The panel interview refers to a job interview that involves a group of people to ask candidates different questions. This indicates that if you appear for a panel interview, more than one person would evaluate you.
Through panel interviews, organizations get viewpoints of different professional people. Sometimes, a few panellists may not be from the same organization. On the recommendation of panellists, hiring managers finalize the process of hiring.
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Advantages of Panel Interview for Organizations
Due to this type of interview, the chances of hiring a suitable candidate increase. Generally, a panel comprises highly professional and experienced individuals, so they tend to pick a true professional and dedicated individual.
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They ask questions by keeping in view the job responsibilities and hiring criteria. Their questions aim to evaluate the characteristics of a candidate required for the job.
Instead of just asking questions and getting replies, panellists tend to engage the candidate in a conversation. As a result of the detailed conversation, panellists are in a better position to make a judgment about the candidates.
The panel members assess the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. The panellists may give you marks for different questions.
The panellists may disagree with each other about the selection. However, they are educated, experienced, and professional individuals, therefore they differ respectfully.
With logic and reasoning, they reach a conclusion and forward their recommendations or make a decision. In other words, panel members work as a team or unit to decide candidates.
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Choosing Panel Members
The members of the panel are aware of the organizational culture, and they interact with the individual who has the responsibility to fill the vacant job position.
For example, the interview panel for the position of an assistant manager would comprise the branch manager, regional manager, and assistant regional manager. These panel members are the people who understand the roles and responsibilities of management position.
In the more significant interest of the company, the panel members would try to hire the perfect candidate. Some companies cannot afford to hire a less suitable individual. In that context, they take the services of a professional group of people to make the right decision for them.
Some organizations tend to include both genders, i.e., men and women in their panel. Also, the panel may comprise people belonging to a different race and ethnic backgrounds. In this way, the companies give representation to everyone. This indicates that the company believes in diversity.
Due to the presence of people from diverse backgrounds, candidates cannot complain about bias or prejudice in the interview. The company keeps itself on a safer side, in case a candidate sues the company on the grounds of discrimination. Defending against a legal case costs a company. So, it’s better not to leave any stone unturned.
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When a candidate speaks, the panellists note down the essential points. After the end of the interview, they compare their notes and try to conclude. The panellists have a set of questions to ask. However, they can ask follow-up questions or supplement questions if they think that are necessary to evaluate the candidate.
The follow-up questions also depend upon the answers that a candidate provides. The panellists may ask follow-up questions by keeping in view the educational and professional background of a candidate. A person in the panel is responsible for starting and ending the interview.
Once a candidate enters the room, one of the panellists introduces himself/herself and other panel members to the candidate. Then they let the candidate know that interview is going to start formally.
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Scheduling of Panel Interview
In general, the hiring managers try to schedule all panel interviews in one day. The companies prefer to keep one working day for the interviews, instead of having interview sessions on different days.
The panellists won’t have to put their tasks on hold for conducting interviews on different days. Spending one day for interviewing candidate seems fine in a busy organization.
The panellists decide on the same day as they tend to hire the candidate as soon as possible. When a company is short of any employee, it means that it is not working at its full strength.
To ease workload from other employees and get maximum productivity, companies tend to fill the vacant position immediately.
Panel Interview Questions
Generally, panellists ask a variety of behavioural questions alongside the questions regarding the candidate’s interests and ambitions. Following are some questions that panellists tend to ask in an interview.
- Introduce Yourself
- Where do you place your career in the next 3-5 years?
- Describe your major strengths
- Highlight your weaknesses
- How your coworkers describe you as an employee and as a person?
- Are you able to work on strict deadlines?
- If you plan to introduce a new policy to your colleagues, but they are not supporting you, how would you deal with this type of situation?
- When did you deal with a difficult client or customer?
- Can you describe any mistake that you made in your previous organization?
How to Respond to Panel Interview Questions
Sometimes, candidates feel nervous, thinking that they have to face more than one person for the interview. Do not get worried, instead keep yourself calm and composed for the interview. Your confidence would leave a positive impression on panellists.
Make sure you keep adequate eye contact with all the panellists. Try to look at everyone while responding to the questions. Even if you understand what they are going to ask, do not interrupt them. Let them finish asking, and then reply.
It is essential that you carefully listen to what they say. Before leaving, thank them for inviting you for this interview. You can mention that you would look forward to their reply.
The panel interview involves a group of professional people to evaluate a candidate’s ability. The purpose of the panel interview is to select the best candidate. You can expect cross-questioning and the follow-up questions in the panel interview.
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Prepare well before appearing for such type of interview, and answer the questions with full confidence.