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Jobs, jobs, jobs: Preparing for a panel interview, the dos and don'ts

A panel job interview is where a candidate is interviewed by a group of interviewers. Picture: File

A panel job interview is where a candidate is interviewed by a group of interviewers. Picture: File

Published May 26, 2022


Durban – Going to an interview can be nerve-racking; however, that anxiety can be compounded if you are going to be interviewed by multiple people (a panel).

Panel interviews are conducted to minimise bias by having different department representatives from a company or organisation involved in screening job seekers.

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Typically, each interviewer in the panel will have time to ask you their questions.

Here is the job portal, Indeed’s advice for nailing panel interviews:

The dos

1. Research the panellists

If possible, find out who will be interviewing you. Research what positions they hold in the company you are interviewing for. This will assist you in knowing what questions to ask them.

2. Study potential questions

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Brainstorm the types of questions you might get asked. The usual questions include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • How would your former colleagues or supervisors describe you?

3. Practice, practice, practice

Practice makes perfect. Because you already know what questions to anticipate, come up with insightful answers that will satisfy the interviewers. You can practice alone or in front of someone else.

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Knowing what questions to anticipate and how will respond will make you more confident.

4. Body language

Interviewers appreciate candidates who demonstrate confidence when answering questions, and can look at your body language to gauge this.

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Always sit up straight, use eye contact, and smile during the interview to showcase your interest.

The Dont’s

1. Do not focus your attention on just one person

You may know that one of the interviewers has a higher role than the others.

Avoid treating them better than anyone else or focusing your attention solely on them.

2. Do not rush your responses

You may want to impress the interviewers with how quickly you can answer, but it is important to give your self some time to think of your responses.

When you rush, you may forget the points you planned to include while preparing. Speaking too quickly can also make you appear nervous.

3. Do not overlook listening skills

This kind of interview can take on a conversational style, which means it is equally crucial for you to listen as it is to talk.

You should stay focused on each interviewer as they speak rather than allowing yourself to get distracted thinking of your next response.

4. Do not get overwhelmed

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are faced with three or more people you need to impress.

These interviewers may talk over one another sometimes as they compete to have their questions answered.

Try to be patient with them and ask for clarification when you need it. Keep calm and answer the questions as best you can.

IOL Business

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