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HireScores.com Recruitment ForumCandidates, Job Seekers, Employees, Consultants & Contractors CentreRecruitment: CVs/resumes and Applications (Moderators: Lisette, Forum Management)What to expect during a panel interview?
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lava
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« on: April 13, 2007, 06:45:25 AM »

I was wondering if anyone has any advice or personal experience on what to expect when you are being interviewed by a panel of people.  I realize being interviewed by one single person is stessful, but to be interviewed by a group of people at once is a nightmare.  How do you prepare yourself for that situation? 
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Maya
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007, 05:01:52 PM »

I have always been interviewed by at least 3 people - there were 5 on one occasion!

In my experience, the person in the centre of the panel is the Chair and explains how the interview will go. They usually ask you fairly basic questions about your current job and experience and get you talking. The other two panel members will ask you more in-depth questions. The panels I have been interviewed by contained the person who would be your immediate line manager, and a person either from HR or a policy section.  You would normally expect to be asked management/staff type questions - e.g. how do you motivate staff? What makes you a good manager? and then more job-related ones.

Towards the end of the interview, the Chair will ask some more questions and then you will have opportunity to question the panel.

I hope that helps a little. You can always ask the company's HR Department what the procedure is for a panel interview.
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MaryG
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 06:14:33 PM »

The panels I have been interviewed by or been a part of haven't been all that different than a one on one interview. A distinct advantage is that you have a variety of personalities in the room which lowers the chance that you and your sole interviewer won't hit if off well.

I think most panels have a set of questions that they ask all candidates. Often times there will be a member or two of the panel who will be intimidating either by design or personality but you just have to make sure you are addressing your answers not only to the person who asked the question but the rest of the panel as well. It's helpful to shake hands with each person, look them in the eye, call them by name and clarify what position they hold and how it relates to the position for which you are interviewing. It's also a good opportunity to sometimes meet the person who you will be replacing, if it's a planned move that person may very well be a part of selecting a replacement.
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Greg
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 09:27:41 PM »

Going to a panel interview can be tricky.  My sugestion is to enter the room looking confident and always remember to address your answers to everyone in the panel.  Finally, always remember to send everyone a thank you letter after the interview telling them you enjoyed meeting everyone and look forward to the opportunity of working with them in the organization.
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Lisette
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2007, 07:31:05 AM »

This is all really good advice so not that much to add really other than to say that if you are at a panel interview you have the benefit of getting the views and inputs of more than one person in terms of the selection decision - which can make it a better recruitment experience.  But equally it means that you need to appeal to all of them as well.  This means that you need to focus on the content of your answers - good examples  of past achievements to support what you are saying - and also answer the question - someone will spot if you get distracted and do not return to the main question.  Also on the delivery side a professional, well structured approach is probably your safest bet.  You do not get the chance to build a rapport with one person and adjust your approach accordingly since if you do this you may turn off one of the others.  So you have to 'be yourself' - which actually is a good thing since it will mean that there is a better chance of there being a good fit if you are selected.
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simacaj
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2007, 01:23:37 AM »

I have been interviewed by a lot of people as well and here is what I did to help out on the interview.  First make sure you talk to all of the people on the panel and make eye contact with them.  Don't just talk to one person or the person that asked the question.  I also bring a portfolio of my work with me.  Make sure you bring enough to over all people.  I usually bring about 5 just in case and also be confident.  This is a big one.  A confident person will impress the people that are interviewing you. 
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Lisette
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2007, 11:31:02 AM »

Hi and welcome to the forum.

You make a good point about bringing sufficient copies - it feels awkward if you leave one person out.  I guess the alternative is just to bring one copy on of the stuff and leave it with the HR person.

It does raise an intersting point about what, if any documentation, to take with you to an interview.  For consultants pitching for a job it is clear that you need to bring your credentials - profile, company profile, key points of the pitch if you have them - with you and in sufficient copies.  This should be no bother since you should have a bunch of copies of this stuff in any case.

For candidates applying for jobs I wonder if there is a cultural difference here.  In my experience in the UK we do not pass over testimonials, work samples, exam certificates at an interview.  In Asia, however, it is more common.  I guess even in the UK the exception would be if you were applying for a creative job of some kind whereby you might be expected to show them your portfolio.

What do other people thing? 

What is the practice in other countries?

Or for different professions?
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simacaj
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 07:51:45 PM »

In the US I know that is it not required to have a portfolio.  It is nice to have though.  I went to a few interviews without a portfolio and it was hard to explain some of my work.  The next few interveiws I brought a portfolio and the interviews went great.
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MaryG
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2007, 07:36:41 PM »

  In my experience in the UK we do not pass over testimonials, work samples, exam certificates at an interview.


In my experience in the US some of this is appropriate to have available at an interview but not necessarily to hand out immediately upon entering the room. It's always helpful to have a few copies of your resume/CV with you, especially if you're at a panel interview. Often it's just the head of the interviewing committee who will have a copy so if you want to reference something (i.e. "as you can see by my resume...") it's helpful to make sure everyone has a copy to look at. However, things like certifications, letters of reference, exam results are usually given to the HR department once a job offer has been made.
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