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Panel Interview

  • I have panel interview next week for an internal position (lateral move). I watched Paul’s video on panel interviews. Some great tips.

    – Acknowledge the panel’s time
    – Learn and use the panel’s name when addressing them
    – Confirmation

    For a phone panel, what confirmation tactics would you suggest?

    For a phone panel, it will be a little harder to remember or acknowledge names, but you have the added advantage of the fact that nobody can see you. So you can have your notes in front of you! I would not recommend typing into google because they can hear that, but if you have them printed out in front of you, then you’ll be much more confident before the call starts, knowing that it will be tough for them to stump you.

    Another advantage to panel phone interviews, as opposed to one on one phone interviews, is that there is more opportunity to make the call conversational. By asking questions while giving your answers, you can turn a question-answer-question-answer interrogation, feel more like you’re one of the group talking about the topic at hand.

    You can do that in little ways like in response to, “How would you approach this (named) situation?” You: “In my experience, here’s how I’ve done that successfully (implying that you know there are lots of ways to reach that solution), step 1, step 2, etc, Is that how you guys approach it?” By closing with that question, they’ll start talking, and with 3 or 4 people on the phone, it’s likely to spark differing opinions and additional conversation, and they you’re talking with them like you’re already a part of the team. That’s the ideal scenario.

    Another thing to consider on a phone panel interview is that it can be difficult for them to coordinate questions, and to prompt each other to ask follow up questions. So if they ask a question and then go silent on you, there’s a good possibility they don’t know who should ask the next question, or, I have one client who had interviewers on the phone from multiple locations and as they were asking questions, they would be texting or instant messaging each other. So their silence could mean they are talking to each other as well. So be patient with the silence.

    Just like with any phone interview, make sure you’re standing (if physically possible), and smiling. Smiling effects the tonality of your vocal cords and you sound friendlier. That makes a difference. I hope this helps, and good luck on that interview!

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