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The Gang’s All Here

Job interviews aren’t necessarily one-on-one anymore

➔ You think about the traditional job interview and you imagine yourself – the job seeker – sitting across a desk from someone representing the employer. They ask questions; you answer questions. Maybe you chat a little on you’re on your way.

Then along comes the 21st Century and that’s not necessarily how it goes. Yes, there are still one-on-one interviews, but today you just might be asked to sit across from several interviewers – all at once.

More chances to impress – good and bad

The good news is that a panel interview is rarely a surprise. Someone is likely to forewarn you what’s going to happen.

Of course, with that, there is a downside. If you’re interviewing with three or four people at once, you need to include in your interview preparation background on all the participants. But, don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t show. If that’s the case, don’t take it personally. People do have other responsibilities and priorities.

The person with whom you’ve dealt to this point, or the person who organizes the meeting may not be “the leader” of the pack. In fact, whoever it is may not even show.

Playing all your cards

With so many people in the room, some experts recommend keeping your initial responses somewhat brief so as not to monopolize the time. If someone wants more information, they can ask. Also, be certain to focus your answer on the person who asked the question. Again, if someone wants to know more, they can ask.

Last, it’s not unusual for members of the panel to play “roles” throughout the process. Different people may be looking for different things. You may even run into a situation where panel members try to play good/cop, bad/cop with you. That’s when you need to relax and stay on point.

Although it’s a different dynamic, the purpose and end result are still the same.



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