Thursday, May 2, 2013

How To Ace A Panel Interview

Rolland Brown

Panel interviews are becoming standard for corporations that need to interview a large number of applicants with maximum fairness and objectivity. While efficient, the process can be extremely intimidating for applicants faced with a whole group of interviewers. 

Don’t dread the panel interview – it’s an incredible opportunity to stand out from the crowd.  While your peers are sweating and stammering, you can prove your competence and interpersonal skills and end up snagging your dream job.

6 Tips For Acing Panel Interviews:

1.    Give Individual Attention To Each Member Of The Panel 
Introduce yourself to each member of the panel and make sure you memorize their names and positions. This will allow you to respond to questions in a personalized manner. If you know ahead of time who might be there, look them up on LinkedIn or the company website.  The more you know about their duties, the more you can provide examples of how you’ll be an asset to them. During the interview, use techniques from public speaking like making eye contact with each member of the panel and including everyone in your answers.

2.    Bring Resumes And Business Plans For Everyone
Even when you’ve already sent a copy of your resume/business plan to the company, always bring additional copies to the interview.  Whenever possible, have your resume/business plan professionally printed and bound.  This is a small investment that makes a huge difference.  One of the best jobs I ever got was the direct result of a professionally bound business plan, complete with color maps and graphs that I created myself. 

3.    Show Confidence and Friendliness 
Confidence and the ability to present to a group are highly valuable skills in the corporate world.  To practice ahead of time, run a mock interview with a group of friends or acquaintances.  Consider joining a group like ToastMasters to hone your public speaking skills.  And whatever you do, don’t succumb to defensive body language like crossing your arms or tapping your feet.  Remain calm and still, always smile, and don’t babble to fill the silence.

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