TOP TIPS FOR FACING A PANEL INTERVIEW
By Rachael Kerr, Senior Consultant
No matter what stage you are at in your career, attending an interview for your dream job can be a nerve-wracking experience. Wondering if you are making the right impression or considering what questions you may be asked can be a daunting prospect when you come face to face with your interviewer. But imagine you are being quizzed by not one person, but two, three or even more.
Going for a new role which involves being interviewed by a panel can seem a huge challenge with an increased number of people to impress you may be more worried about making a mistake. With some through preparation and our top tips you can be confident of delivering the best interview that you can.
Find out who you will be interviewing with. Look to find out who will be making up the interview panel and research their particular roles within the organisation – this will help you understand what they might be looking for during the interview. Consider the type of questions that they may ask you and which areas of your CV will be of most interest and relevance to them.
Be prepared. Strike the right balance between having some well-thought through answers to likely questions prepared but don’t over rehearse your responses as they could sound forced and unnatural. Instead, review your CV and draw out points that you would like to convey during the interview which best demonstrate your skills and experience.
Be positive. You have been invited to the interview so they are obviously keen to find out more and have been impressed by the information you presented on your CV. Answer each question positively and remain enthusiastic throughout; you may find one person is asking some particularly difficult questions but they are not looking to catch you out – most interviewers want the people they are interviewing to do well – so use every opportunity to demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.
Build a rapport with each person. This can be particularly tricky as the more people that there are then the more difficult it is to engage with each person. Each interviewer will have a different style and approach and there will be a tendency to focus upon those that are making you feel most comfortable – however, you could end up giving all your attention to one or two people. Address the person that has asked you each question but try to draw others in when giving your response through eye contact, body language or referring back to a previous point or question raised by another member or the panel.
Appear natural and confident. All eyes will be on you and the messages that you convey through your body language are just as important and what you are saying during the interview. Stay relaxed throughout with good eye contact and posture. Convey you are interested in what is being said with positive gestures and facial expressions – and don’t forget to smile!
Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Manchester our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and the North West.