5 Interview tips to Ace Your Next Panel Interview
How to Ace a Panel Interview
Panel interviews can be daunting. Not only do you have to make a good impression on one person, but you have to make a good impression on multiple people at the same time.
The good news is that panel interviews are actually an opportunity to shine. If you prepare properly and go into the interview with confidence, you’ll be able to wow your interviewers and land the job.
A panel interview is a type of interview that involves more than one interviewer. Panel interviews are usually conducted by a company’s hiring manager and/or human resources representative, but can also include people who would be your future co-workers, supervisors, or clients.
Many employers prefer panel interviews because they provide a more well-rounded picture of the candidate. With multiple people involved in the interview process, employers can get a better sense of how the candidate would interact with different types of people and handle under pressure.
Here are a few panel interview tips to help you ace your next interview:
1. Do your research.
Before the interview, take some time to research the company and the panelists who will be interviewing you. This will help you be more prepared for questions and will give you a better understanding of the company’s culture. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to review your resume before any interview so that you can be prepared to talk about your experience and skills. Much of this work can be done in the job search and you can reference your notes to refresh your memory.
This might seem like an extra step, but trust us—it’s worth it. After all, you want to make sure you’re applying for a job with a team that aligns with your values, has a good culture, and will be a good fit for you. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas.
1. Check out the company’s website.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people skip this step. Start by taking a look at the company’s website. Is it well-designed and easy to navigate? Does it give you a good sense of what they doe and what their values are? If not, that could be a red flag.
2. See what employees have to say.
Once you’ve looked at the company website, take to the internet and see what employees have to say about working there. Check out sites like Glassdoor and Indeed for employee reviews. Keep in mind that you should take these reviews with a grain of salt—after all, people are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive ones—but they can still give you some insight into what it’s really like to work at the company.
3. Ask around.
If you know anyone who works at the company or has in the past, reach out and ask them about their experience. These first-hand accounts can be extremely helpful in getting an accurate sense of what it’s like to work there.
2. Dress for success.
First impressions are important, so make sure you dress appropriately for the interview. If you’re not sure what the dress code is, err on the side of caution and dress conservatively. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
How to Dress for a Zoom Job Interview
Many companies have shifted to conducting interviews via Zoom, Skype, or another video conferencing platform. While this may be a new experience for some job seekers, there are still some tried-and-true rules when it comes to dressing well. In this blog post, we’ll give you a few pointers on what to wear (and what not to wear) for your next Zoom interview. Coaching may be helpful here in that your career coach should be an expert who can prepare you for interview excellence beyond your job related skills. A coach is often worth the investment you make because the feedback you need is not something you will get no matter how many interviews you go on.
What to Wear on your virtual interview
When it comes to dressing for a Zoom job interview, you’ll want to err on the side of professional. That means no shorts, no t-shirts, and no sandals. Instead, opt for clothing that you would normally wear to an in-person interview. This might include a button-down shirt, dress slacks or a skirt, and closed-toe shoes.
It’s also important to make sure that your clothing is wrinkle-free and that you’re well-groomed. You don’t want your interviewer distracted by your unkempt appearance.
What Not to Wear on your virtual interview
In addition to avoiding casual clothing, there are a few other fashion faux pas that you’ll want to avoid during your Zoom job interview. First and foremost, avoid wearing anything that is too revealing or distracting to any interview.
You’ll also want to avoid wearing anything that is overly flashy or gaudy. Avoid stripes and busy patterns that may not show up well on a monitor. You can test out your interview outfit beforehand to make sure.
Dressing for a Zoom job interview may require a bit more thought than dressing for an in-person interview, but it’s not rocket science. Just remember to dress professionally, avoid anything too casual or revealing, and steer clear of anything that might be considered too flashy. Do all of those things and you’ll be sure to make a great first impression—no matter where the interview takes place.
3. Be confident.
One of the most important things you can do in an interview is project calm. This doesn’t mean that you should be cocky or arrogant; rather, it means that you should believe in yourself and your ability to do the job. The panelists will be looking for someone who is confident in their abilities and who will be a good fit for the company culture. One of the toughest parts of this scenario is managing multiple hiring managers, practice this by asking some friends or family members to hold mock interviews (you can prepare the questions) and have them ask you them in a rapid-fire style.
The key to acing your interview is confidence.
If you can exude confidence, you’ll demonstrate to your potential employer that you’re the right person for the job. Here are a few tips on how to be confident in your next panel interview.
Make eye contact and smile.
When you walk into the room for your interview, greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and direct eye contact. Throughout the conversation, maintain eye contact and keep an open and friendly expression on your face. This will make you seem more approachable and likable, two qualities that any employer would want in an employee. Bondy language is important, there is a wealth of information online about this and you may want to look into that before your interviews.
Make virtual eye contact too
If you are interviewing virtually make sure you place your webcam correctly so you are able to reference your notes without looking away (too much) from the camera. You want to be centered in their screen and looking at the camera as much as possible.
Another way to build confidence is to make sure you’re communicating effectively. Take a deep breath before answering each question, and think about what you want to say before speaking. This will help you avoid rambling or saying something that could reflect poorly on you. Remember to speak slowly and enunciate clearly so that everyone can understand everything you’re saying.
Again, your body language is important in virtual interviews too so sit up straight, and move your hands into the frame when you speak to add emphasis when you need it.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re worried about forgetting what to say or coming across as nervous, practice beforehand with a friend or family member. Rehearsing your answers out loud will help you feel more comfortable when it comes time for the real thing. Remember to take deep breaths and relax; if you let your nerves get the best of you, it will show in your interviews.
This is an area where coaching, informally or via an online career coach, can be the difference. Your coach can take you through a mock interview and give you feedback you can use to up your game and ace the interview. These mock interviews are worth the time, when you compare the time you prepare for an interview or mock interviews to the time you spent on your job search it is a no-brainer to get as much feedback as you can on your interview skills before the big day. (Dress for your mock interview as if it was real, practicing your interview questions is not the only thing that builds confidence.)
4. Answer questions clearly and concisely.
When answering interview questions, be sure that you are clear and concise. This means avoiding “um”s and “like”s, and instead using strong language that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise. The interview panelists will appreciate your clarity and will be more likely to remember your answers when they are making their decision about who to hire. Here is an area that you can improve by conducting a mock interview, answering interview questions out loud is a lot different that answering interview questions in our head. You can work with a coach to practice for your interview, get feedback, and prepare for almost any scenario.
You will also want to know your resume inside and out, if you have used a coach to edit it or improved it recently make sure you have a copy at hand. The hiring managers will all have your resume at hand.
5 . Ask questions of your own .
At the end of the interview, you’ll usually be given an opportunity to ask questions of your own. This is your chance to show that you’re truly interested in the position and that you’ve done your research about the company . Asking thoughtful, insightful questions will impress the panelists and demonstrate your interest in the role and help this interview to stand out for them. (They are likely interviewing multiple people of varying skills for the role.)
This is also your opportunity to get to know a potential employer and see if the job is a good fit for you. It’s also your chance to make a good impression and show the employer that you’re excited about the interview and opportunity. Part of making a good impression is asking thoughtful, insightful questions. Reference an earlier answer to weave the questions below into the conversation if you can. You can start building this list in your job search process and include the five here to be sure you cover all your bases:
HERE ARE 5 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK IN YOUR NEXT JOB INTERVIEW:
1. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?
2. What are the long-term goals of the ROLE?
3. How would you describe the corporate culture?
4. What are the opportunities for career growth in this role?
5. What challenges does this department/team currently face that I can help with?
Be sure to ask questions that cannot be found on the corporate website or through a simple Google search—questions that require the interviewer to provide more than just a one-word answer. These 5 questions will help you get to know your potential employer better and determine if the job is right for you.
Ace your next panel interview by following these simple tips: do your research ahead of time, dress for success, project confidence, answer questions clearly and concisely ,and ask thoughtful questions of your own . With preparation and practice ,you’ll be able to wow any panel of interviewers .
Online career coaching may be a service worth looking into and should be considered beyond resume and LinkedIn profile creation. An online coaching session may be priced lower than one available locally and the benefit to your career could quickly outweigh any pricing concerns. Getting your career strategy in place, your resume updated, working a solid interview prep plan, are all part of a career coaching service we offer on our platform.