Interviews can be frightening enough when it’s just you and your prospective manager, but getting the call for a board interview (or a ‘panel interview’) can be petrifying enough to make you regret applying in the first place.
Luckily, changing how you think about board interviews could leave you a lot more receptive to them in the long run. After all, they’re ultimately designed so that you can meet with the whole board which, in itself, takes your chances of success from one, to five or more.
Board meetings are also great from a security viewpoint, with the presence of whole teams of people preventing things like inappropriate questioning, employment bias, and even outright abusive conduct that can see solo managers facing down assault complaints with the help of a sexual offence solicitor.
With more people, there’s more accountability, more professionalism, and surprisingly, more comfort overall.
With only 14% of hiring managers feeling confident in their employment decisions, the presence of the board is also often as much for your manager’s sake as it is for yours. Everyone wants to make sure that this is the best possible pairing, after all.
So, instead of resisting the board interview, use it to boost your prospects in the following ways.
1 - Appeal to the full range of board members
In a board interview, you face a broad pool of interests and preferences. Instead of seeing this as a limitation, research the personality types and specialities of each board member.
Then, you can tailor your answers depending on what you know about each person, and showcase a much broader range of skills than you might have cause to do otherwise.
2 - Show your ability to take control
No interviewer will respond kindly to a prospect who completely takes over, but fast-fire board interviews require unique levels of control.
After all, this is ultimately your show. Just as you would if you were hosting a public speaking event, you should therefore work subtly and respectfully to hold the floor, maintain a steady level of questioning, and also get your point across in its entirety.
You can achieve this goal by speaking carefully, staying succinct, and standing your ground with a comment like ‘Just on that last point,’ if you haven’t finished speaking when the next question comes.
3 - Expand your follow-up questions
Follow-up questions are crucial for showing your interest and your critical mind, but they can be tough to think of when a single manager has already covered most of your points of interest.
With a board interview, you have a much bigger pool of follow-up questions to pick from, including each individual’s specialist subject even outside the company.
This will reveal that you’ve done your research, are switched-on enough to follow it up, and are a candidate well worth further consideration.
Everyone quakes in their boots at the idea of a board interview. Turn those nerves into possibilities by approaching with these tips in mind.