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The Positives of Panel Interviews

AHI's Hiring and Retention Alert

When it comes time to interview an applicant, it won't matter whether he/she sent his/her résumé electronically or through snail mail. What will matter is conducting a well-organized interview that provides you with a true picture of the applicant.

To that end, many employers are choosing to conduct panel interviews. Here's why.

* Panel interviews typically make both parties less nervous. It is commonly seen as a casual conversation, rather than a one-on-one interrogation. Candidates often revel in the opportunity to showcase how they interact with others. And weak interviewers like the fact there are others to fall back on and support them.

* Panel interviews save time. Instead of the scheduling nightmare of three different persons interviewing one candidate in sequence, group interviews allow all hiring decision-makers to get to know the applicant in a one- or two-hour span.

* Panel interviews often provide a more accurate assessment of the candidate's qualifications. That's because interviewers can listen to what the applicant is saying and not worry about what question he/she will ask next because chances are good someone on the panel will have a question to ask or comment to make.

* Panel interviews characteristically lead to more revealing answers. While one interviewer may ask a basic question, another often asks a follow-up, forcing the applicant to clarify what he/she means. Interviewers are less likely to judge a candidate on a single phrase or sentence, and there is less likelihood of misunderstanding because after all the probing it should be clear what the applicant really means. In one-on-one interviews, the hiring manager often fails to think of follow-up questions because he/she is too concerned with asking the next question on the list.


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