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Panel interview: how to face it

panel interview

Sitting before an interview panel can be incredibly nerve-wracking, especially if you have no idea what you are talking about. Being prepared can make it all so much easier, so you aren’t stressing about messing up in front of a load of people. We look at some of the top panel interview tips to make it feel like meeting up for a drink with friends rather than the scariest experience of your life.

A panel interview is really not much different from sitting and facing just one person, except that they can all ask you questions and you have to talk to all of them at the same time. You can use this to your advantage hugely however, and use the opportunity to impress not just one person within the company, but indeed a few, which could massively increase your chances if all of those involved in the panel interview view you favourably as a result of an impressive performanceTo do this, greeting everyone is key. Handshakes, smiles and solid eye contact. Don’t stare them out or look intimidating, but definitely be conciliatory. If you can’t look your panel in the eye, your chances will be limited in terms of progressing. Keep it formal, and don’t lower yourself to silly jokes just to get their attention, but be polite and engaging. You want the entire panel to remember you as the person they want for the job, so this also means dealing with the panel interview questions flawlessly. One person may ask you a question, but all of those involved will want to hear the answer. If you aren’t confident with public speaking, practice with friends or in a mirror and think about how to have a conversation with several people, where the attention is only on you. Each panel interview member will ask you a set number of questions, although every one will likely take notes. Don’t be put off, and keep your focus. At the end, remember to thank each person and leave an impression as indelible as possible. It can be easier than you think.

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