How to Ace a Panel Interview Online like a Pro

The coronavirus pandemic situation is currently making companies more and more dependent on remote interviews. As a result, candidates like you have to be savvy with video interview tactics more than ever. This post is a curation of some of the best tips and tricks to nail a remote panel virtual interview.
You need to study and prepare for a phone or video interview as meticulously as a face-to-face job interview. However, one good thing about a remote interview is that you can have everything you need right in front of you! But that does not mean you go about shuffling through papers or reading over your notes during the interview. You have to be well-prepared so that you can face your interview panelists over Skype, Zoom, or any other video call with confidence. Additionally, follow the below-enlisted tips to ace your upcoming remote panel interview amid the covid-19 situation lurking outside.

What is a panel interview?

A panel interview is one in which you or a single interviewee will face an interview with a group of individuals from the same company. It is not the same as a group interview, in which there are many interviewees. Due to the covid-19 situation around, chances are high for your panel interview to take place online.

Why panel interviews are used?

A panel interview helps your interviewers to know you quickly. Also, it replaces multiple one-on-one interviews, thereby streamlining the hiring process. This eventually saves time and money for you and the company. Also, when Gulf corporations need a consensus among several individuals while hiring for a position, a panel interview comes in handy.


Skills needed to crack a panel interview

You need to develop some crucial skills to ace your online interview

1. Remember names – Write the names down on a notepad when the panel introduces itself. These are important people, so please get their names right.

2. Focus hard – Focus on the task at hand. Show how flexible you are and how gracefully you can handle pressure. If you face the same question twice, vary your response for each panelist instead of repeating the same sentences over and over.

3. Handle pressure – Project confidence physically during your video interview call.

4. Be thoughtful – Before answering a question, take a breath, pause for a few seconds and craft your answer in your mind before you start speaking up!

Things to do a few days before a remote panel interview

Here are some points for you to take care of before you attend the interview call.

1. Keep all noise levels down – You are about to address a group of interviewers on audio / video call. So keep the noise levels in your interview room as minimal as possible. Make arrangements for pets, kids, guests etc. in advance. Try to keep distractions like television, stereo, mobile, land phone ringer, mixer grinder, calling bell and the like off for the interview duration. Reason being you don’t want anything to distract either you or the interview panel from concentrating.

2. Prepare interview area or room – Tidy up the space or room where you plan to take the audio / video panel interview call. If your background is a messy room with children’s toys and other personal items lying around haphazardly, you will definitely appear unprofessional. As you speak to a panelist, others should not be staring at a mess behind you! This is unnecessary information that does not pertain to your job at all. Hence, before your panel video call takes place, arrange the room and keep your background as businesslike, clean and neutral as possible.

Things to do a few hours before a remote job interview

Here are some points for you to take care of while you are on the interview call.

1. Keep a backup plan ready -What would you do if the video conferencing app or platform crashes in the middle of your panel interview call? Even worse, what if your internet connection gets disrupted? For such scenarios, please keep a plan B ready. Make sure you have the email and phone number of your HR spoc handy to connect instantly. You might end up having a conference phone conversation instead of a video panel interview instead.
Bandwidth is another common issue, especially while working from home. If two or more people are online in an apartment or house at the same time, the network can cause delays. To avoid glitches and other issues during a video conference interview, turn off the video function. Or in worst cases, you can schedule the interview for a later date.

2. Dress appropriately -Interviewing from home also means that you should dress professionally. Since you are at home and everyone knows that, you need not show up on the video call in full formals! Make sure that you strike a delicate balance. Think of what you would actually wear for this interview if it were in person. Now tone that outfit down by about 20%. For instance, instead of a business formal, wear a smart shirt. Ladies can put on some light makeup too.

3. Be Prepared– Log in a few minutes ahead to ensure that your equipment and apps are working fine. Also pay attention to your facial expressions and voice.

Things to do during a remote interview

1. Answer smartly – Remember to look into the camera while speaking, and not at your own image or the other person’s image. While answering your interview panelists, address their questions serially. Try and keep your voice calm to speak clearly. Also leave a few seconds at the end of sentences to avoid talking over someone else. Do smile and laugh when appropriate, just like you would in person. The idea is to demonstrate to your interview panelists that you are 100% engrossed in the discussion.

2. Your interview should have a strong closure -Towards the end of the panel interview online, you will be asked “Do you have any questions for us?”new job opportunity and not just to the video interview invite on mail! wishes you ALL the best for your Interview.

Image credits: Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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Categories: Covid-19 and Careers

About Geetanjali Mukherjee

A true wordsmith — Not only is writing a way of sharing what I think, but it’s also a way to clear my mind and understand the world around me

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