How Do You Do Well at a Panel Interview?


Quick Answer

Doing well at a panel interview requires skill at fielding a variety of questions. Rapport should be established with each person on the panel, although it is recommended to address the most challenging interviewer first. Several examples should be prepared supporting the candidate's ability to handle the job, and the interviewers should be thanked promptly.

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How Do You Do Well at a Panel Interview?
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Full Answer

In a panel interview, the interviewers each have a different stake to represent with their questions. Preparation involves being ready to answer questions about all facets of the job. The interviewers are often potential co-workers or supervisors. Since the candidate may be working directly with these people, it is important to build a relationship with them during the interview, asking for their business cards and making eye contact with each of them.

Though it may be easier to address responses to more friendly interviewers, the challenge is to win over the person who is not so sure he wants you on the team. Address most responses to this person, although you should appear to be discussing the answer with the group.

Interviewers are often more comfortable asking difficult questions in a panel interview. The best way to handle these difficult questions is to prepare a set of responses that can be used for a variety of questions. The panel is most interested in how the candidate can handle the job, so prepared answers should revolve around this theme. Sending a thank you note to each member of the panel as soon as possible after the interview is cordial and establishes the groundwork for a good professional relationship.

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