The job interview is perhaps the most stressful of all the steps involved in an employee’s job search. What could be more distressing than being asked about your journey by a group of strangers interrogating you? That is very much what happens during a panel interview (also known as a board interview), which involves a group of senior employers from a company auditioning an applicant.
However, panel interviews can be advantageous for employers and recruiting professionals alike. This interview method, which is often formal and organized, is commonly employed in academia and government, by small and large organizations, and by high-level executives.
What is a Panel Interview?
A panel interview is when three or more persons interview a candidate at the same time, taking turns asking questions from a predetermined list. Many HR experts have assumed that panel interviews yielded the most remarkable results. The procedure was fair, quick, and appeared collegial, and because there were so many people participating, it was guaranteed to end in the correct hire.
The panel interview, unlike any other employment tool, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. And if you don’t use it strategically or in the correct settings, you could end up having some unfavorable outcomes in your hiring process. Before deciding on a panel interview style, weigh the benefits to see if it is the most effective format for your hiring situation and determine whether it will provide a great experience for potential candidates.
Who benefits more from a panel interview – the employer or the employee?
It is hard and a bit too soon to form a conclusion about a panel interview in today’s fast-paced world. Since the deadly pandemic hit the world, approximately 114 million people lost their jobs during 2020. However, the situation seems relatively better now as we are nearing the end of 2021. Many companies and businesses made their recruitment processes swift as they wanted to fill the labor gaps as soon as possible.
Usually, an employer interviews 6-10 people for a position, with each candidate going through at least two or three rounds of interviews before receiving an offer. Keep in mind, this is the minimum number of rounds. For many job seekers, an invitation to a second or third interview may feel like a positive sign or the precursor to an offer. But what happens when they call in you for a fourth, fifth, or even sixth round? The candidates are never sure how close they are to the ‘final’ interview? It is a big red flag that is most likely going to turn down your potential applicants.
That is why, to avoid this hassle, panel interviews are utilized as an alternate and effective method. They work well for the employer and also favor the employee by saving him from the lack of certainty after a one-on-one round of never-ending interviews.
Benefits of a Panel Interview
For the recruiter and candidate, there are numerous advantages of going for a panel interview. Some of the main benefits are mentioned below.
As mentioned above, panel interviews will do a massive favor to both parties. They won’t be as mentally taxing as cluelessly waiting for something. If an employer spends 30 to 60 minutes on one candidate, he will get tired after getting only 2-3 people interviewed in a day.
However, a panel interview allows the firm to conduct at least 5-6 interviews in a day. That is mainly because of the involvement of multiple people. Furthermore, the applicant can meet many people at a time.
No biases involved
With one-on-one interviews, there are chances that people can have their personal biases. Panel interviews completely rule out the possibility of such things. Since there are many interviewers in a panel interview, there is no room for any form of favoritism. That is a benefit to both the interviewee and the business in terms of selecting the best applicant for the job.
Multiple perspectives result in improved assessment
When multiple interviewers sit in a panel, the candidate will be interviewed from diverse perspectives. As a result, the candidate would be evaluated more effectively than if only one person had interviewed them.
A panel interview has the advantage of providing a thorough examination of the candidate. The questions raised will have a unique perspective, which will aid the candidate’s assessment and selection. Lastly, the panel has a chance to discuss the candidates post interview, providing various opinions and thoughts on each.
The employee gets familiar with the work culture
The work culture of every company differs from one another. After a candidate has gone through a panel interview, they will have a better understanding of the team and a sense of the company’s culture and senior employee expectations. As a result, such interviews assist them in becoming informed about the team and the overall environment that they may be a part of in the future. On the contrary, with one-on-one interviews, the candidate only meets one employer of the firm. That may leave them less educated and possibly confused about the whole culture and expectations associated with him.
Although there can be some challenges associated with panel interviews, the advantages will outweigh those for many organizations. Especially during these times of the Great Resignation and tight labor market, finding and hiring candidates quickly is more important than ever. Panel interviews can provide employers with an opportunity to fill roles more efficiently, saving both time and money.