Responded to a call this morning asking about how to prepare for a panel interview. Preparing for a panel interview requires following the same steps as preparing for a one-on-one interview. The difference comes in handling the actual interview. Just like the one-on-one interview, you have been invited because your resume/application shows you have the skills/education to do the job. You are being interviewed to determine if you will work well with others in the company/organization. The following four strategies will help you build the rapport with panel members and turn the interview into a job offer.
- Maintain eye contact with the person asking the question and as you begin to answer their question, and then look at the other members of the panel. This is especially important if only one person asks questions.
- Use the names of panel members when you start questions. If you have a difficult time remembering names, write them down as each panel member is introduced. If you do not catch someone’s name, it is OK to ask to have the name repeated.
- Try to ask at least one question of each panel member related to their role in the company/organization.
- Within 24 hours of your interview send every member of the panel an individual thank you note. Try to include a comment on something they said.