1. Preparation – know who is asking the questions
You will be given a list of the panelists and their job titles so you can look them up either on LinkedIn or their company website and research their backgrounds. This will help you to understand what is important to them in their roles, and what they might be looking for from you in terms of your performance in the role. It will also help you to anticipate the type of questions they may put to you. Most panelists will be prepared and their administrators would have provided them with a copy of your resume along with some pre-prepared interview questions. Ensure that you know the name of each interviewer and use it with ease. Address each person when you respond, but try to also engage the whole panel throughout your answer to make them feel engaged, directing your conclusion back to the person who asked the question.
It goes without saying to keep your body language in check. I have personally always struggled with this – will it really mean I don’t get an interview because of my posture?? Surely not …. well maybe not but if spending time focusing on this helps to improve your personal power, confidence and self-esteem then it makes sense to me. This TED talk by Amy Cudder is worth watching.
Remember that engagement leads to just that … further engagement, so be prepared for those follow up questions. It’s good to have a few layers prepared to your answers so that if your interviewers are interested in peeling them back to reveal more, they will find some substance behind what you are communicating.
3. Post Interview Reflection
Be kind to yourself. It’s not unusual to leave an interview and immediately pull apart every minute detail wishing you’d have said this or that. Suddenly all the perfect examples will be glaringly crystal clear and on reflection you could have nailed it! But it’s not over yet. You will be surprised at how many allowances are made for nerves and how much of the hiring focus is on character and culture fit. So don’t beat yourself up until you hear from the client as to the next steps. Oh, and remember to express your appreciation by sending each interviewer a personalised thank-you note which will send a warm and positive message and also, provides you with the opportunity to lightly reiterate any areas that you could perhaps do more justice to.