It’s also important to remember that each panelist will be looking for different things according to their own objectives.
In fact, most of the questions you’re asked during an interview are to help the interviewers gain insights into your technical capabilities, soft skills and other important factors that can determine whether you’d make the right fit. So be authentic and upfront when responding to every question to avoid giving a wrong impression of your skills and abilities.
While it’s likely you’ll be told who will be on the panel, if this doesn’t happen, you should find out who will be interviewing you so you can prepare questions for everyone. It’s also a great idea to do some research about the people on the panel to give you the right context for your questions.
Having a variety of questions relevant to your interviewers will give a positive impression of your awareness and respect for different business functions and roles. By asking some of your own carefully considered questions, you could also gain a better idea about who you’ll be working with, what they do and how you will fit into the wider organisation.
Practising your interview technique in front of friends or family could be an effective way to calm your nerves. But you should take care to avoid coming across as being too rehearsed. Any interview is supposed to provide an insight into your personality so decisions can be made about whether you will complement and contribute to the team.
It’s essential to follow up after an interview to show you are pro-active and enthusiastic.
In a panel scenario, you should always contact the hiring manager, or the person who arranged the interview. Contacting anyone else could give the impression you’re undermining authority or playing favourites with people you feel are most influential.
The chances of experiencing a panel interview are probably increasing. By taking the right steps to prepare, you could make a stronger and more consistent impact than you might through a multi-stage interview process.