Is there anything more daunting than getting word that you will be undergoing a panel interview? While the idea of a job interview with multiple “bigwigs” at one sitting can be extremely overwhelming, the result can be beneficial. In fact, the chances are good that you would wind up interviewing with each of these panel members individually at one point or another during the hiring process, so it is nice to complete the interview all at once. But how do you get past the nerves of a panel interview? These tips and tricks will help you deal with the matter.
- Avoid Ambush – If possible, get information about the interview ahead of time. Find out how many panel members will be present and what you can expect from the interview. This will help you avoid being overwhelmed by an ambush attack.
- Understand Everyone’s Part – The purpose of a panel interview is so different people throughout the organization can get a better feel for you as a candidate. Once you understand why each member of the panel is present, the concept of the interview is much less overwhelming.
- Start Small – Do not feel like you have to WOW the panel out of the gate with a memorized script about who you are and why you would be an amazing candidate for the job. Introduce yourself and give them a better idea who you are as a person. Everything else will happen naturally.
- Ask Questions – If you are asked if you have questions, ask. This opens the door to two-way communication and shows that you have a genuine interest in the company itself.
- Get a Business Card (or Several) – Make sure you grab some business cards before you leave the interview. Making connections during the interview is important whether or not you get the job. Who knows, one of these people could help you obtain a different position.
A panel interview is not much more difficult than any other job interview. Just relax, stay focused and remember that the process will be over soon. Be yourself, but show off your best qualities and you are sure to wow every member of that panel—and hopefully you will be a shoo-in for that job for which you are hoping to get.