Man goes on a panel job interview
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Had a call for a group or panel interview recently? While you might be thrilled to make it to this stage of the hiring process, the mere thought of fielding not one but a whole team of interviewers can be enough to put your stomach in knots.


However, the reason most employers conduct panel interviews isn't to intimidate you; rather, it's a time-saving way to meet with people that will likely interact with you in the new job, and gather their impressions all at once. So, when you stride into a panel or group interview, remember that the team is there to learn about you and your value-add, NOT to interrogate you or make you uncomfortable.

These five tips can help you feel more in control of the process while facing a group of interviewers in a panel interview—with a professional, enthusiastic demeanor that helps win the job.

1. Direct Your Attention To Each Person On The Panel

Upon starting the interview, get each person's name (ask for their business card or jot down the name), and then look at each person as you introduce yourself. This will help to break the ice and establish a connection with all of your interviewers.

While fielding questions, avoid staring at a single person (nothing makes you look more "frozen" than doing this!). Instead, make it a point to relax, smile, and open your gaze to the others in the room. Even if a single member of the group asks you a particular question, look around at the others while you answer it. Doing so will help you project a confident image and build rapport with the entire panel.

2. Expect To Repeat Yourself

Woman listens to a question during a panel job interview

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While one of your interviewers might take your answer the first time, you can almost expect someone else to either ask for clarification—or ask it again, later in the interview. Why? Because just like our verbal abilities many of us have different listening styles.

What is clear to one panel participant may need further explanation for another person. In addition, each panelist comes to the interview with a different agenda. You can expect a prospective peer to be interested in your technical or analytical skills, for example, while the boss might be more curious about why your last job was so short in length.

You may also find yourself repeating information from earlier interviews. This is perfectly normal in the context of a multi-interview hiring process, so avoid coming across as impatient or noting that you've answered this query before.

3. Find Out Who You'll Need To Impress The Most

Man answers a question during a panel job interview

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Within most panel interviews, it becomes obvious very quickly who is on "your side" and who still hasn't made up his or her mind. While it may be comforting to direct your answers and gaze toward the interviewer who seems more open to your responses, you're better off tackling the naysayer first. Why? Because winning over the person most likely to reject you shows you have the ability to read the audience, as well as problem-solve on your feet.

Most employers are looking for leaders who will challenge issues head-on, ask numerous questions, and hone in on the thorniest problems first. If you respond well to someone who throws challenges your way, you'll come across as an unflappable professional ready to take on the demands of the job.

In addition, most panel interviewers convene after the interview to discuss the candidate and their impressions. If you've won over the toughest member of the group, the others may throw their support behind him or her as well.

4. Be Prepared For At Least One Zinger Question

A job applicant answers a question from a panel of interviewers

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Interviewers, like anyone else, tend to feel more comfortable (and perhaps bold) in a group. Therefore, you can almost count on being asked a question that might not be posed to you in a one-on-one situation. Of course, you'll want to prepare for your interview by pulling out three to five "power stories" that demonstrate your abilities to perform the job.

Arming yourself with these anecdotes will give you the ability to answer numerous behavioral interview questions common in both single and multi-interviewer situations. But if there's any question or situation you would feel awkward explaining, prepare and practice a set of answers to it prior to your panel interview. This way, you won't feel a sense of dread when the question finally comes up, and you'll be better able to handle any curveballs thrown your way.

5. Thank All Participants Promptly

Woman shakes hands with the hiring manager after a panel job interview

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At the conclusion of your panel interview, thank everyone personally, and gather business cards if you didn't already do so. Then, as you're sitting in your car post-interview, write down specific highlights from the interview to include in your thank-you notes, which should be sent within 24 hours after completing the panel interview.

You'll gain the advantage of having the interview fresh in your mind, and will score points for your promptness and attention to professional courtesy.

In summary, a panel interview is nothing to dread, especially since it offers an opportunity to establish rapport with your potential new co-workers and bosses. Arm yourself with a stack of success stories, answers to tough questions, thank-you notes, and a smile, and you'll be on your way to a job offer.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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Professional woman reads inspirational career quotes
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Inspiration lacking this Monday morning? On the job search and feeling blue? Stuck in a career you hate? Not sure what success means to you? You're not alone. Grab a nice, warm cup of coffee and let us help you out.

Light your inner fire with these inspirational career quotes:

What Are Professional Quotes? 

Professional quotes motivate and inspire you to become the best professional you can be in your career. They remind you that you can achieve what you want to achieve. What does success look like to you? If you ever need some inspiration, read these quotes...

What Are The Best Inspirational Quotes For Professionals?


  1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius
  2. “It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career." —Carlton Fisk
  3. “Work to become, not to acquire." —Elbert Hubbard
  4. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." —Katherine Whitehorn
  5. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan
  6. "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller
  7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." —Abraham Lincoln
  8. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison
  9. "I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." —Lou Holtz
  10. "I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything." —Jon Stewart
  11. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas
  12. "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." —Walt Disney
  13. "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." —Johnny Carson
  14. "I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do." —Helen Keller
  15. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." —Arthur Golden
  16. "It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." —Brian White
  17. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton
  18. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." —Albert Einstein
  19. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  20. "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." —Mark Twain
  21. "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius

Inspirational Career Quotes Confucius


2. “It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career." —Carlton Fisk

Inspirational Career Quotes Carlton Fisk


3. “Work to become, not to acquire." —Elbert Hubbard

Inspirational Work Quotes


4. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." —Katherine Whitehorn

Inspirational Work Quotes


5. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan

Inspirational Career Quotes Michael Jordan


6. "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller

Inspirational Quotes About Failure


7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." —Abraham Lincoln

Inspirational Abraham Lincoln Quotes


8. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison

Inspirational Thomas Edison Quotes


9. "I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." —Lou Holtz

Inspirational Career Quotes


10. "I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything." —Jon Stewart

Inspirational Career Quotes Jon Stewart


11. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas

Inspirational Quotes George Lucas


12. "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." —Walt Disney

Inspirational Walt Disney Quotes


13. "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." —Johnny Carson

Inspirational Career Quotes


14. "I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do." —Helen Keller

Inspirational Career Quotes


15. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." —Arthur Golden

Inspirational Career Quotes


16. "It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." —Brian White

Inspirational Quotes About Life


17. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton

Inspirational Quotes About Success


18. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." —Albert Einstein

Inspirational Albert Einstein Quotes


19. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspirational Career Quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson


20. "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." —Mark Twain

Inspirational Career Quotes About Success


21. "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

Inspirational Career Quotes Confucius

We hope these quotes motivated you. Please share with someone you know who needs a little inspiration right now.

Need some more inspiration in your career?

We'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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