1 interviewer and 1 interviewee(this is the conventional format of interview)
In a personal interview we will be able to assess the interpersonal skills in a thorough manner.The interview can be driven in any direction as per the likings of the interviewers or interviewee.This way the interview can be really productive in case the job position is for a customer facing role.The reason is that any customer facing role will entail a higher amount of people skills to interact with customer,which is exactly the reason to have a personal interview.
A personal interview will be difficult to evaluate in case of a highly specific or a technical role.The reason is that a single person cannot evaluate the technical and personal aspects of a person thoroughly.The person taking the interview may be able to superficially evaluate the person in both technical and people skills.
– 2 or more interviewers and 1 interviewee
The interview panel will consist of multiple interviewers with each person having a different expertise.In this case,every interviewer will have the task of assessing the person in their specialty.The evaluation may be more thorough on every aspect as every member has a great deal of knowledge in their respective fields.
The panel would have to decide the agenda for evaluation before the interview starts.Every interviewer would have to agree on the weightage of skills required for the Job role.Interviewers should make sure that no single one of them takes majority of the time.There should be a very good understanding among interviewers to complete the interview smoothly.
- 1 interviewer and 2 or more interviewees
This process is of a great advantage from the interviewer's stand point.The group interview is used as a process of elimination.The point of this interview to try and check if the person is suitable to carry any further interview process.There are a lot of things that can be assessed from this interview.We can easily try and see the confidence a person is showing during this interview.It takes a lot of confidence in talking in front of interviewers and moreover in front of peers who are competing for the same designation as you.
The process may not have a clear agenda or flow.In this process the interviewer may call people randomly and ask random questions to throw out of balance.There may not be linear flow of process in terms of evaluation.There are some candidates who may loose out on the opportunity due to the inconsistency in the process.
In a group Interview let us focus on the Panel Interview.Here a group Interviewers,usually with different skill set will try to evaluate you for example:
Panel may consist of a technical person and HR, so both of them will evaluate in their area of expertise.There can be many such combinations of panel based of the profession or sector for which you are being interviewed(IT,BFSI,Consulting ....)
The following aspects are evaluated, questioned and decided upon by the panel mostly:
Interviewers will look at the graduation ,post graduation and certifications that a person has gone through.They will try to find the most suitable set of candidates in some cases by preliminarily by selecting or eliminating based on qualification.
The interviewer will try to evaluate the basic traits to see the compatibility of the candidate to the organization and role offered by the organization.The way interviewers go about it is being seeing basic traits like body language,introversion or extroversion.Let us take an example,If let us say the role that is being offered by the organization requires a lot of people's skills we would want to go for a person who is an extrovert.It is not a guarantee that an extrovert will have high people skills but will definitely be a significant factor in striking a conversation.
Interviewers would want to look at the clarity of communication during the interview.this is significant because communication skills play an important role in any organization due to inter departmental tasks and inter departmental communication.Communication skills are a significant parameter in seeing the clarity of thought a person has in putting his views forward.
This is one of the most important skill any and every professional should possess.All organization are split into teams and team comprise of members.Interpersonal skills are very important to build communication channel among other teams and among your own team members.
This pertains to the core knowledge that a person possess .Interviewers can test the technical knowledge like some technology like C,C++ or Java.The knowledge can also be functional knowledge like Finance or Manufacturing.
Try to look at or make eye contact with each interviewers when multiple people are conducting your interview . There may be some silent spectators in the interview and you do not want to neglect them completely.The easiest way is to give maximum attention to the person asking the question and divide the rest of the attention carefully among the other interviewers.
Make sure you are not conscious about the fact the some interviewers are not paying attention to you or making eye contact with you.Some interviewers just like to sit and observe.These interviewers may be part of the human resource team .They may check you attitude ,body language among other things they want to evaluate.We don't have to completely ignore this interviewers,it is just that we can try to make the same effort to make an eye contact with this one as the other panel members.Please do not be surprised if the silent interviewer does not reciprocate the same.
Just to confuse you the interviewers will simultaneously ask you questions.You can just organize the questions as per your comfort and answer one question at a time and get back to the other.Do not make the question of answering each question partially and moving to the next question.
This is very normal for interviewers to do this.The array of questions in a series may actually cause stress among the interviewee and throw them off guard.We can take a note of all questions and try answering each one of the questions by spending some significant time in each of theses questions.Make sure that the time spent is evenly distributed among all the other questions and not one question.We have the habit of rushing through the answers because we want to complete the answers.Understand that the interviewers are trying to test your stress handling capability by throwing multiple questions at you.If you look at it they are trying to give you a taste of an organization.The way we handle these questions shows how we can tackle one question at a time and not loose scope of all the other tasks at hand.
A single question may come from different panel members in different ways.You should try and answer the question how they want to hear it.For example Challenges faced int the previous project.Here to be on the safer side we can list down the technical and HR based challenges so that we can satisfy both panel members.Be careful as this will lead to question from both panel members.be ready to handle an array of questions.
To answer questions with a perspective might be a bit tricky.The panel may have different interviewers wanting different answers.We would have to first assess the question and try to find out what is expected from the question.If the question is completely technical then no problem just go ahead and answer the question with all confidence.If the question is a HR question then take your best shot at answering the question.The tricky questions are the ones that have multiple perspectives to the answer.To handle these questions we would have to cover each and every aspect of the question.In case the question is techno functional question then answer the technical part first to establish that you know the answer.After you establish the basics right then go ahead and answer the managerial part of the question.These questions are actually beneficial for both the interviewer and interviewee as it gives a rounded answer about a concept rather than just the technical or functional part.
You are confident and comfortable with the area of work you are so far involved. You can handle any tricky situation and any person without affecting the working relationship with that person and at the same getting the work done to the benefit of the organization.
All the interviewers look at the confidence a candidate possess while answering questions.The main reason for a candidate to exhibit confidence is clear indication about the clarity of concepts that a candidate has.There is clear understanding that a person can be confident only and only if he has his basic concepts right.Make sure that whatever answers you give just give it with confidence.
An experienced and successful person should have this quality in abundance. The policy of opening of mouth or ear one at a time and not both at a time is crucial for smooth functioning of your department and work place. At the interview table, before you venture responding, just paraphrase if there is an iota of doubt in the query. This will help clear the air and will not be interrupted in case the query was misunderstood by you in the first place.
Make sure that you are not in a hurry to answer the question.First try and hear the questions by an interviewer and also any add ons that other interviewers will want to include.Make sure you clear all the small doubts that you have in the questions if any.Now go about answering the question in any sequence you deem appropriate.Make sure you never interrupt an interviewer while he is conducting the interview.
The position you are being looked at is for a Team Lead or for Managerial slot,always respond where in your previous Organization you had demonstrated leadership skills or solution provider skills.The interview has multiple panel because they want to test your various aspects as a leader and how you handle different situations
It is very important for a person to take charge.The way we handle multiple interviewers shows the kind of confidence we have and also the will to handle any situation at hand.
A leader should be able to prioritize the work and make decisions in a jiffy.Even in a group interview you should be able to prioritize the question their answers and also make good decisions.
Think and start responding – allow a pause to begin – some interviewers give a pause for sentences giving an impression that question is over – then start again – if you are not a good listener, you would have started answering and there will be overlap. This can be avoided – look the interviewer in the eye and that will indicate that you can start.
Try to have patience during the interview process.Most of us have the process of jumping up to answer a familiar question.We have the habit of spontaneously answering the question once we hear the question without waiting for the interviewer to add something to it even if he wanted to,which is really a bad habit .We all get it that we should use the opportunity with spontaneity but not at the cost of interrupting the interviewer from asking the question.Always try to give a pause after you have heard the question.This way you know the question is over and on the brighter side you get some time to contemplate your thoughts.
As an experienced and technically sound person, you would excel in the interview provided you keep the above four critical aspects in mind.