By Jane Okoth
Paul Mwai in an email writes
“I am shy in nature and dread panel interviews because i have no idea on how to present myself. Since i am expecting one, which is the best way to prepare?”
Being invited for an interview is intimidating itself but expecting a panel can be a nightmare especially if you have no clue on how to handle it.
So What Should One Expect In A Panel Interview?
A panel interview is just like any other job interview in that you are likely to interact and meet different people, according to Melody Mwendwa, an Interview Coach at Corporate Staffing Services.
The aim of being interviewed by a panel is that most companies are keen on conducting a complete assessment of the candidate they are looking to hire.
Another reason could be the nature of the position you are being interviewed for as well as your expertise. For instance, in an Engineer Job Interview, the panel may consist of the Engineer himself whom you will be reporting to, The Human resource Professional and other senior staff members.
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All these professionals want to know what kind of person and whether you can fit in the company in terms of values and their cultures.
While some companies may inform you earlier of a possibility of being interviewed by a panel, some might surprise you.
If you happen to expect a panel interview, keep these tips in mind
1. Practice Practice Practice
If you are a shy person, try practising your role with different people. This will be a big boost in your confidence as it is a requirement in most panels.
This is because in the panel interview, you are more likely to expect much engagement and interaction as opposed to a single person interview.
2. Make Eye Contact With The Whole Panel
When answering question from one interviewer, make eye contact with each panel member and answer all questions thoroughly. Give each interviewer the same amount of attention by addressing the whole team.
3. Answer Question Effectively
Lastly, be ready to demonstrate how your experience matches the position you are seeking. Answer the questions with confidence explaining that you possess the skills and qualities to get the job done well.
4. Be Yourself
That said, don’t go overboard. Many candidates, in an effort to force themselves into the role of a leader and show that they’re trying, can come across as overly aggressive.
Yes, you should speak up and make sure you’re being noticed, but remember that interviewers aren’t looking for the loudest voice in the room.
In a fast-moving group interview when you are trying to prove a point, it can be difficult to resist talking more and more.
But in order to speak purposely, you have to listen to the interviewers and interviewees and stay engaged in where the conversation is headed. Pay attention and use body language to show you’re engaged with the group, even when you’re not talking.
Looking forward for a panel interview? These tips will go a long way.
Jane is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya. If you have any career related queries, contact email@example.com