Panel interviews - outside your comfort zone
How many times have you sat on a panel or listened to a presentation as part of the interview process to assess a potential employee? If you are from a larger corporation then the answer may be frequently. However, experiencing them as the interviewee rather than the interviewer is a different matter entirely. It can be much more daunting that the standard competency style format, as you have either additional interviewers throwing questions at you, or a presentation to deliver to an audience, or both.
HR professionals need as much support when preparing for a panel interview or presentation as anyone else. Because panels are more unusual, and presentations are more demanding, it has been my experience that they can catch you off guard and the danger of a “rabbit in headlights” response becomes very real. In both scenarios you are under very close scrutiny and the pressure is heightened. Be it the challenge of dealing with a number of interviewers throwing questions at you, or speaking in front of an audience, it is certainly an experience out of your normal comfort zone. I have known one or two candidates in my time who have taken a more laid back attitude with minimal preparation for such circumstances that has come back to bite them – being blasé about this process will not win you points.