Panel interviews, where you face a gauntlet of people sitting around a table waiting to pepper you with questions, can be disarming and difficult. The best way to deal with these groups is to start a conversation among the members of the panel while you answer their questions. Doing so can give you valuable insight into what working at the company is like from several different points of view.
At my last job, the panel interview was the only kind of interview conducted. You had some time with the hiring manager first, but then you were led into a conference room to meet with a group of people who would evaluate your cultural fit within the organisation. Both situations were meant to be a conversation, but if the candidate was nervous, it could look like an inquisition instead. The key to dealing with those kinds of interviews is to get the group talking.
Career expert Hannah Morgan, writing for US News, notes that you should find out ahead of time who will be in your panel interview so you can look them up on LinkedIn. If that’s not possible, asking questions like “What did the last person in this position go on to do?” or “What are common mistakes that people just starting this job make that I can avoid?” can open up the room to a great discussion and give you some insight into whether your position is a new one, whether someone left or was promoted.
Similarly, “What do you like best about working here?” is a great question to put to a group just for the variety of answers you’ll likely get. Plus, if anyone in the room looks like they’re having a difficult time coming up with an answer, that says a lot as well. Hit the link below for more tips to handle group interviews.
Pointers for Surviving the Dreaded Panel Interview [On Careers (US News Money)]