Panel interviews are becoming far more common in recent years as businesses are trying to maximize the use of employee time in the interview process. Unfortunately for the interviewee, it can feel a little bit like facing down a firing squad. It doesn’t have to feel that way though. There are things you can do that will help you calm your fears, or at least set them aside, so that you can have a successful panel interview, like these listed below.
Prepare for the Interview
There is not enough that can be said about preparation. In the movie Junior, Schwarzenegger’s character said “Luck is for the ill prepared.” While it’s not Plato or Aristotle by a long shot, the sentiment holds true. Adequate preparation negates all need for luck.
Prepare for the interview until you feel confident that you’re prepared for anything the panel has to throw in your direction. You’ll feel more confident and that will help relieve your nerves in a really big way.
Take Notes if Permitted
Ask if you can take notes and come prepared to do so. This allows you to make important notations – particularly the names of all panel members. It also signals the panel members that you’re an “on the ball” type of employee. In most cases, it’s a good sign for employers that you’re interested in treating the interview seriously.
What kinds of notes should you take?
Make notes about comments from panel members that catch your attention, look for shared interests and backgrounds – these are great things to include in the follow-up letter as you will need to send one to each member of the panel.
Also take notes about specific details about the job you’re interviewing for. This allows you to do further research at home so you are well prepared for any follow-up interviews that may result from this one.
Keep Calm throughout the Interview
Learn a few relaxation techniques you can apply during the interview if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Understand that part of the interview is designed to determine how well you respond in high-pressure situations. Relaxation methods you can put into practice on the go help with that and really allow you to shine.
Don’t take what happens in a panel interview personally and always remember to present yourself at your best. Show up in appropriate interview attire, get a good night’s sleep before the interview, and follow proper interview etiquette at all times so you can truly look your best to those conducting the interview.