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September 20, 2017

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Panel Interview Tips

The panel interview can occur in any industry, and the number of interviewers can range from two to eight (or more). In order to succeed, follow the tips below:

Panel interview technique # 1: Eye contact - Not knowing where to look during a panel interview is a concern for many. As a general rule, you should start answering questions while making eye contact who asked the question. Then you should look around to the other interviewers and finish answering the question while making contact with the person who asked the question.

Panel interview technique # 2: Ask Questions - Determine the leader of the group, and direct questions to her/him at the end of the interview. The leader is usually the person who makes the initial introductions and/or asks the most questions during the interview. For specific questions that only a person in a specific department can answer, ask the individual representing the department.

Panel interview technique # 3: Remain Focused - The good/bad cop scenario is when one interviewer is friendly and another is harsh. This method is used to determine how you will react in stressful situations. Keep your cool, and do not let the interview to get under your skin.

Panel interview technique # 4: Respect Silence - Do not feel the need to fill every empty space. Silence is a strategy interviewers may use to get you to reveal information you ordinarily would not. Avoid falling into the trap. When you finish answering a question, stop talking.

Panel interview technique # 5: Follow-up Letters - Send a thank you letter to every interviewer. The focus of each letter will differ depending on the job title of the interviewer. For example, the supervisor of your department will be interested in your teamwork and productivity skills, while a member of a partnering department will be interested in your ability to work collaboratively with his/her respective division. To ensure you get the spelling of everyone’s name and email right, ask for everyone’s business card.

In many ways, a panel interview mimics other types of interviews in that the interviewers will want to hear about your knowledge, skills, and abilities. A good way to find out whether or not a panel interview is going to take place, ask when making interview arrangements.

- Linda Matias, NCRW, CIC, JCTC

www.careerstrides.com

linda@careerstrides.com

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