Though they are less in practice these days due to time/cost constraints, there is a method of interviewing known as the “panel job interview.” Panel job interviews are more common with academic and executive positions, but may be utilized for smaller corporate roles as well.
As the name implies, panel job interviews involve interviewing in front of a large panel. The panel will work as a team to try to challenge the applicant and make sure that the entire panel agrees they are right for the role.
Types of Panel Interviews
Panel interviews tend to come in two generic styles:
- Interactive – The panel asks several questions and works as a team to interview the applicant.
- Passive – The interview is not quite as active, and may involve some type of presentation. Then the panel will convene together later and decide if the applicant impressed them.
In the interactive panel interview, the interviewers may all ask questions at random, or they may all represent some aspect of the position. For example, the CEO of the company may ask you the generic questions, while the representative of the department will ask you more technical questions.
Interactive interviews may be more open ended, where the goal is to simply get to know the candidate in group, or they may be designed specifically to stress out the applicant, by firing questions at the individual in order to cause them extra stress and pressure.
Why Are Panel Interviews Used?
Interviewing in front of a panel is more difficult, because the applicant has to please multiple people at once. This helps the interviewer’s see if they handle pressure well. Panel interviews also cost less for a company, because all of the interviewers are already in the room, rather than interviewing separately. Finally, all of the interviewers get an opportunity to hear the applicant’s answers, rather than asking the same question or hearing the answer later during the discussion phase.
In the next post, we will look at specific tips for succeeding during panel interviews.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Panel interviews can be more stressful than other interviews.
- There is more than one type of panel interview.