What’s more nerve wracking than a one-on-one interview? A panel interview. For those who haven’t faced one before, a panel interview is like a traditional in-person interview but instead of speaking with just one person, several people are interviewing you at the same time. Panel interviews are common practice, and often occur later on in the hiring process; such as after the first couple of one-on-one interviews, your third interview might be speaking with a panel of people from the team you would potentially be joining. Below we’ll give you some tips on what to do to prepare for such an interview and how to handle yourself during the process.
Do your homework and research
As with any interview, do your homework beforehand. If you are able to find out who you’ll be speaking with, research everyone who will be in the panel interview ahead of time. Find them on LinkedIn and see what their job history and current role is at the company. While looking at their profiles, see if you have anything in common with them and if you share any similarities. This will also give you a good idea on the type of people the company hires, and if you would be a good addition.
Bring your resume
If you are meeting in-person, be sure to bring several copies of your resume, and any other pertinent materials, so each person has their own copy. While they likely will already have your resume, it’s important to show you’re prepared and thought of everyone in advance.
Make everyone feel seen
During the interview it’s important to make eye contact and engage with all the people in the meeting as equally as possible. It’s likely some people interviewing will ask more questions than others, but it’s important to try and connect with everyone. When answering questions, make sure to address each member by name when responding. An example of this would be: “That’s a great question, Amanda, I recently…” and continue from there.
After the meeting
It is always a good idea to follow up an interview with a thank you note; this applies to both one-on-one and panel interviews. Write thank you notes to everyone who met with you and try as much as possible to make them personalized. If you spoke with someone who could potentially be your co-worker bring up how much you would look forward to working together. If the panel shared any hobbies during the meeting try and bring that up in their note as well to show you remembered that detail and valued their time.