Panel Interview

In a panel interview, a group of people, rather than an individual interviewer, will ask you questions. This group may include managers, human resources personnel, and possibly those with whom you would be working if you get the job. You may also hear this type of interview called a committee interview. Often all of the people participating in the interview will be making the hiring decision.

It is important to stay relaxed during the interview even though you may feel like you are sitting before a firing squad. Your job is to interact with each person on the panel. As you answer each question, make eye contact with the person who asked it. Give each interviewer equal attention, even if you know who is higher up in the company's chain of command and thus will have more say over whether you get the job. The person you snub, even if he is lower down on the corporate ladder, may have a big influence on the person who wields the most power. If you can remember who's who, try to address each person by name.

What should I do if I forget an interviewer's name on a panel interview?

If you can't remember one of your interviewers' names, it is okay to ask her to tell it to you again. Make sure you remember it this time, though. One good way to remember a person's name when you meet her is to repeat the name aloud (as in “It's a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Baker”) or to yourself. This will keep the name fresher in your mind.

Shake hands with all participants at the end of the interview. Send an individual thank-you note to each person on the panel in which, if your memory is good, you can bring up something regarding a question that person asked. If you forget the names of anyone on the panel after the interview, a quick call to the receptionist or secretary can help you get that information.

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