A panel interview is normally a second or even third stage interview, so preparation is slightly different.

The golden rule of a panel interview is to engage with the whole panel not just one specific member of the group.   In many instances a candidate will meet the panel separately; this is most common for a senior position.

A panel interview can be extremely uncomfortable for a candidate nevertheless it saves an employer time and money because it creates an opportunity for several people to gain an impression.

You’ll probably be given the names of the panel before the interview.  If so, check them out on Linkedin so you know beforehand who everyone is by sight and name, this will remove the challenge of remembering everyone’s name.

If this is a second stage interview, reflect on the answers you gave at your first interview, as these may be asked again with an added ‘tell me more about how you overcome the planning problems’.

When entering the room look at all of the interviewers, try and remember the names of each and address them accordingly. Maintain eye contact at all times with the person asking the question and do not be distracted by other people in the room.

The whole idea of a panel interview is to put an interviewee under a lot more pressure rather than a typical one-to-one interview.  It could be the case that you will have four or five people all asking you questions.  The panel will consider how you cope under this pressure.

This could be your opportunity to make your interactive practical skills shine, bear in mind that you want to appear better than your qualifications on paper.

Although it may be an intimidating experience it has its benefits because it is much more objective and reliable due to multiple opinions and of course a collective decision.

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