cold, the panel may come to the conclusion that you are the same way with co-workers and clients.

  • Research the company and the job before you interview. If possible, learn as much as you can about each person who will be a part of the panel interview. At least know a few key facts about the primary interviewer, recruiter or supervisor. While conducting your research, make a list of four or five questions to ask the panel.

  • Ask the panel members if anything on your resume concerns them before the interview ends. Take this moment to clarify any reservations they have about your qualifications. If you have any concerns about the position, feel free to ask questions. Ask when a hiring decision is expected. Ask if you should schedule a time to follow up with any of them.

  • Ask for business cards after the interview is complete. Send handwritten thank-you notes to each person you met during the interview.


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