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I have a panel interview for an entry level position with a financial institution at the end of the week. Aside from the usual preparations such as the following:

  • Researching the company and the position you are applying for
  • Being prepared to describe past experiences on one's resume
  • Linking your skills to the job being sought
  • Showing interest and poise in working in this position

There are five panelists and they are from different managerial levels.

What are some other recommendations for properly handling a panel interview?

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    A note of encouragement: the fact that you are posting here, looking for advice and already put some homework into this will give you a great starting point. Use this as a source of confidence: a panel interview can be intimidating. – Hilmar Dec 17 '14 at 2:06
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One of the biggest things I can think of is to make sure to address your answer first to the person who asked the question. But overall, make sure you make eye contact with everyone. Check out their body language. If the guy who asked the question is smiling but the guy in the corner is frowning, you are probably missing something he wants said. Remember all of them will evaluate every answer even if the person did not ask it. Give more attention to the person asking the question, but don't ignore everyone else.

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What are some other recommendations for properly handling a panel interview (with five panelists and they are from different managerial levels)?

Some of these may be more or less applicable.

  • Look up your interviewers on Linked-in (if you know who they are).
  • Write out some sample STAR interview answers, keeping in mind you will have a lot of different managerial layers present
  • Ensure you dress formally as higher levels tend to care more about this
  • Look everyone in the eye periodically
  • Depending on culture, make sure you introduce yourself to everyone and shake their hands. This varies based on culture
  • Have questions related to the strategic direction of the company. Your primary questions probably will be related to your job, which don't really matter to the higher level managers. Have questions they care about too, like "what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing X in the next 5 years?"
  • Don't only address a portion of the panel. Some may be much less vocal but they are still interviewing you, don't make them feel left out.
  • If possible, try to avoid directly facing anyone - this comes across as more adversarial. If you can sit at an angle, even if somewhat, this is a more natural/relaxed interaction.

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