Panel interviews are gaining in popularity these days.  Why?  They save time, since the candidate interviews with everyone at once rather than go through a series of private interviews.  They can be more reliable and job-related, since interviewers have each other to keep them accountable and to help them stay on track.  These interviews are very good for sales, sales management, and marketing, but less helpful for technical, customer service, and field service positions.

However, panel interviews can the most stressful for the candidate of all interview types since they seem impersonal and more judgmental.

How to stand out in a panel interview:

1)  When you meet each person on the panel, ask for a business card.  Lay them out in front of you facing the appropriate person to help you remember names.  This also helps you for writing thank you notes later.

2)  Don’t assume the most senior person is the decision maker.  Be sure to include everyone in your responses.

3)  Try to size up the agenda of everyone in the group.  The needs of different departments will vary, so position your answers to meet those needs.

4)  Send everyone in the group a thank you letter and make sure each one is unique.

Here is a video with more tips:

My personal key points for the candidate:

  • Remember that they (the employer) need you and that is your job to help them determine this. It really is your responsibility.
  • Remember that each person would interview you anyway, and be much more personal if this were one on one, and that they probably don’t want to be here either.
  • Be calm. Practice relaxing breathing.
  • Prepare-there is nothing like preparation to help calm your nerves.
  • Know the job, the interviewers, the company and yourself.
  • Think about body language. Lean forward, smile, gesture, make eye contact, and shake hands.
  • Have some questions of your own and not just the obligatory 2 or 3 at the end of the interview.
  • Ask for the next step. Confirm that you have answered all questions.

Written by Sales Recruiter - Get Interview Questions Tips & Sales Career Advice

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