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How to Handle a Panel Interview


Guest articles > How to Handle a Panel Interview


by: Nancy Anderson


Because new employees are often required to interact and collaborate with a variety of people, the panel interview is now replacing the standard job interviews of the past. Even if it's understandably stressful to face a panel during an interview, the situation can also give you an opportunity to wow your potential employers en masse so you won't have to repeat the process of making an excellent first impression. Dealing with a panel interview is less complicated than you may think if you understand the process. Careful preparation will help give you confidence when you walk into the interview.

A panel interview puts you in front of department heads and managers who understand how the business operates as a whole. Each interviewer will ask you questions and will also watch to see how you interact with his or her peers. Some things you need to understand about panel interviews include:

  • The panel's questions are designed to see how well you'll fit into the organization as a whole rather than to simply judge how you well you can perform the job you applied for.
  • A panel interview not only saves time by eliminating the need for multiple interviews but also gives vital personnel the ability to gauge your communication skills, personality, and level of confidence.
  • A panel interview gives administrators and managers insight into how you'll react under pressure, which is a reliable indicator of future job performance.

Preparing for a panel interview can make the difference between getting the job or not. You should think of the interview as if it is a presentation, so, during the interview, not only answer questions but also ask them. This kind of curiosity and willingness to listen as well as to talk projects confidence and leadership ability. Some of the things you should do to prepare include the following steps:

  • Use the Internet to research the organization to get a good idea of its core values. Use this information to communicate how your vision will complement the company's vision.
  • Research your interviewers ahead of time so that you can be familiar with their names and areas of expertise.
  • Be sure to dress in a way that matches the tone of the company you're interviewing with. You should always have a professional, hygienic appearance and go easy with cologne or makeup.
  • Remember to sell your skills and personality as an asset to multiple levels of the company. Be friendly, make eye contact, and speak clearly.

While a panel interview may seem like a daunting proposition, it can be simple and relatively stress free if you understand the process and prepare for it. Because hiring new employees is such an expensive undertaking, a comprehensive panel interview benefits both you and your potential employer. It gives the company a chance to see if you'd be a good fit and gives you an idea of what your work environment will be like if you're hired.


Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy's team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on

Contributor: Nancy Anderson

Published here on: 24-Feb-13

Classification: Job-finding


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