Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Panel Interviews - An Intimidating Position To Be In !

In a panel interview, two or more interviewers play off each other while taking turns asking you questions. A panel interview is appropriately nicknamed a "tag-team interview".

It's primarily to see how well you handle stress while facing a "firing squad". A panel interview also measures how you interact with different people, especially your future bosses, work peers, or both.This kind of interview is conducted by an interviewing panel that is made up of the supervisor and some members of the team. The interview panel can also consist of top level CEOs although this depends the kind of position you are applying for.

I had faced a Panel interview once in my career and it can be pretty intimidating. In fact it was a panel of 8 people. I am usually great with a bunch of people but, being starred down by 16 eyeballs was surely not fun, especially since I could not see everyone's reactions to my answers. At this point you have to go with your gut. Just be yourself, afterall the fit for the job has to be both ways !

You will be asked questions from all the panel members, sometimes the same question by different panel members. It is difficult to build the kind of connection with the interview panel as you can in a one on one interview.

You can buy time by asking your own questions. You should always remain calm and composed during a panel interview. Take a breath and even count to five (in your head), if you see the situation getting out of hand.

Bring a Cheat Sheet as it is a great way to relive the stress of remembering all the dates, names etc. Your interviewing “cheat sheet” should focus on key assets you’ll bring to the position.

Take Names and Use Them as people like to hear their name during a conversation. It’s important to know who is interviewing you, so ask their names and write them down within your notes — in order of where each is seated. Don’t be afraid to use their names or ask questions throughout the process.

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