Saturday, January 12, 2013

How to Get Successes in Panel Interview

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An interview is stressful; you are on display and have to sell yourself as the best candidate for a position in a company.  The only worse thing than an interview is the panel interview – when two or more people are asking questions and watching you every moment.  This situation may not intimidate everyone, but it is certainly not a comfortable position to be in.
The reason for a panel interview is to get the opinion of multiple people at the same time on the viability of a work candidate.  Typically the people that attend are from various departments within the company – a representative from human resources and the department that is hiring at a minimum.  This saves time and money for the company and lets them see how the candidates react under pressure.
When you are listening to questions during a panel interview, maintain eye contact with the person who is speaking.  Once the question has been asked, make sure to address your answer to all who are present.  Make eye contact with everyone and include them in your attention.  Be prepared for follow-up questions from any or all of the attendees.  Each one is going to want to know information from an angle that will directly affect their department.

You may find that in some panel interviews, only one person does the talking and everyone else is there simply to observe.  Still address all of your comments to the group and don't let this unnerve you.  It is definitely stressful, but not unusual.  Be flattered that they consider you a strong enough candidate to gather more than one person to evaluate your interview and choose you to work for the company.  An interview is an investment for a company, an expenditure of money in the form of salaries; you are there because you have a chance at the position so take advantage of the opportunity.

There are many ways to get into trouble during a job interview and lying is the most severe.  Common fibs that are told include educational degrees that you do not hold, saying that interview and lying is the most severe.  Common fibs that are told include educational degrees that you do not hold, saying that you are a manager when really you are a team lead and taking credit for a project that was completed by a coworker.  All of these things can make you sound good at the time of the interview, but what if the interviewer talks to your boss about the stellar project you ran for the company when it really wasn't you.  Your boss is not going to lie for you and if you were in the running for the job, you won't be

The best way to handle these scenarios is to tell the truth but put you in the best light.  Maybe you were a part of the project, instead tell the interviewer the part you played and share the success of the project as a whole.  An employee that can recognize and share in the success in others is preferable to one who doesn't tell the truth or wants all of the credit for themselves.

This does not mean that you have to share all anything that doesn't put you in a positive position though.  The key is to be honest and only bring up examples that are going to highlight your talents and work history in the best possible way.  Don't claim or state anything that cannot be backed up by your references.

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