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interview guide
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Employer's Interview Guide, Part 3
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Employer\'s Interview Guide, Part 3

Part 3 Introduction

This article is Part 3 of 6. Please see the other 5 parts published at the street articles website.

Part 1 – Importance of an Interview; Structured vs. Unstructured Interviews

Part 2 – Behavior-based Interview Approach; Panel Interview Format

Part 3 – Panel Interview Format (cont’d)

Part 4 – Preparing for the Interview; Conducting the Interview

Part 5 – Conducting the Interview (cont’d); Closing the Interview

Part 6 – Core Interview Materials; Legal Considerations; Confidentiality

Panel Interview Format (cont’d)

The panel interview format should include four to seven panelists. A larger panel can be intimidating to the applicant and unwieldy to manage.

One interviewer should serve as the facilitator or manager. This is critical. While all of the panelists should participate in the questioning, the role of each panelist, including his or her questioning sequence and set of questions, must be clearly assigned.

The panel interview facilitator should have experience with interviewing. His or her role is one of process management, including the following responsibilities:

• Ensure that the panelists have appropriate materials and information to conduct the interview;

• Assign interview questions to the panelists;

• Help the panelists transition between interview questions to ensure that a flow is maintained within the allotted time;

• After the interview, facilitate a discussion with the panelists regarding the applicant’s responses to the questions, job-related qualifications, and ratings for each competency assessed;

• Facilitate a discussion with the panelists to rank the applicants; and

• Collect interview evaluation forms from the panelists to become part of the interview records.

Panel interview members are more effective when they are prepared in advance for their respective roles. The panelists should meet as a team at least 30 minutes before the start of a panel interview session for a briefing on 1) the backgrounds of the applicants, 2) the job requirements, 3) the targeted competencies, 4) the interview agenda and sequence of questioning, 5) the specific assignment of interview questions to panelists, and 6) the responsibilities of the panel interview facilitator.

No single panel member should dominate the discussion. Each panelist should observe, assess, record, and rate each applicant individually.

Care must be taken to avoid making the panel interview session feel like a hostile interrogation to an applicant, unless the ability to effectively deal with adversity and hostile situations is a targeted competency purposely built into the interview experience.

Remember to allow the applicant an opportunity to ask questions. And, he or she should be thanked for participating in the interview. Remember, the applicant will also be conducting their assessment of the organization. Each applicant must be treated as a welcomed guest.

A panel interview can be a very effective means of exploring an applicant’s qualifications for a job when it is properly organized and managed. Keep it in mind as an alternative to the one-to-one interview format, especially if setting aside enough time for all interviewers to participate is a challenge.


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