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Group Interviews and Panel Interviews - Are they the Same?

Group Interviews and Panel Interviews - Are they the Same?

Although sometimes both terms are used interchangeably, they are not the same. 

What Is a Group Interview?

This kind of encounter gathers a group of applicants at the same time. It responds to a different objective from a one-on-one interview. It indeed saves the organization hours and hours of individual interviews. Still, it is also true that an interview like this gives the employer a different insight into each candidates communication skills and how they deal with stressful situations. It mainly focuses on intervieweesattitudes, behavior, and interaction, communication skills put into real practice interacting with other candidates.

Essential Tips for a Group Interview

  • Do your best to look relaxed, not informal. If the same questions are posed to everyone and the person before you said what you meant to say, then upgrade your answer.
  • You will probably be given a task to solve with the other applicants. Be a game player, listening to others, speaking in turn, etc. Try not to feel tempted to dominate the scene to stand out nor to fade away, letting the others cloud you.
  • They will probably focus on characteristics such as empathy, attention to others, critical thinking, problem-solving.
  • Remember: Behavior and interpersonal communication skills, verbal and non-verbal, are the keys.

What Is a Panel Interview?

A Panel Interview, on the other hand, consists of a panel of interviewers or a committee that meets with only one candidate at a time. A panel interview is generally part of the hiring process in academia and takes place the day the interviewee visits the college campus. There is usually a person in charge that leads the questions, while the others ask follow-up questions. For example, while the leader may ask you to talk about a difficult situation and how you solved it, a panelist might go on asking why you chose that particular experience and how you decided what to tell and what not to tell about it.

What is productive about a panel interview is that each member will have a different approach to the candidates same attributes, which will give them a deeper insight into his or her capacities to fit into the institution. The panelists will also like to see the interviewees reaction to rapid questioning.

Essential tips for a Panel Interview

  • By contrast to a group interview, in a panel interview, you are all alone, and all the eyes are set on you. So, communication should be adapted to your audience.  You need to mold your wording and expositions to the level of their understanding.
  • Different interviewers with different perspectives and interests may give you the chance to pick those points you would like to develop on your advantage. So, stay attentive to grasp the opportunity.
  • Speak with confidence but not arrogance. Keep in mind that the people in front of you are your future colleagues and, they already are where you want to be.
  • They will probably focus on your professionalism, critical thinking, knowledge, motivation, oral expression, and interpersonal communication.

One-on-one, group, panel interviews. All you can do is to make yourself ready the best you can to minimize contingencies.  You do your part, and the rest depends on God, fate, or whatever or whoever you believe in.