Interviews come in a multitude of formats these days, from sitting one-on-one with a hiring manager, to taking part in a group scenario complete with icebreakers and team activities. One of the most daunting types of interview is the panel interview – where you’ll be grilled by a number of people from the company you’re applying to.
So how can you ensure you leave the panel impressed after your interview? As London’s leading PA recruitment agency, we know a thing or two about interviews. So here are our top tips for managing and succeeding in a panel interview scenario...
Why do companies use panel interviews?
Panel interviews have been brought in by many companies looking to rigorously screen candidates to find the best talent. Facing up to a panel can be daunting, and for the company, it’s a great way to see how candidates react in high-pressure situations. Whether you’re going for a receptionist job, a high-flying executive assistant role, or any other position, you too could find yourself facing a panel in your next interview to see whether you fit the role and the company.
Tailor your answers
Giving generic answers to each question simply won’t wash in a panel situation. Think about the panel members as individuals, and consider their job roles when deciding how to shape your answers. The HR manager, for example, will be keen to verify that you’re a good culture fit for the company, while the person you’ll be reporting to is more interested in your qualifications and skills. Think carefully about your answers, and who you’re giving the answer to.
Engage individually, but address everyone
This can be a tricky one if you’re not used to speaking in front of numerous people. When one of the panel asks you a question, it’s important to maintain eye contact with them — but when you start to answer, you should be addressing the whole room rather than speaking solely to the person who asked the question.
Prepare for rapid-fire questioning
When it’s just you and one other interviewer, it’s likely that they have some pre-prepared questions to ask. There may be a few instances where they ask for clarification or include a follow-on question, but it’s usually quite straightforward. However, when being interviewed by a team of people, you can expect rapid-fire questions. Each interviewer wants to ensure they ask you plenty of questions to assess your suitability depending on their criteria — so it may feel like you’re being bombarded at times.
The important thing here is to take your time, consider your answers, and control the pace of the conversation. If you answer in a hurried fashion, you may start to appear nervous. Keep your cool, get to the point of your answer, and be prepared to move on to another (possibly unrelated) question pretty quickly.
The panel interview — also known as the ‘firing squad’ style interview — can be tricky. But here at Love Success PA recruitment agency, we can help you prepare for these opportunities. Get in touch with our team today to find out more about the temporary and permanent PA positions we could connect you with.
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