The Importance of Asking Questions in a Panel Interview

panel interview

March 2, 2023

Are you ready to rock your panel interview and stand out among the competition? Asking thoughtful questions can help you do just that! But, let’s face it – walking into a panel interview can feel like you’re being interrogated. But don’t let that get you down! Remember, interviews are a two-way street and employers use panel interviews to gather group consensus on a candidate.

One way to show them that you’re confident and interested in the role is to ask thoughtful questions. This will help you get to know your potential employer better, offer insight into the organization, and most importantly, show that you’re excited about the job opportunity. Plus, asking questions can make the interview feel more like a conversation and show off your personality.

When to ask questions during an interview can vary depending on the panel. It’s best to check with your point of contact in advance to determine when it’s appropriate to ask questions. Or, if there doesn’t seem to be a clear process, look for an appropriate break in the conversation to ask if they have time for you to ask a few questions.

But what if the time doesn’t present itself to ask questions? No problem! Make sure you have a two-minute closing statement ready to go. This should include anything the panel may not have asked while addressing any obvious issues on your resume, expressing why you want the position, and explaining why you’re the best candidate.

When deciding what types of questions to ask, think about what you need to know in order to say “yes” if offered the job. Consider questions about culture, staff, peers, and room for growth and advancement. Also, take into consideration the organization’s goals, values, and foreseeable challenges or opportunities.

But don’t forget, doing your homework is crucial. Research the company before the interview and generate a variety of questions that will show the employer that you’re a thoughtful candidate.

Sample questions to ask in a panel interview

  1. As leaders in this organization, what type of culture and environment are you working toward? If I asked your staff this same question, what would they say?
  2. What are the biggest challenges that this role will be tackling in the first six months? What does success in this role look like after one year?
  3. What are some areas of improvement for this team?
  4. What do you find most rewarding about working for this organization?
  5. How would you describe the team that I will be managing if I were to be offered this position? Where are their strengths and where do they need assistance?

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