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What Is the Panel Interview?

The panel interview is similar in many ways to a usual interview, where one or two people pose questions to a job candidate. The only difference is that instead of two interviewers, there can be five or six of them on the panel. If you are invited for the panel interview, expect to have a conversation simultaneously with the Human Resources manager, managers of the department where you may work, team leaders, consultants, partners, and technicians. All of them will be present in the interview room, taking turns to ask you questions. Before they start, you will be introduced to each of the interviewer, and the interview procedure will be explained to you in detail. Depending on their role in the company, interviewers may discuss with you your education and work experience and ask you competency-based, behavioral, and situational questions. If you are applying for the position involving the use of technology, you will also be asked technical questions. The reason why the panel interview may appear more difficult compared to the regular interview is that you may feel more challenged addressed by several people simultaneously. It is also more problematic to produce a memorable impression on so many different people. You should redouble your efforts when preparing for the panel interview to bring yourself in favor with every of your interviewers. Avail yourself of the brilliant opportunity to practice with our exclusive resources and come to your upcoming interview fully prepared.


Question Types Asked during the Panel Interview

There are several kinds of interview questions you may need to answer during your panel interview: questions based on your résumé, competency-based questions, behavioral questions, situational questions, and technical questions.

The Questions Based on the Résumé

Recruiters will definitely want to walk with you through your résumé, asking questions about your education and work experience. When you are preparing for your interview at home, refresh your memory about all the milestones in your education and career. Recruiters often ask questions about significant changes in applicants’ professional life; you will appear prepared for this kind of questions, if you explain what event motivated you to make a change and how you adjusted yourself to a new situation in the college or workplace. You are also advised to recall what courses you took in the university and what research you conducted for your thesis. These questions may be relevant to the work which you will be hired to do in your new company.

The Competency-Based Questions

The major difference between these and résumé-based questions is that they are not centered around job-seeker’s experience. The competency-based questions are designed to measure applicants’ major abilities. Instead of revealing information about their past lives, applicants’ answers to competency-based questions allow recruiters to gain insights into their working styles and future performance in their new role. When you are answering these questions, give interviewers examples of how you dealt with some challenging situation in your previous workplace. Your potential employers want to know how you responded to the challenge and what steps you took to set the situation right. Your answers will be more comprehensive, if you reply to your interviewers’ questions in keeping with the CAR or the STAR formats. These methods revolve around a specific problematic situation that you resolved by assigning certain tasks to yourself and your team members and taking certain actions. Do not forget also to talk about the results that you achieved in the situation you are describing. It is crucial to show to your recruiters that you can derive a lesson from your experience and apply it to a new situation.

The Behavioral and Situational Questions

These questions are also highly popular among interviewers. They do not want to know dry facts from job candidates’ biography. Rather, they want to look deeper into their personalities to ensure that they hire people who will be the most perfect fit for their company. They also want to understand how applicants’ mind works in specific situations, because they believe that they can make predictions about their future performance based on the information about their past behavior. Applicants’ answers to the situational questions provide reliable information about their personal traits and behavioral tendencies, because they are grounded in brief anecdotes from their own experience. The behavioral questions are also answered most fully with the help of the CAR and the STAR formats. Before you come to your panel interview, think of several difficult situations in your previous workplace in solving which you took a specific course of actions and learned certain lessons in the process. Recollect also the alternative actions which you thought of taking but which you eventually judged to be less constructive and beneficent. Your potential employers will want to follow your logic in discarding some courses of actions to foresee how you will reason when faced with challenges in your new workplace. Envisaging how you think logically and to what decisions you arrive in certain circumstances will allow your recruiters to make more informed and correct hiring decisions.

The Technical Interview Questions

If the position for which you are being interviewed involves working with technology, expect to be asked technical questions. These questions will be tailored to your area of specialization and your future role. As a rule, the technical interview questions are tough: you may be asked to solve a mathematical problem, to write an algorithm or code, or explain differences between several technical concepts, all of which you will need to do without preparation. To answer technical questions quicker and correctly, brush up on your knowledge of various technical terms and operations. Learn also about your prospective company’s business, because its interviewers’ technical questions may concern the practical ways of improving its performance and revenue.

To come to your panel interview well prepared, avail yourself of the valuable opportunity to study with JobTestPrep’s high-quality resources. Our interview materials contain valuable tips along with frequently asked interview questions and answers created to lead you to a successful completion of your pre-employment assessment.

Why Do Companies Use the Panel Interview?

Recruiters often look at panel interviews as yielding better, more exact results than regular interviews, where applicants have a conversation with one or two representatives of the company. Recruiters consider the panel interview more valuable, because it puts strain on job candidates and thus shows their personalities and professionalism more vividly. In particular, panel interviews enable interviewers to estimate how well job-seekers reply to questions under pressure and how consistently they interact with several people simultaneously.  Equally accurately the panel interview assesses candidates’ communication techniques.  It also evaluates whether applicants can build and maintain a rapport with every member of the panel.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions on the Panel Interview

We have compiled a list of the questions most often posed to job candidates on the panel interview. Below are several questions from this list:

  • What makes you a good fit and why you are interested in the position?
  • How do you feel about working in cooperation with other co-workers for your bonus?  
  • Walk us through your résumé.
  • What do you think the most challenging part of this job will be?  
  • Who was your least favorite employer and who was your favorite?  
  • Tell us about a time when you were unfairly criticized. How did you handle the situation?  
  • Describe your hardest challenge in your most successful project.
  • Give an example of an unpleasant situation you faced in the past. How did you approach it?  
  • How confident are you to review pay stubs to calculate income accurately?
  • Name one time you had to work in a team with someone you did not like? How did you deal with the situation?  
  • What is your management style? Which management style works best for you?
  • Describe how you attack a territory and build a book of business?
  • What do you know about our current product offerings?
  • Explain positive, negative, and zero sequence impedance and its importance. 
  • What source control tools have you used?
  • How much reuse do you get out of the code that you develop, and how?
  • What is ETL and when should it be used?
  • What are transaction logs, and how are they used?
  • How would you check if a binary tree is balanced?
  • What is the role of SNMP?
  • How would you detect a loop in a linked list?
  • Explain RESPA.

Analyse these questions and formulate winning answers to them. If you come to your upcoming panel interview armed with smart answers, you will create an impressive self-image in your conversation with recruiters. By capturing employers’ attention, you will inspire them to prefer you over other candidates for your desired position.  

JobTestPrep aspires to lead job candidates to the successful conclusion of their application process. To this end, we have designed the sophisticated PrepPack™, putting in it high-quality interview materials. Study for your panel interview with our resources and rise above your competitors.

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