Job interviews are hard, especially if you are not facing one interviewer but four. Imagine the anxiety and nervousness that you will be having, it’s like you are on a battlefield with no one else on your side but you. Modern job search during pandemics has become more challenging. Since most interviews are being taken online, the questions and situations are no longer the same. The challenge of having bad connections, equipment preparation, and the environment add further risk.
What is a panel interview?
To make the best hiring decision and streamline the hiring process, panel interviews are becoming common nowadays. Businesses are careful in selecting the most qualified job applicant to save more time, maximize resources, and reduce hiring costs. Usually, panels are comprised of members of the leadership team and HR management, they are giving expectations to the applicants and explaining clearly the vision of the company.
How do panel interviews work?
In addition to common interview questions, panel interviews are most likely composed of situation questions. This is different based on how you respond to initial questions, so you have to be prepared, clear, and be straight to the point when providing answers.
Preparing for a panel interview: 5 Handy Tips
1.Conduct your Research
This is the job interview’s rule of thumb; you can’t have enough answers if you don’t research. What is the background of the company? How did you find out about the job posting? Do you have enough knowledge and experience in the specific areas that they are looking for? If you are changing your career, how do you align your transferable skills to their qualifications and requirements? By asking these questions, you can also answer those mind-boggling follow-up questions.
2.Know your panelists
This is not an easy task, but if you have a friend or a mutual connection working on the same company, this is possible. You may include this in your research. Look on their LinkedIn Profiles and know their background, career history, and current responsibilities. Through this, you can have an idea of the possible questions that they may ask. You can also ask questions during the interview, this shows enthusiasm and a keen interest in the company and the role you are applying for.
3.Make an excellent first impression
Another rule of thumb is to introduce yourself. Don’t assume that you have already known them since you have done your research, and of course they don’t know you either. Make a short introduction but skip those parts that are already in your resume or CV. Be polite and greet, before saying exciting things about you. Don’t forget to thank them as well after the interview and lastly always smile. This makes the interview more fun, and it will reduce your nervousness and anxiety.
4.Mind your body language and eye contact
As you are speaking, be aware of how your body communicates. Do not focus on the interviewer or member of the panel who asks most of the questions, he/she may hold the highest position but ensure to make a connection with each representative, impress all of them because every one of them will contribute to the hiring decision. When answering questions, direct your response to the one who asked, make it crisp, sweet, and short, but engage all of them when providing examples. This will make your conversation interesting and conversational.
5.Prepare for complicated and awkward questions
Salary expectations, employment gaps, irrelevant job experiences, and plans to study, are the questions that are hard to answer. There is no right or wrong answer, but you can align your answers to the company’s needs while impressing them. Prepare a simple, constructive answer to any difficult questions and practice before you can produce it naturally. Keep your responses brief and to the point; otherwise, you will find yourself saying more than you intended.
While common wisdom holds that long interviews are desirable, everyone's time is valuable, so make the most of it when you're in front of the panel. The last rule of thumb is just to be yourself and relax, nothing will come up to your mind if you are panicking, so enjoy the moment and learn something new. These tips are just a step forward toward your dream job. However, you still cannot land an interview if you don’t have an effective resume to make you stand out among the rest. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now.
To learn more about how to Surviving Panel Interviews, schedule a call today to speak with one of our career experts.
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