Advantages & Disadvantages of Panel Interviews

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Panel interviews can be intimidating for job candidates.
Panel interviews can be intimidating for job candidates. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

When searching for a job, you could participate in a panel interview that requires you to speak and interact with more than one individual at once. During the interview, you sit at a conference table as panel members who could be your future supervisors take turns asking interview questions and write notes about your answers.

Function

A company generally uses a panel style of job interview when there is a large number of job candidates to consider or when it needs to fill complex or multiple positions. During the interview, each panel member will ask a job-related or behavioral question. As you respond to the interview questions, the panel members take notes and rate your answers based on your presentation, creativity, motivation and experience. The scoring method panel interviewers use varies by company.

Advantages for Companies

The panel interview style can be more reliable for companies because the interviewers are accountable to one another. This style of interviewing allows a company to practice more objectivity when selecting a candidate and can be less time-consuming for staff. Panel interviewing also provides consistency in regard to the questions asked and allows the panel to hear a job candidate’s answer without misinterpretations from another person.

Advantages for Prospective Employees

During a panel interview, several individuals provide input regarding a candidate, so decisions are not based solely on one person’s point of view. Panel interviews can also save a job seeker time because they eliminate the need to conduct second or third interviews. Additionally, a prospective employee has the chance to see how a company’s staff interacts.

Disadvantages for Companies

Job candidates sometimes act more nervous during a panel interview, particularly if panel members ask questions at a rapid pace. Because of time constraints, interviewers can only ask a limited number of questions. According to The Open University of Hong Kong, status differences can become an issue during a panel interview, which can cause conflicts.

Disadvantages for Prospective Employees

Panel interviews can cause a job applicant to feel more pressure because he must please multiple individuals when answering questions. If interviewers ask questions at a rapid rate, a candidate could become confused, which can negatively affect his performance.

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