Many companies shy away from panel interviews for numerous reasons. For example, some consider them too intimidating for candidates and are worried the extra pressure may turn them off of the company. Others have issues coordinating the schedules of several interviewers, making it seem as though multiple one-on-one interviews are the better option.
In fact, interview panels aren’t necessarily any more anxiety-inducing for job seekers than those completed individually. When properly arranged, panel interviews can be significantly more efficient than the one-on-one alternative.
If you have never considered using interview panels in your process, here is why you should reconsider.
In most cases, panel interviews are highly structured. Questions are selected in advance, and no single interviewer has the ability to skew the direction of the conversation. Since multiple people are involved, the effects of biases (whether conscious or unconscious) are generally minimized, giving every candidate an equal opportunity to succeed.
Panel interviews also lower the impact of poor first impressions. Instead of a single person assessing the job seeker and determining their fate, more than one interviewer is exposed to the same initial encounter, making it easier for strong candidates to overcome deficits created from a poor first impression.
When conducting several interviews, no single hiring manager is likely to remember every detail about each candidate. However, a panel of interviewers can rely on collective recall, increasing the odds of an accurate assessment once every meeting is complete. Often, this makes it easier to decide which person is truly best suited for the position, as key details aren’t forgotten simply because time has passed and one interviewer can only remember so much from each experience.
Increased Interviewing Skills
Not every professional is as strong an interviewer as the next. Typically, there are few opportunities to practice outside of conducting an actual interview, and many new managers aren’t exposed to the process by being able to observe someone else.
Panel interviews allow those with weaker skills to learn from managers with greater experience. It can also lower the level of awkwardness associated with a one-on-one setting, allowing new managers to increase their comfort level faster.
Better Understanding of the Environment
Candidates benefit from panel interviews as well, as it provides them with a glimpse into team dynamics and lets them meet more than one future manager or coworker. This can help them assess whether the culture and the personalities present are a good fit for them and if the job seeker is a right fit for the organization on a larger scale.
In the end, choosing to hold panel interviews can be a time saver and may lead to more positive results based on using a group’s assessment of the candidate instead of one individual’s perspective. It does require some additional organization on the part of the business but is typically well worth the effort.
Ready for more interviewing tips?
At PrideStaff, we understand the value of selecting the best job seeker for the position and how panel interviews can facilitate that goal. If you are interested in bringing in a new employee, our skilled staff members can help you fill any open position. Contact us to schedule some time with one of our knowledgeable recruitment specialists today.