When you are facing a panel of interviewers,
make your best moves
Whether you are
searching for jobs, looking for career avenues or climbing the corporate
ladder, you can't escape team interviews these days. The problem is that
such interviews don't have a pattern to them. They come in different
forms. You could be facing your prospective team members. Or you could be
up against the top brass—HR vice-president, the section head, the
operations chief. Or you could also be sent to a recruitment assessment
centre for multi-parametric evaluation (psychological tests for
pressure-handling abilities, team-player skills and so on).
Just go through these
tips for surviving, and scoring, in a team interview.
CREATE A MENTAL PICTURE OF YOURSELF
self-confidence by seeing yourself as star performer who's a cut above.
See yourself answering with elan the questions you expect. Then replay
your answers and ask yourself these questions:
- How interesting were
- Did most of your
responses begin the same way?
- Did you use 'we'
often, suggesting team-player attributes?
- Are there traces of
humour in your responses?
GIVE VARIETY TO YOUR ANSWERS
- Remember you might be
interviewed by different panels. Don't give a stock answer to all of
them. They'll be comparing notes.
- Repackage your skills
so that they sound different. If you're showcasing project X as your
major achievement in your present job before one team, talk about
project B before another interview panel.
- A technical team will
tune in to techie talk; an HR team would rather hear about your
- Pull out the stops on
your group management and group presentation skills.
- Interviewers are people after all. Look for the personality type
underscoring each interviewer.
- Then try
and connect with each one of them without getting personal. Usually the
best way to make contact is to project values that you feel you can
share with your interviewers.
PREPARE FOR STRESS
- You'll be up against
a time crunch in a team interview.
one-on-ones, the interviewer might be taking notes, allowing you little
breathers. No such luck with four people firing questions at you. Use
stress control techniques to soothe your nerves. You might even use the
extra adrenaline to sharpen your responses.
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS
- Research is integral
to a good interview performance. Find out as much about you can about
the company concerned. Browse the Net, check company reports, put
together news clips.
- Armed with your
background brief, ask relevant questions about the company.
- If you think you have
a bright idea about any ongoing activity, try this: "Did the company
consider this option ..."