The Panel Interview
Before you receive a job offer in today's employment arena, you will more than likely have to endure a job interview that pits you against several interviewers simultaneously. This might occur in an office or conference room, with your chair facing a line of others. Or you may be escorted from office to office in an effort to introduce you to the people with whom you would work (which gives them a chance to evaluate you, no matter how brief the encounter might be).
To survive a panel interview, follow these codes of behavior:
1. Keep your cool. It feels as if they've ganged up against you, but they haven't. In fact, this can be a superb opportunity to impress everyone with your savvy and poise. They'll admire your composure and fortitude.
2. Answer one question at a time and place equal importance on all questions asked.
3. Pay careful attention during the introductions. When answering a question, address by name the person who asked you the question.
4. If you meet several people individually, offer each person a firm handshake. If they are future colleagues, ask them to tell you a bit about their jobs. Try to get a big picture of how the divisions or projects fit together and a feel for the corporate culture. Ask for their business cards before you leave their offices.
5. Be friendly and charming, but also succinct. Rambling is deadly during a panel interview.
6. It is difficult to establish rapport during a panel interview because it is a group setting. Be especially aware of maintaining good eye contact with each person in the group.
7. At the conclusion of the interview, ask what the next step is and express interest in the position.
8. Be sure to remember everyone who participated in the interview process. Flatter them by sending each one a thank-you note afterwards.
The Interview with a Meal
Occasionally, an interviewer suggests that the interview take place during a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal. This is generally a positive sign, since an interviewer only spends this much time with the strongest candidates.
While it has the outward appearance of being a more relaxed and casual encounter than the typical job interview, in fact the meal interview can be quite harrowing for the applicant. Errors such as spilled drinks and badly timed interruptions can easily occur.
Remember to follow these guidelines for a smoother mealtime interview:
1. Remind yourself that the interviewer is having a nice meal. You are interviewing for a job. The meal is entirely secondary.
2. Don't order anything messy. Tough-to-eat items such as French onion soup and spaghetti are no-nos.
3. Don't order dessert unless the interviewer does first.
4. Don't order an alcoholic beverage, even if your interviewer does.
5. Don't smoke.
6. Don't order the most expensive thing on the menu.
7. Don't summon the waiter or send back your food. If your drink runs dry or your food is overcooked, too bad. You are there to be interviewed.
8. Follow the rules of etiquette. Put your napkin in your lap, and don't put your elbows on the table. You never know what might offend your interviewer.
9. Let the interviewer pay the check. The one who set up the interview and suggested the meal should pay the bill.
10. Keep the thank-you note focused on the interview rather than the meal. You might make small reference to the meal, such as, "Thank you for the interview on Tuesday at the Maisonette. I enjoyed learning about your background in electronics and the planned direction of XYZ Corp."
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This article is worth reading and useful for those attending various kinds of interviews daily. Such articles are always interesting to read and get benefited too.