New Pointers for Acing Panel Interviews from America's Career and Life Coach

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From phone interviews to lunch and dinner interviews, and even brainteaser interviews, employers are increasingly turning to various methods to screen job candidates. In her recently released book, Interview Magic, Second Edition, author Susan Britton Whitcomb shares inside secrets for how to ace each type of interview.

Today's job seekers have their work cut out for them. If they want to land a job offer they must pass not one, but multiple interviews. And chances are each stage will be different from the next.

From phone interviews, lunch and dinner interviews, and even brainteaser interviews, employers are increasingly turning to various methods to enhance their understanding of candidates' skills and personalities. One type of interview in particular--the panel interview--has gained popularity in the job search. Originally rooted in academia and health care, this interview type has made solid inroads into the corporate sector, according to Susan Britton Whitcomb, America's Career and Life Coach.

"A panel interview measures how you interact with other people, many of whom will be your supervisors and colleagues," advises Whitcomb in her recently released book Interview Magic, Second Edition. During a panel interview, a job seeker meets with two or more individuals who work for the potential employer. Often, these people are hiring managers, HR representatives, upper management and potential peers.

To achieve the best results during this type of interview, Whitcomb offers the following tips in her new book:

  • Ask the person setting up the interview, "Who will I be interviewing with and what are their job titles?" If possible, gather information on each of the panel members. Sometimes a Google search will bring up the relevant information you need.
  • Treat the interview like a business meeting and ask if it's okay to take notes. Jotting notes will allow you to remember important points and occasionally buy you a few extra moments response time to probing questions.
  • Take it one question at a time, one person at a time. Address each response primarily to the individual asking the question, while also making eye contact with the rest of the panel.
  • Look for the key decision-maker on the panel--he or she is often the person who is last to the meeting because of a busy schedule, or the person to whom all the other heads turn when there is a question.
  • When the floor is opened up for you to ask questions, address a question to each person on the panel.
  • Send a separate thank-you or follow-up note to each panel member.

In her book, Interview Magic, Whitcomb identifies the 14 other types of interviews and provides unique tips for how to ace each one. Armed with her guidance and insider strategies, job seekers will have everything they need to prepare for whatever challenge stands between them and a job offer.

Interview Magic, Second Edition, is available at all major bookstores and from the publisher ( or 1.800.648.JIST). For a free media copy or to speak with Susan Britton Whitcomb, contact Natalie Ostrom.

JIST, America's Career Publisher, is a division of EMC/Paradigm Publishing and is the leading publisher of job search, career, occupational information, life skills and character education books, workbooks, assessments, videos and software.


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Natalie Ostrom
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