Are Panel Interviews Actually Better?

July 25, 2018
Robert Sanders
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 Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes

 Panel-Interviews_website

 

  • According to an empirical research study, individual interviews are more valid for determining the potential of an applicant, and if they’ll be a good fit for your company.
  • Yes a study revealed that one on one interviews are better for determining the potential and validity of if that applicant will work out. But it’s all about finding what works for your company and how you like to find the right applicants.

Have you ever heard the term “Avengers, assemble?” No? Well you’re missing out on some great movies! But the phrase comes from a group of super heroes who “assemble” whenever there’s a task that requires the heroes to come together. Does that sound like you and your coworkers when interviews come around? Or does the task of interviewing not require your team to “assemble?” Does your company instead like to do one on one interviews? If so, that brings up the question…which is better: panel interviews or one-on-one interviews?

Well, that’s where I come in. Because we’re about to talk about *drum roll begins* panel interviews! Panel interviews are similar to individual, face-to-face interviews, but instead there are 2 or more interviewers conducing the interview. So, is panel interviewing better than one-on-one interviews? Let’s find out!

 

 

 

The Pros     

What exactly are the pros for panel style interviewing? I mean, there definitely has to be some, right? Well here’s a list for you…see what you think!

 

The Advantages

  • No personal biases
  • The opportunity to compare different opinions
  • More opportunities to take notes (while others talk)
  • All relevant people meet at the same time
  • Weak interviewers now have backup
  • The candidate gets to meet everyone

A little tid bit to remember if you do panel interviews is that one person should lead the interview. Have that one person asking all the main questions, while the other interviewers follow up with more-in depth questions about each topic. Since there are more people involved in the interview, expect for the interview to last at least 45 minutes. This will help you determine whether or not the candidate is really right for the position. If it’s a great interview, it could potentially last longer than an hour. If that’s the case, the candidate must really be doing something right if they have the ability to engage everyone in the interview for that long of an amount of time.  

  

Now For The Cons

Of course with the good, you have to take the bad. Or in this case, "the cons". So lets not dwindle too long on this one, and just hop right in!

 

The Disadvantages

  • Interviewers could get complacent
  • It could be overwhelming for the candidate
  • There’s a risk of disagreement
  • Interviewers could interrupt each other, in an attempt to accomplish dominance (This is where my tid bit from above comes into place)

 ppppp

 

After reading about the cons, of course there are reasons to want to steer away, but don’t make your decision just yet. Lets first find out what applicants think of panel interviews.

 

Well What Do Applicants Think?  

It’s probably not a bad idea to consider what applicants think about panel interviews. Seeing how they’re the ones who actually have to go through them, right? I’ve had multiple panel interviews as well as multiple one-on-one interviews and I’d have to say that I love panel interviews. It gives me a better opportunity to get the position because I have more opportunities to impress one of the interviewers.

Let me elaborate. When there’s a one-on-one interview, I have just one shot to get that one person to be convinced that I’m the right person for the job. It’s like shooting a free throw, if I only get one shot and I don’t make it... that’s it. But if I get multiple shots then I have more chances to make the free throw. When there’s more people in an interview, I see it as having more shots to get the position. If there’s three people interviewing me, I now can impress two people and increase my chances of getting the position.

But the exact reason why I like panel interviews is the exact reason why Hank Zerbe, Director of Communications and Digital Strategy, does not.

 

“They’re very awkward. It’s hard to build a connection with just one person, and in a panel interview you have to build that connection with multiple people.”

 

So which is actually better? The two examples are coming at the situation from both ends of the spectrum. Still leaving us with the question at hand…”Are panel interviews actually better?”

 

  

But Is It Actually Better?

Are panel interviews actually better than the traditional one-on-one interview? According to an empirical research study, individual interviews are more valid for determining the potential of an applicant, and if they’ll be a good fit for your company. The study evaluated 23,308 people in individual and panel interviews, and one-on-one interviews was the winner.

So what does this mean for you? Well, honestly, nothing. Yes a study revealed that one-on-one interviews are better for determining the potential and validity of whether or not that applicant will be a good fit, but it’s all about finding out what works for your company and how you like to find the right applicants. So keep that in mind before you decide to change your entire strategy for hiring.      

 

Great Questions To Ask If You Decide To Do Panel Interviews  

Did I lose you? Hopefully not! If you’re still interested in conducing panel interviews, check out some of my favorite questions to ask when conducting your next panel interview. Just make sure to remember my little tid bit from earlier!

  • How are you at handling tight deadlines for projects and task where there is minimal supervision?
  • What’s the worst mistake you made in your previous position? How did you go about correcting the mistake?
  • Let's imagine that you are introducing a new policy or project to your co-workers and employees and you know it’s not going to be taken very well. How will you handle the situation?
  • Why do you think you’re a good fit for this company? (This one is my personal favorite!) 

These questions are going to be great for getting a general idea of the type of worker the potential applicant will be. It also covers topics and answers questions that will answer more than one specific person’s question. Make sure to keep that in mind when conducting a panel interview. There’s time where one of the interviewers will need to ask a specific question for their notes, but try to ask questions that will invoke a response that will answer questions that all the interviewers might want to know. You’re having a panel interview, make the most of it!  

 

Closing Thoughts 

We’d love to know what you think, or answer any questions you may have. Please leave a comment below to tell us your thoughts. To learn more, or if you have any questions, please email me at rsanders@validityscreening.com. For more great blogs and content please subscribe to our blogs here.



Robert Sanders

Written by Robert Sanders

Robert is our Marketing Executive. He is innovative, a creative thinker, and very good at digging into a problem to find the right answer for every topic. Robert speaks on various topics and brings about a lot of interesting points in different areas of business development and human resources. Robert loves to push the envelope and bring awareness to different issues and is also the voice of our podcast "The Water Cooler Podcast" .