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How to conduct a panel interview in a few easy steps

Panel interviews can be an intimidating experience, both for the person being interviewed and the interviewer. A panel interview is when 3 or more interviewers question a job candidate at the same time. This type of interview can be daunting, but with proper preparation it can run smoothly. Here are some tips on how to conduct a panel interview.

Planning the Interview

The first step in conducting a panel interview is to plan the interview. You will need to determine who will be on the panel and what their roles will be. You will also need to decide what questions you will ask and how you will structure the interview. Once you have done this, you will be ready to proceed with the actual interview.

Conducting the Interview

Introduce Everyone

The first step is to introduce each member of the panel to the candidate. It is important that the candidate feels comfortable and at ease with who they will be speaking with. Each member of the panel should introduce themselves and their role within the company.

Ask Questions

Once everyone has been introduced, it is time to jump into the questions. All members of the panel should have a list of questions that they would like to ask the candidate. It is important to avoid asking duplicative questions. All members of the panel should also agree on a format for asking questions (i.e. taking turns, going around in a circle, etc.).

Take Notes

As the interview is underway, it is important to pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues from the candidate. All members of the panel should be taking note of how the candidate responds to questions, if they are making eye contact, etc.

Candidate Questions

After all questions have been asked, it is now time for the candidate to ask any questions they may have. This is also a good opportunity for the panel to gauge if the candidate has done their research on the company and position they are interviewing for.

Thank You & Next Steps

Finally, thank the candidate for their time and let them know what the next steps in the process will be.

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Best Practices When Conducting Panel Interviews

Plan Ahead

Before you even begin to put together your panel of interviewers, it's important that you take some time to plan out the logistics of the process. This includes figuring out the format of the questions, how much time each interviewer will have with the candidate, and what role each interviewer will play in the overall assessment. By taking the time to plan ahead, you can avoid potential hiccups and disruptions during the actual interview.

Choose Your Interviewers Carefully

Not just anyone can be an effective panel interviewer—it takes a certain skill set to be able to ask probing questions while also paying attention to the dynamics of the group as a whole. When choosing your interviewers, look for people who are both knowledgeable about the role that the candidate is being interviewed for and who also have experience conducting interviews. You might also want to consider having a mix of seniority levels on your panel so that you can get different perspectives on the candidate.

Delegate Questions

Once you've assembled your team of interviewers, it's important to delegate questions ahead of time. This helps ensure that each interviewer has a specific focus and avoids duplication of effort. It also helps keep things moving along quickly during the actual interview since each interviewer knows exactly what they need to ask. You can either provide each interviewer with a list of prepared questions or allow them some flexibility to ask their own questions as long as they stay within the parameters you've set.

Listen Carefully

As the person overseeing the entire panel interview process, it's important that you pay close attention not just to what the candidate is saying but also to how they are saying it. This includes both their words and their body language. Paying attention to these nonverbal cues will give you valuable insights into whether or not the candidate is being truthful and whether they would be a good fit for your organization.

Panel interviews can be an effective way to assess a job candidate's skills and abilities. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind in order to ensure that your panel interview is successful. Be sure to plan ahead, choose your interviewers carefully, delegate questions beforehand, and listen closely during the actual interview. By following these tips, you can conduct a smooth and successful panel interview that will help you make the best hiring decision for your organization.


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