Getting called in for an interview is very exhilarating. Being told you will interviewed by a panel of people, not so much.
A one-on-one interview is nerve racking enough, but by adding a few more to the mix, it can feel like you are being ganged up on. Here are five tips to help you get through yours:
1) Do not ignore anyone - Don't assume one person's opinion holds more weight than another (remember what you have been told about what happens when you ass-u-me). When answering questions, make eye contact with each panel member and answer all questions thoroughly. When arriving and leaving, shake the hands of everyone who interviewed you (don't just pick your favorite!). Also, try and memorize each interviewer's name and use it when you have the opportunity.
2) Prepare to answer questions quickly - Because so many people are interviewing you within a limited time frame, you may get a barrage of questions about yourself and the company. Do your research and come with answers about your work, their work and any ways you feel you can contribute to the team. It is a little scary to be thrown in the fire so fast, but be sure to look confident and speak loud enough so that everyone can hear you.
3) Bring extra copies - If you haven't gotten into the habit of bringing copies of your resume to interviews, now is a good time to start. While they may have your resume in front of them, it is always safe to bring enough copies for every person in the room. It is better to be too prepared than unprepared.
4) Stay calm - It may be hard to, but staying calm could leave you with a big advantage. They may be interviewing you as a panel to see how you perform under pressure. Show them you are confident and poised in a stressful situation.
5) The follow-up - Take notes during the interview and send unique thank you emails/notes to each member of the panel and mention what was discussed – this is another reason why it's important to get each interviewer's name. Don't think you can get away with sending a note to the one person you think is most important, don't write the same letter to everyone and don't send out one big email to everyone in the panel. With all the competition for the job, you need to take every step you can to stand out.
You may not love interviewing, and getting questioned in front of a panel can be the most stressful kind of all. But just remember it will be over before you know it, so take every step to be as successful as possible. Comment below with any other advice you have!