Interview Panel

Started by Kythia, February 07, 2014, 10:53:44 AM

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So, I'm sitting on an interview panel in a couple of weeks, first time I've done it and I have little to no idea what to do.  We have an internal policy book but all it does is tell you what to do not how to do it.  "Use appropriate questions to assess the applicant's suitability for the role."  Yeah, cheers for that, internal policy book.

So beyond the obvious (Wearing clothes?  Check.  Not carrying blood drenched axe?  Check) what do you actually do?  I mean, in theory at least anyone we interview has the skills to do the job because, you know, that's why we've called them to interview.  What the hell is an interview panel actually looking for and how do you find it?  I've spoken with my line manager but he, despite his numerous excellent points and willingness to continue paying me, hasn't been much help.


What kind of position are you hiring for?

I found this article that might be of some help, or at least give you a good start.
ʙᴜᴛᴛᴇʀғʟɪᴇs ᴀʀᴇ ɢᴏᴅ's ᴘʀᴏᴏғ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴇ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ sᴇᴄᴏɴᴅ ᴄʜᴀɴᴄᴇ ᴀᴛ ʟɪғᴇ
ᴠᴇʀʏ sᴇʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇʟʏ ᴀᴠᴀɪʟᴀʙʟᴇ ғᴏʀ ɴᴇᴡ ʀᴏʟᴇᴘʟᴀʏs

ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ❋ ғᴏʀ ɪᴅᴇᴀs; 'ø' ғᴏʀ ᴏɴs&ᴏғғs, ᴏʀ ᴘᴍ ᴍᴇ.
{ø 𝕨 
  𝕒 }
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I am assuming your company is hiring because it has needs this position is meant to fill.  Can you form those needs into questions?

"What are some things you would consider to increase output?"
"How would you suggest motivating a team to meet deadlines?"
"List some steps you would take to improve our public image."


Thanks for the article Caeli, some nice ways to get started there.  And thanks for the hints, MisterMischief.  I guess I actually need to read this job description and get my head round what we're hiring them to do.


Don't let them find out if you've got an internal candidate you favor.

Lord Mayerling

Are you part of a for-profit or not-for-profit organization?


You'll also want to be sure you understand what sorts of questions you're not allowed to ask.  If I recall you're not in the U.S., so our list of no-nos will be of no use to you, but your own country/labor department may have similar guidelines in place.  They're meant to prevent the interviewer from disqualifying candidates based upon certain discriminating criteria, but the sort of questions that are disallowed can be very innocent - for instance, "How old are you?".

Other than that, the other posters have given you very good advice so far.  It may be helpful to formulate questions as a result of why you are hiring for this position. I would use past experiences or stressful situations that had occurred in my store and turn them into "What would you do if...?" scenarios for prospective employees.  Granted, I was hiring for a coffee shop, which doesn't have the steepest learning curve in the industrial world - but it did help me identify individuals who could think critically on their feet, and weren't afraid to take initiative.

Regardless, interviews are always such a drag, especially in this environment where so many people are hungry to work.  I wish you a lot of luck.

Status as of March 5th: In like a lion - only one response outstanding


I am worlds apart from the rest of the world , but doing interviews is basically a monthly chore for me.

- Ask for a little bit of in-depth in regards to the experiences they listed in their resume.
- Ask about their expectation from this job ( Helps you know whose a flake from a serious applicant. )
- Ask about their capacity to handle the job in question. Be specific if you have to. ( This will help you avoid unnecessary complications when they flunk. )

There's too many ways to handle an interview but these are usually the questions I always include.

Avoid \

- Answering any question that doesn't not fall under your responsibilities at work. ( Some applicants can be curious and answering these questions might lead to unnecessary complications. ) Instead inform them who they should ask in regards to their inquiry.

- Lingering on any point during the interview no matter how important it is.

- Some applicants are more interested in certain aspects of the position they applied to. So avoid fixating on these and be general and thorough about everything the position entitles.

These may seem like obvious simple points. But They became carved in my head due to many many mistakes in the past. >.>

Hope that helps.


LM - Not for profit

Martee - Thanks.  I need to come up with a list of questions and get HR to OK them so I'm hoping that's part of what they're going to be doing.

Formless - awesome, thanks.  That kinda handy list of "don't do this"s is really useful.


This is not helpful, but good luck.


It certainly is, Elina.  Thank you.

Lord Mayerling

I would start with...

Tell us about yourself...

A lot of people will trip over this question because it's so broad. It's an easy way to spot winners from also-rans.

Then move onto...

What are your goals for your career?

How do you think your skills and past experience make you a good fit for the position?

Where do you see yourself career-wise five years from now?

What's your biggest professional strength?

What's your biggest professional weakness?

What are your ideas for furthering our organizational goals within the position?

What motivates you?

How do your ethics/morals fit into your idea of the position?


While I detest them with a passion matched by few, you might also want to see if it's a competency based application. From what I recall you're in the UK and they seem to be the "go to" thing for recruiting these days.

"Competency based" is essentially "tell me about a time you... demonstrated leadership/were an effective part of the team/showed an original solution to a problem/managed a tight deadline" etc etc. It's in essence a formalised version of a "normal" interview where you ask for examples from their past which indicate they'd be effective in the role. If the application includes things like "the successful candidate will have to demonstrate leadership level 1, teamwork level 2 and organisation level 5" it's likely competency based.


I've had one job interview in my whole life.  I'm reading this thread, very grateful that I own my own business.  I don't know if I could sell myself to an employer.


I have sat on several myself, more for my Technical Role rather than Inter-personal skills which I should admit are not the best.

A lot of what you need to ask or consider will be related to the role, but when it comes to a technical role, sometimes they are the least important questions.

However - do not assume that getting to the interview stage, means they have the skills to do the job.   Sometimes it just means they are able to write a document that says they have the skills.   I have seen some interviews for jobs that have only had a small number of applicants - pretty much meaning everyone was interviewed, and others that based on resumes were filtered down to a short list - and failed to have the skills.     Qualifications doesn't mean they have the Experience or knowledge.

I could easily spend my time and get the Microsoft, Cisco, Apple qualifications - and yet be unable to do many of the key tasks as I would be studying to the test, rather than knowing the systems.  And in many cases - the answer for each of them, is the "Microsoft" "Cisco" or "Apple" answer, and when translated into a workplace, not the most appropriate answer.   I am not an in depth specialist in any of them, but I can manage an environment and adapt to multiple platforms utilising a mix of all three solutions if it meets the requirements.     MCSE or Cisco qualifications while great on paper, don't mean everything.     I have asked a question before of a qualified tech - whats the diff between x and y config - one much easier to configure, setup and maintain, and the other and they have been unable to answer what the difference is.   Sometimes being able to adapt, to be prepared to look on google and admit you don't know something is better for the role, than having the qualification.

How does someone work, how they think through various tasks might be an example.   Give them several tasks with conflicting priorities and see how their train of thought works.


Panel as're being interviewed by a multiple of interviewers? will be one of multiple interviewees?

Strategies change depending on this.


Quote from: Praxis on February 10, 2014, 08:46:05 AM
Panel as're being interviewed by a multiple of interviewers? will be one of multiple interviewees?

Strategies change depending on this.

Sorry, none of the above.

I will be one of multiple interviewers