The panel interview provides you with one more option when trying to attract and hire the best talent. Barbara Bruno shows you how a panel interview can be a good way to shorten you process, and hire people faster.
- Panel interviews are a great way to shorten the interview and hiring process, but make sure it doesn't end up being an inquisition. It's all about setting expectations and making sure everyone is on the same page. If done right, the candidate will better understand not only the job, but how they'll interact with others. The best talent wants to work with like-minded professionals and that's one of the benefits of a panel interview. Create a great first impression by having everyone thoroughly review the candidate's resume and prepare questions in advance.
Encourage your candidates to bring multiple copies of their resume or CV, and if possible, samples of their work and recommendations, or anything else that will separate them from their competition. Then do what you can to help the candidate get the information they need prior to the interview, but don't try to influence them. Encourage them to research your company and to read the latest information on the press and media section of your website. Provide them with the exact names and titles so they can research the panel members on LinkedIn and the company website.
It helps lower nerves when they put a face with a name and learn something about each person prior to meeting with a group of people at once. And let the candidate know how they'll interact with each person on the panel if they're hired. Will the panel members be their peer, supervisors, or will there be no interaction? Panel members are interviewing the candidate for the same position, but they're focused on how the job benefits or affects them. Help your candidate prepare questions in advance that will reveal the priorities of each panel member.
If you're an in-house recruiter, try to book a venue that's conducive to good conversation. One long table full of people across the front of the room can put a candidate back on their heels. Try to limit the meeting to three or four people, and find a room where everyone can have a seat at the table. If more people need to interview with your candidate, set a second meeting. That takes some of the pressure off the candidate and gives each person on the panel a chance to ask questions. Follow up with the panel immediately after the interview.
Ask the members to share their feedback and compare the candidate's experience and accomplishments to the job requirements. Have a list of factors completed in advance that best predicts success in this particular job to limit the discussion and provide the most relevant information. This will help make the best hiring decision. And be sure to follow up with the candidate. Even in the best situation, panel interviews can be intimidating, so touch base with the candidate the next day.
Ask them about the interview. Were they comfortable, what they learned, what they were able to share, and most importantly, if the interview increased or decreased their level of interest in the job. The panel interview provides you with one more option when trying to attract and hire the best talent. It reduces the risk that a great candidate is eliminated from consideration because they didn't click with one person in the interviewing process, and it forces panel members to be prepared and provide immediate feedback.
Bottom line, if you're losing candidates because your interviewing process is too long, the panel interview could be your solution.
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- Determining the purpose of the interview
- Clarifying expectations
- Making a good first impression
- Asking creative questions consistently
- What candidate questions reveal
- The basics of conducting an interview
- Creating brand awareness and getting referrals