6 Common Panel Interview Questions and Answers What is a Panel Interview? How to Respond to a Panel Interview Invitation How to Prepare for a Panel Interview What Questions Are Asked in a Panel Interview Final Words
6 Common Panel Interview Questions and Answers What is a Panel Interview? How to Respond to a Panel Interview Invitation How to Prepare for a Panel Interview What Questions Are Asked in a Panel Interview Final Words
Updated 01/11/2020

6 Common Panel Interview Questions and Answers

Do you want to gain weighty knowledge that will help you prepare for the panel interview and successfully complete it? Read this article to find out the most effective tools.

Do you want to gain weighty knowledge that will help you prepare for the panel interview and successfully complete it? Read this article to find out the most effective tools.

Let's imagine you found an exciting job offer, sent your resume and cover letter, and received an answer indicating that you are being invited to a panel interview. You are most likely delighted with this course of affairs; nevertheless, a panel interview can be a difficult test without preparation. This article will talk about getting an invitation for an interview, preparing for it, the most popular questions, and the correct answers. So, let's see how to behave correctly at a panel interview to get a dream job.

Didn't get an invitation for an interview yet? Tailor a first-class resume and cover letter to be noticed by employers.
Build it now!

What is a Panel Interview?

A classic interview is when you meet face to face with someone from HR or your potential project manager. But another type of interview gaining popularity is the panel interview in which the candidate meets with a group, usually from 2 to 5 persons. There is also a group interview, which means that several candidates are interviewed in the same room simultaneously. But do not confuse group and panel interviews, as they pursue different goals.

The panel interview’s main task is to assess how effective the various qualities of the applicant are. For example, you came to get an engineering job in an IT company. You will be interviewed at least by the human resource manager, project manager, and team lead. Their essential goal will be to determine how advanced your soft skills are, how you can interact with the team, your ability to work under pressure, how good you fit the company's culture, and your technical background.

On average, a panel interview takes 30-45 minutes. It may seem like a nerve-racking process for a job seeker, but the right preparation can bring you a new job almost immediately.


How to Respond to a Panel Interview Invitation

When you see an invitation for an interview, you must immediately confirm the date, provided that you are free at that time. If you already have another interview scheduled for this time, reschedule the date. Call the phone number indicated in your invitation to choose a different time.

If you have any questions regarding the interview format, prepare them, and ask the contact person. You can do this via email, but it's better to find out everything during the call to avoid wasting time.


How to Prepare for a Panel Interview

The process of preparing for a panel interview is slightly different from preparing for other conversations. It requires advanced steps. We've prepared some essential panel interview tips to help you succeed.

Make Your Social Media Profiles Perfect

According to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to check on candidates, 43% use Facebook, and 22% Twitter.

If you want to get an interview invitation, make sure your social media pages contain high-quality information. When it comes to Linkedin, your profile should reflect your experience and professionalism. Simply put, Linkedin is your digital resume.

Easily create catchy resumes and cover letters following powerful tips from career experts.
Start Now!

Check your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. It will not be in your favor if it contains too much political news, incorrect statements, or silly jokes.

Practice Your Body Language

Your body position, eye contact, and even how you enter the room - all affect your success. Before you meet with a potential employer, practice at home in front of a mirror, and pay attention to behavioral details.

  • Practice eye contact wherever you are. It can be tricky, but you should make direct eye contact during the interview. In this way, you let them know that you are interested and open to communication.
  • Control your hands during the meeting and do not cross them; this may indicate boredom, insecurity, or disinterest. Place your hands on the table or your lap.
  • Turn towards the other person when talking. It will show that you are entirely focused on them and ready to dialogue.

Conduct Research

Find out as much as possible about the company to make a good impression. Study the employer’s professional achievements and learn more about their mission, history, goals, products, etc. This data will be useful to you during the interview to demonstrate your interest.

After learning more about the company, you can indicate how your professional qualities can contribute to its development and the achievement of business goals.

Prepare Questions to Ask During a Panel Interview

Note that an interview is not only an opportunity for an employer to assess your professional qualities, but also a chance for you to understand if this position is right for you. Come up with a few questions to show that you are interested in the company. It will also help you in dialogue. Try to ask at least 1 question per interviewer, and they should not be too obvious. "What vacancy is open now?" is a bad sample. Since you have been invited to evaluate your experience for a specific position, this question will show your lack of preparation.

It is also a good idea to write down their responses in a notebook so that they can see that you are really serious. Are you wondering what is the optimal number of questions you can ask? It depends on the number of interviewers plus two additional questions.

Here are the most effective questions to ask in a panel interview to assess whether the desired role will satisfy you:

  • In your opinion, what skills should a winning candidate possess to get this job?
  • What do you think a candidate should achieve within 1, 3, 6 months of work?
  • What is the most difficult challenge the department has faced?
  • What are the most powerful sides of this company?
  • What career achievements can a candidate reach in this role?
  • Can you explain the further steps in the interview process?
  • What training programs are available to your employees?
  • What successful results were achieved in this role by the previous employee?

Make Copies of Your Resume and Cover Letter

Perhaps not all participants in the meeting had the chance to study your professional experience. To not waste interview time on questions that can easily be resolved in advance, make copies of your resume and cover letter for each interviewer. This way, you will look more professional in their eyes.

Overshadow the rest of the candidates with a professional resume & cover letter tailored precisely for your role.
Get Started!

Rehearse Your Answers

And now, we come to one of the most critical steps. The questions you are asked can be tricky, and you should be fully equipped. Prepare your answers ahead of time so that nothing shakes you by thinking carefully about the wording.


What Questions Are Asked in a Panel Interview

In a panel interview, you will be assessed from different sides. Interviewers are naturally interested in your professional skills, but the main emphasis will be on understanding your behavior and how you will act in the office. Let's consider the most popular panel interview questions and answers.

  1. What can you tell us about yourself?

    This question aims to understand how clearly you can express your thoughts and interest. But even though this type of interview is more social in nature, you still need to focus on your professional skills. Think about how your experience can benefit the company.

    Answer: “I have been working as a sales manager for over 5 years. From my experience, I can say that making good sales is a creative process that requires an individual approach to clients. My goal was to develop effective sales strategies that I successfully implemented with my employees. We worked as a single organism and together raised revenue by 65%. You mentioned earlier that you value teamwork, and realizing that this company focuses on ​​such professional qualities, I would be thrilled to become a strong player on your team.”

    What to show your self-confidence and get a dream job? Read our guide on How to Impress in an Interview.

  2. How would a colleague describe you?

    During the discussion, the interviewers will want to know how well you can socialize and maintain a healthy working relationship. When you prepare for these questions, think about a colleague with whom you have built a strong connection and what they would say about you. Be honest, don't embellish or lie.

    Answer: "It is essential for me to have healthy relationships with employees, as it contributes to productive work. My colleagues would say that I appreciate everything they do to meet the project goals. I want each employee to feel comfortable, and if I see that they are performing their tasks well, I will definitely praise and support them."

  3. What is the worst mistake you made in your previous position?

    This question is asked to understand if you can learn from your mistakes and deal with failure. The correct answer should be based on the STAR method: situation, task, action, and result. This is an excellent example of how an adverse event can be a valuable experience.

    Answer: "Several years ago, I led a team that prepared a real estate presentation for a property our company was going to sell. However, sales failed. Later I was informed that this was largely due to my mistakes in management. Over the next few months, I put in a lot of effort and used my free time to gain more experience and skills to lead a team. I studied useful literature and attended specialized training. In general, this situation significantly influenced the fact that I gained important experience and advanced my career."

  4. A professional cover letter is your winning ticket for an interview. Use this opportunity to get the employer's attention.
    Get My Cover Letter Done!
  5. Have you ever disagreed with a boss? How did you handle it?

    The potential employers want to understand if you can disagree with your boss’s decisions and how this might affect your performance. Your response will be carefully evaluated, so it should show your ability to follow instructions in any situation. As you prepare to answer this question, be honest about your experiences of conflict. Note, it is a significant mistake if you start blaming your boss for everything.

    Answer: "I was preparing several marketing campaigns for our projects. One of the clients met with my boss and said that they were unhappy with the result. On the same day, my boss called me into his office and pointed out my mistakes. I was surprised and annoyed because I thought the campaign was successful, and I strictly followed the client’s requirements. I thought I would be praised for it, as I spent a lot of time on its development, and it seemed to me that it was very creative. My boss immediately took the client's side. But, I didn’t want to argue with him. I pulled myself together and explained my vision to the boss. I explained that the project was done in accordance with the client's edits that he insisted on, although we warned that they would be ineffective. I showed the boss the project documentation and correspondence with the client, where he approved and demanded these edits. As a result, my manager agreed with me and pointed out to the client the decisions he made. Also, together with the boss, we developed some recommendations to improve the current state of the project and help the client achieve his goals.”

  6. Why do you want to work for our company?

    The interviewer wants to know more about your career goals and ambitions. They can also assess how well you fit the corporate culture. To answer this question correctly, you need to study in more detail the company, its mission, services, products, etc.

    Answer: "I would like to be part of your team, as I love that <Company Name> produces quality components for microprocessors. Since I have deep technical knowledge, I would like to advance my career in this direction. I also know that the company donates 15% of its revenue to charities that help children who have lost their parents. This is a significant contribution to society’s development, and I also want to make a useful contribution."

  7. What is your biggest strength?

    This is a typical question that allows the interlocutor to assess your moral qualities. It will demonstrate how modest or arrogant you are. The correct answer will show that you are a moderately faithful candidate with adequate self-esteem. For example, emphasize that your greatest strength is what helps you get the job done.

    Answer: “I noticed in the job offer that you are looking for a candidate with diligent attention to detail. I was delighted to read this requirement, as attention to detail is one of the main things that allowed me to find discrepancies in the budget, thereby reducing recurring costs by 13% ."

Here are some other questions you may also come across in a panel interview:

  • What’s a challenge you overcame in your last job?
  • What achievements are you most proud of?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why did you decide to choose this career?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • Describe your former boss.
  • What do you want to improve about yourself?
  • Describe an idea that helped you succeed.
  • Tell us how you deal with people who annoy you.
  • Tell us how you prioritize.
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Tell us how you deal with stress.
  • Describe a situation in which you acted without having a job guideline.
  • Do you have any questions for us?


Final Words

At first glance, a panel interview can be scary, especially if you don't have the relevant experience yet. But don't be afraid, because your primary weapon is thorough preparation. Naturally, it is very difficult to get your dream job the first time, but you should not give up even if you are refused.

Want to get an invitation to an interview quickly? Create a quality cover letter that sets you apart from the rest of the applicants.

You may also be interested to read