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How To Survive Multi Panel Job Interviews

Updated on April 10, 2012


I have not written a hub page about anything in some time pertinent to jobs or company type of issues. Since I own my own company, I do not endorse multi panel personnel interviews, simply due to the fact, that I do not believe that they are conducive to the applicant, who is applying or interviewing for a position in a company.

In my walk though life, especially in the job market. I have seen these multi panel interviews only benefiting the people who are conducting them, and generally people conduct them together, for ridiculous reasons, such as:

(1). I don’t know how to decide who the candidate will be for this position

(2). I need help from my group or other areas to decide who, I'm going to use to fill a position.

(3). This decision of hiring a person for the said position, is very important, and I should NOT be the only person involved to make such a decision.

(4). By all of us being in the interview room,we are saving time( REALLY!!) I don’t think so…

Those reasons above, is just total rubbish. Granted, I’m not opposed to an employer having certain staff members, to sit in a interview, and maybe, and I use the term loosely, maybe allowed to ask the candidate interviewing for the position, a few questions, and by that I mean very few questions.

How many times, have you went into a five person panel interview, and successfully obtained the position, that you interviewed for at a company? I have not looked into the stats, pertaining to the percentage that shows how many applicants obtain a position, by enduring a five panel interview process.

I believe that, when there is MORE than two people in an interview process, it deters the interview process from working successfully, in the first place. I don’t have five panel, four, panel, or three panel interviews. I have seen too many times, where the personnel, who interviews the applicant in a multi person interview, cannot agree on what they liked about the applicants they interview.

I once remembered, when I first started to work , I was barely twenty years old, I went to a company for an interview. When I arrived to the company, due to the fact I had to fly there, and I had to take a taxi to the site. I arrived there at 10:00am, the interview was at 11:00am.

When I arrived, I was under the impression, I would only be there for one interview, "NOT!" I was there for five hours, and I was interviewed twice, by ten people, all with multi five panel interviews. I was so exhausted after, I went back to my hotel, before I vacated the company site after the interview. There was a very kind lady that stopped me, she worked in Human Resources. She said, " I know you are tired, and I don't believe in a multi panel interview." She went on to say, that, I did deserve the job, but she knew that they would not hire me, because people bring a lot of personal garbage into those five panel interviews.

She went on to say, that I was one of the most qualified individuals for the position. I was not unhappy, I thanked her for her compliments, and since I didn't have to pay to fly there for the interview, or for my stay in the hotel, I was not upset, I just did not agree with their interview process.

I was offered another opportunity to come back there a year later and interview for a position at their company, and I declined it. I also made a promise that once, I opened or started a business of my own, I would never use a multi panel job interview process, and to this day, I have stuck to my guns.

In my mind multi panel interviews leaves the applicant at a disadvantage. I find that these multi panel personnel interviews are a waste of time.

By sticking to a one or two person interview process, I have seen things operate a lot more smoothly, when I have seen multi panel interviews, where there are more than two people conducting the interview, nothing but chaos entails in the interview process.

Then, at the end of the interview process, so much valuable time is spent trying to decide who the panel likes or dislikes, and why. When even, if you interviewed the candidate, in a one person, or two personnel interview. I hardly ever sense or see any issues pertinent to that process at best.

The economy is making a come back now very slowly, and the job market is very slowly getting back to where it once was, back when President Clinton occupied the Oval Office in the United States. For those of you , who have to endure multi panel interview, never feel like you have to be intimidated by that type of interview process.

I know that people who are seeking a job, for the first time, maybe for those who know the drill, maybe a little nervous going into these types of interviews. There is nothing to fear, but you are at a dis advantage, but always go into any interview environment very prepared, and if you feel as though you are being mistreated in an interview, ask to be excused, or just grit and bear it, and file a complaint with the Human Resources Department when you are done.

Respect for the individual, is the most critical aspect of dealing with anybody, just insure that you are prepared by:

  • Being prompt and on time for the interview, at least 30 minutes to an hour early
  • Be Professionally dressed, no flashy jewelry, no skin showing clothing
  • Don’t immerse yourself in cologne or perfume,
  • Be well groomed, shaved, hair shaped up nicely, and please have on freshly pressed clothing
  • Know the history of the company you are interviewing for, and be familiar with the position, and their business processes as well
  • Eat something before hand, and DO not go into any interview chewing gum
  • Ask questions at the end and at the beginning, stay engaged throughout the interview
  • Do not get comfortable, sit up straight, and look attentive
  • Smile, but do not fidget around in your seat
  • DO NOT discuss or get drawn into to discussing negative aspects of any of your past positions, that is a very quick way to not being accepted for another interview, or maybe it will definitely keep you from attaining the job
  • Just have a positive outlook on why you are there, don’t act arrogant, be humble and just answer their questions, they have you at a disadvantage, because you are the one in the hot seat looking for a job, and always remember that, but that does not give them the right to mistreat you.

Finally, always remember, that when you are seeking a job, question, the interview process. If you are uncomfortable with multi panel interview, move onto then the next company. I have seen companies conduct interview after interview, until they have decided or weeded out who the candidate will be for the position.

Then, there are times when the job seeker, who has endured interview after interview at that one company, he or she becomes frustrated, with being shuffled from interview panel to interview panel.

We live in a world, that does not generally treat the next person fairly, or with dignity or with respect, and when seeking a job, this is a process, where a person can waste a lot of time dealing with people in companies or corporations, who believe that multi panel interviews are essential to their hiring process. You decide, what’s best for you, as I have always stated in past hubs. You have been WARNED and INFORMED.

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