How Not to Be Intimidated by a Panel Interview
The thought of taking part in a panel interview can be nerve-wracking, we know. Interviewing one-on-one is stressful enough for many people. Yet while it can be intimidating to interview with three or more individuals simultaneously, the approach does have an upside – not having to do three, four or more separate interviews at the same IT or tech firm.

Since most interviews are still being conducted off-site, many of our tips for interviewing remotely, such as dressing for success, looking people in the eye, and planning for inevitable interruptions, apply here as well. There is additional planning for a panel interview, but the good news is that the more prepared you are, the less anxious you’ll be.

How to Prepare for a Panel Interview

Employers hold panel interviews for several reasons:

  • It serves as a time-management effort. It can be difficult to set up four to five different interviews in a short period of time.
  • It makes for a more streamlined process by eliminating duplicate interview questions.
  • The people on the panel get to see how you deal with a diverse work organization.
Just as with other interviews, an IT recruiter can be an invaluable ally when preparing for a panel interview, particularly when it comes to calming your nerves. Some of our favorite tips include:

  • Know who you’ll be interviewing with. Get the information from your recruiter on who will be sitting on the panel. Look at each panel member’s LinkedIn or company website profile. See if there are any common points of interest you can use to make the interview a little more personal.

  • If the online platform doesn’t show who each person is, use a notepad to chart out each person’s name and position so you can address them personally and tailor your response to their particular role.

  • Be prepared for last-minute format changes. For example, a company may tell you the interview will be with a panel, but can turn out to be back-to-back one-on-one interviews.
We often recommend role-playing as a great way to prepare for an interview, and we think it works just as well for a panel interview. It might feel a little awkward at first. But even if you don’t have anyone to role-play with, practice looking around a table, making eye contact, and listening before answering a question are all helpful tips to keep in mind. It can also help to remember that, if hired, there will be plenty of other times you’ll be in a group setting with these same people.

Be True to Yourself

As to what you shouldn’t do in a panel interview, try not to focus solely on the most senior person in the room. If possible, spread your attention out equally and try to connect with everyone on the panel. Most importantly, though, be your authentic self! Do your planning, give it your best, and you’ll stand a great chance of landing the position! To learn more about how to handle a panel interview, contact Taurean Consulting Group at 702-529-0378, today.
Taurean Consulting Group job candidate takes part of a panel interview.