Interviews are nerve-wracking. Panel interviews ratchet that stress up another notch. The dynamics of responding positively to a group of people are much different from establishing rapport with another individual. There’s a higher level of unpredictability, which makes preparation even more key. Saundra Loffredo spells out what you need to know to succeed. She reminds interviewees to bring the necessary materials, including a pad of paper for jotting notes and sufficient résumés to give each member of the panel a copy. She highlights how establishing connections is vital:
“Be sure to make eye contact with everyone on the panel as you answer questions. The easiest way to do that is to move your gaze from person to person as if you are telling a story to a group of friends. You might find it helpful to give more eye contact to the person who asked the questions while you are responding. Do not ignore anyone on the panel. Someone whose seat is awkwardly placed, or maybe just taking notes, could cast the deciding vote about whether you get hired or not.”
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