Help! I’ve got a Panel Interview

A recruiter's perspective

Job Interview in abstract
Help! I’ve got a Panel Interview
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About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Recruitment Solutions for a major human resources consulting firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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Panel interviews can be pretty intimidating. The upside is that you get to see a group of your potential colleagues in action. It is also an efficient way to move the interview process along.

When are you booking the time and place, try to find out who will be on the panel and what they do. It will give you some insight into their point of view.

Ask if there are any standard questions or scenarios you should be prepared to discuss. This might be classified but it does not hurt to ask.

Get your examples ready. Think about the things you have accomplished that will resonate with the group. You don’t want to be groping in the back corners of your mind when someone says “Tell me about a time when you rescued a failing project.”

Prepare three or four questions for the panel. Write them down. Take them with you.

Plan to arrive early so you can settle down and stop sweating before the interview begins. You can loaf around the corner or in a coffee shop.

Warm up your voice. Either call a friend or find something catchy on your iPod. You want to arrive at reception with a voice that is strong, clear not a phlegmy mess.

Use a solid handshake to greet each of the interviewers. Jot down their names (on the page with your questions). That way you can refer to them by name during the conversation.

Make eye contact and look for signs of comprehension and connection with each panel member. Don’t just focus on the person who asked the question. You want them all to be roped in to your compelling story.

When you leave, shake hands again. Make sure to let them know that you enjoyed talking with them and that you appreciate their time.

Take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and feelings about the meeting. You want to be able to refer to them later on.

Now you can just sit back and wait for the feedback. I am sure it will be great!



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