• Dr Michael Watson

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PANEL INTERVIEW

  1. Anticipate questions and think about your answers.

  2. Research the job to limit any unpleasant surprises. For example, what are the key priorities for the role?

  3. Practise projecting yourself and seeing yourself in the role. This will help you answer a question with confidence and give the interviewer a better sense of how you will operate.

  4. Dress to impress. Look smart, look professional.

  5. Make a good first impression. Do simple things, such as keeping eye contact. And do this with everyone. Try not to fixate on any one single person. It can put people off.

  6. Consider your audience. Think about who you are being interviewed by. If you're going to stand out, do so for the right reasons.

  7. Answer the question. In particular, the one you've been asked and not the one you want to answer. Give specific examples, ideally with measurable outcomes.

  8. Be positive and enthusiastic. You should look and respond as though you want the job. A less experienced candidate can be successful in an interview over more experienced candidates by demonstrating an enthusiasm and passion for the role.

  9. Establish a connection. The individuals interviewing you are more than likely to be the people you end up working with. People by people. Help them to buy into you. Be human, be engaging, be complimentary, be honest, be collegiate, be goal-oriented. By reading the specification and the audience you may be any of these things or others, in order to get the panel to choose you.

  10. Be honest. Do not present yourself as something you are not. Reputation is everything. If you want the job but don't think that you have enough of the right qualities, then sell them the relevance of what you do have, your transferable skills and the propensity to get up to speed quickly in all other areas.

  11. You've come this far, so you have the potential to do the job. Show you want the job by relating to something (not necessarily expected) you've researched about the organisation which resonates positively with your past. It shows you've gone the extra mile.

  12. As a candidate there are never any negatives. There are only areas for development. Accentuate the positives and show how the areas for development (if you are asked) can be quickly overcome through your transferable skills and/or capacity to get up to speed very quickly.

  13. Ask questions. You may be interested in opportunities to develop further in the role, work with others or even offer a suggestion that will improve a department.

  14. Thank the panel before you leave and wish them well.

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