The latest question we put to some of Find Recruitment’s talent……
Q: If you’re interviewing with a panel, how would you recommend a candidate to prepare and what are some good techniques for the candidate to use throughout the panel interview?
Panel interviews can be daunting – a little preparing goes a long way. Firstly don’t assume someone on the panel is more important than someone else, try and engage everyone equally and respectfully. Its easy to say but a little confidence, eye contact and respect goes a long way. Make sure you’ve done some research into the company and people you are meeting, LinkedIn is a great tool for this.
Mike McKay, Director
Ensure that you engage with each member of the interview panel, it can be easy to focus on one person during the interview, have good eye contact and body language to show that you are engaged with each person within the process. This shows good EQ.
Mark Harper, Accounting Recruitment Team Leader
A panel interview can be daunting and with more than one person across the table from you it can be hard to make a personal connection. Getting the situational questions locked down and answered is one thing but you also have to be liked. Here are a few tips to think about that could be used depending on the situation:
- Why not send the interviewers a LinkedIn connection a couple of days before the interview with a personalized message “Afternoon xxxxxx, look forward to speaking with you on Friday regarding the xxxxxx position. Here is my profile if you want any more information”
- Ask the interviewers personal questions at the end of the interview, great to get info about the company but people like the fact someone’s taken the time to get to know them. Example – “Chris I noticed on LinkedIn you’ve been with the business now for well over 5 years, what do you enjoy about the company”
- Towards the end of the interview try and make some small talk if the opportunity arises, ask if they have plans on the weekend, find some common ground. Maybe you live in the same suburb, both mountain bike, or your kids play at the same rugby club.
- Send positive feedback after the interview directly to the interviewers, or to the recruiter if you have gone via a recruiter.
- To make a connection with your interviewers you could try to interject with questions throughout the conversation to make it more of a back and forth discussion, instead of saving them all for the end.
- Be yourself and don’t try to put on an act.
- Make sure when answering the questions to speak to all of the panel instead o just looking at the one person who asked you the question.
Daniel Heath, Principal Consultant
Find out who’s going to be on the panel and then do your homework by reviewing that person on LI. This could help you find common ground and build rapport during the interview.
Peter Thompson, Director
When interviewing with a panel, often there will be one person in particular who takes the lead with questioning, but when you are answering, ensure that you address each person. Try to maintain eye contact with each interviewer for at least 5 to 10 seconds each.
Research each person. When you receive the confirmation email, usually details of the panel members are provided. Use LinkedIn and other sources (e.g. company website) to find out more about their history, this may help you when you are answering questions and could also inspire you to ask more insightful questions when given the opportunity at the end of the interview.
Jess Galvin, Senior Consultant