There is a new trend popping up when it comes to landing your prospective career: Panel interviewing. Instead of one pair of eyes, can you imagine having five pairs staring at you? There is no question – this type of interview can be intimidating and scary.
Lisa Panarello, president and founder of Careers Advance, took some time to sit down with general assignment reporter Andrew Klappholz of TheLadders to explain 2 helpful hints on the art of getting through a panel interview for his article, “Lessons Learned: What AMC’s “The Pitch” Can Teach You About the Panel Interview”.
1. Interviewees should directly answer the question to the person who asked it: Then, a few seconds into your answer, speak to the person next to him or her and go around the room, Panarello says. Make eye contact with everyone on the panel as you elaborate. The key, she points out, is to keep track of “who everyone is and what aspects of your brand each will find valuable.”
2. Research interviewers by name if possible: Besides researching the company, take it a step further and do your homework on who makes the company tick. Not only will recent news articles show up through Google, but their professional backgrounds can be obtained through LinkedIn. Familiarity with the company and its employers will not only breed confidence, but shows that you have went “above and beyond” according to Panarello.
At C.R. Fletcher Associates we are seeing more of our candidates going through this also. Our clients want their team to meet with the potential hire, so they can get input from all who could be working with him/her.
Our advice is along the same lines as Panarello’s: try to connect with each interviewer, take a deep breath before responding, and try to interject your personality into the meeting. Many of our candidates have been successful when they relax and build a rapport with the group.
As Panarello said… “You never prepare for being perfect; you prepare to be your best.”