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Old 01-16-2014, 12:19 AM
71 posts, read 226,345 times
Reputation: 47


I have an upcoming panel interview on a conference call with 3 managers. I'm mostly used to one on one phone interviews. Having 3 on the line is a bit nerve wrecking as I'm not the most eloquent speaker and I also have a bit of an accent.

It's scheduled for one hour long. I'm mostly used to 30 minute calls. Any advice on preparation and how to do well on a panel interview?
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:53 AM
Location: MN
1,305 posts, read 1,408,003 times
Reputation: 1578
Do NOT be intimidated!

My first panel interview was for a scholarship. I was 17 years old. When I walked into the room I had to remember to breathe and remind myself of why I was there. The purpose of a panel interview is to have the same questions asked of you in a regular interview, except different people want to see how you respond because they will interpret them differently. It's also to see how you do under pressure.

A conference call isn't going to be the same as a group interview in person. One thing to remember is with a phone interview, you can have notes with you (just don't shuffle around papers too loudly) and you can have your computer up with some reminders and docs open (just don't click away).

The best way to prepare is to gather as many interview questions as possible and look at the responses to them. If you do a web search you will find many ways to answer various questions. As with all interviews, there is always a real reason behind the question. Have notes with your responses prepared ahead of time, as this will help you answer the questions.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:15 AM
Location: San Francisco
2,279 posts, read 3,923,178 times
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If possible, do the phone interview in an environment where you can stand up rather than sitting. You'll sound more confident. Your energy level will also be higher. And smile - it'll come through in your voice and personality.

Something I like to do with phone interviews to avoid having to shuffle papers around is print off a copy of my resume/CV in large font (as well as any other key talking points I want to cover) and tape them to the wall at eye level. (Keep this to a reasonable amount; you don't want to be taping 15 sheets of paper to the wall. You just want brief things -- maybe a short list of projects you're really proud of, or a few key points from your "elevator speech". You also might want a short list of questions to ask the interviewer.

I also recommend making sure you're comfortably but professionally dressed. There's a temptation to just do a phone interview in your PJs or in sweats (if you do the interview at home). I firmly believe that making sure you're dressed the way you'd dress if it was an in-person interview helps put you in a good frame of mind.

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:13 AM
269 posts, read 300,731 times
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I had a phone interview just last week with 3 people. It was fairly short so not too bad - all they really wanted to do was make sure that I had the technical skills that I claimed to have before calling me in for a face to face interview.

Just be yourself, and if you don't hear a question properly, ask them to repeat it.

If it's scheduled to be an hour long I would prepare for it the same way as a face to face interview. Go over the job description and make notes about how you fit the skills and experience they are looking for. Rehearse and practice and make sure you have a list of questions to ask them. Google possible questions relevant to the role.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:29 AM
2,285 posts, read 3,107,526 times
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Think of it as three separate 20 minute phone interviews. Problem solved.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:36 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,749 posts, read 54,373,866 times
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Every interview I have had, and most that I have done as a manager were panels of 3-4 people. An advantage you have is being able to jot down notes and refer to the application, resume, and requirements as you go without them knowing it, as long as you have no long pauses. In most cases the interviewers are just going to take turns asking questions, so it can be treated as though it's only one interviewer, though there may be more follow-up/clarification questions. We schedule all interviews whether ion person or phone one hour apart, but hope for them to be completed in 45-50 minutes.
Be well prepared so it's not 15 minutes, but don't ramble on either.

If you are tempted to use the internet to search before answering a difficult question, make sure they don't hear the keyboard clicking!
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:18 AM
71 posts, read 226,345 times
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I have the interview tomorrow and I'm still nervous

I'm not used to an hour long interviews as I barely even filled 30 minute interview calls.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:04 AM
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It will be fine, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. No one has ever died from an interview as far as I know.

Listen to each question; make sure you understand it; take a second to collect your thoughts and answer. Don't feel like you have to blurt something out just to talk. I know someone told you no long pauses, but a short pause to collect yourself think and answer is fine and will seem much longer to you than it will to them.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:07 PM
805 posts, read 2,088,227 times
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Definitely stand up while doing a phone interview. Be sure there are no distractions.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:05 PM
149 posts, read 300,883 times
Reputation: 100
Don't worry about your accent! Most people are used to accents, it's no big deal.

Focus on making sure that you are not speaking too fast, and that your tone is positive. Where there is no body language involved, tone is very important.

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