Panel interviews are interviews conducted with more than one interviewer involved in the process. A panel could be anywhere from 2 to 10 interviewers, and this will all depend on the needs of the employer and/or the demands of the position you are applying for. Typically, the panel will take turns asking interviewing questions throughout.
These interviews are often utilized when there are multiple stakeholders, teams, individuals, etc. that someone in the open position would interact or work with regularly. Employers like to bring in many different perspectives in interviews to gather diverse feedback on all candidates.
Tips for navigating Panel Interviews:
- Be sure to offer a handshake and brief introduction to all panel interviewers before sitting down.
- If an employer mentions when offering the interview that there will be a panel, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the number of people expected on the panel. This can not only help you envision what to expect, but you can also plan accordingly with the number of resumes or references that you bring to share with the interviewers.
- If being interviewed by more than one person, be sure that all interviewers feel included in the process. Don’t just look at whoever asked the question and be sure to share eye contact with all of those present.
- If you are told who will be in on the interview, look up their name and position to see what you can learn about their roles. This can help to ensure you are providing inclusive responses to interview questions and can also help to tailor some of your questions you get to ask at the end of your interview.
- With a panel interview, it is a bit easier to create a more conversational feel with the interview. Aim to refer to some of the panelists by first name (but only if you can accurately recall) to refer to comments they made previously or questions they may have asked earlier in the interview.