4 Tips To Ace Your Panel Interview

Most companies hold a series of interviews when hiring new employees to assess the qualifications of the applicants. If you’re looking for a job, the last stage you’ll likely need to go through before getting hired is a panel interview.

The panel you’ll face usually consists of at least two high-position employees, such as the HR manager and the head of the department you’re going to be assigned to. It can be overwhelming when you’re seated in front of them, and that may cause you to mess up. If you want to do well during your panel interview, you should follow these tips:

1. Practice, Practice, And Practice 

You’ve probably come across the phrase ‘practice makes perfect,’ which means you need to work constantly if you want to master a specific skill or achieve a certain goal. Although it’s almost impossible to have a perfect panel interview, it helps if you practice before the big day.  

You should take your time and master the panel interview if you know it’s the final stage that will determine whether you’ll receive a job offer or not. There are common questions you’ll have to answer, such as ‘What can you offer to the company?’ or ‘What made you apply for this job?’ You’ll be able to convey your thoughts with more clarity if you prepare beforehand.  

Practice how you’ll greet the interviewer once you arrive and how you’ll deliver your answers. This way, you’ll feel less nervous during the day of the interview. 

2. Dress Well But Do Not Go Overboard 

The way you dress during your interview can either leave a good or bad impression on the panel. If you want to ace your final interview, you should dress well and look presentable.  

The safest course you can take is wearing standard corporate attire. For men, the most common outfit is a pair of slacks, a plain button-down shirt, and a coat. The dress code for women, on the other hand, is usually a pencil skirt or a pair of slacks paired with a dress shirt and a blazer. If you’re dressing for an interview, it’s best to stay away from bright colors and stick to more neutral or pastel tones. You should also wear the right shoes since they’ll complete your look.  

When it comes to accessories, you should keep them to a minimum. Don’t wear anything that’s too distracting since it might throw the interviewers off. A watch or simple jewelry to bring your outfit together is enough to look good during the day of your interview.  

3. Do Not Hesitate To Ask Questions 

Before the interview ends, you’ll probably be asked if you have any questions in mind. When this topic is brought up, don’t hesitate to ask and discuss some details you want to clarify. Interviewers will appreciate your interest and help them remember you better if you ask questions, thus increasing your chances of landing the job.

You can ask about the work culture of the company or your job scope if you’ll get hired. Getting the answers to such questions will help you decide if the position you’re applying for is right for you. No one wants to sign a contract just to find out that the tasks they’re required to handle are far from what they expected. It’s best to get clarifications early on so you’ll have an easier time adjusting to your work if you get hired.

4. Engage With The Panel 

From the time you arrive in the interview room to the moment you leave, be sure to build rapport with the panel. Remember that you only have one shot at acing the final interview, so you need to do your best throughout your time with the panel, not just during the question-and-answer part of the interview.

Once you walk into the room, greet the members of the panel and shake their hands while introducing yourself. Although they already know who you are, it’s still polite to do formal greetings when you meet them.

During the interview, maintain eye contact and proper posture. Simple details such as your demeanor and body language can affect the result of your interview, so look engaged and professional while you’re in front of the panel. 

Be sure to thank them and shake their hands again before you leave the room. Even if you don’t know the results yet, be sure to express your gratitude for the opportunity and that you’re looking forward to hearing from them soon. This way, you can finish the interview on a good note and have no regrets about how it went later on.  

Final Thoughts  

Although there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the job based on your performance during an interview alone, it helps if you can be at your best when you’re in front of a panel. You’ll feel more at ease about the possible results if you know that you came to the interview prepared, confidently answered the panelists’ questions, and treated everyone in the room with respect and professionalism.

Further Reading

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan