Question from a REEP Blog Reader:
Hi Marie, I’m an Assistant Principal at a traditional public school district in Houston. I have a job interview coming up soon for a Principal position and I could really use your help! I was informed that I would be interviewed by a group panel and I am slightly intimidated. What is the best way to present myself as a strong candidate in a stressful situation like this? How canÂ stand out in my interview amongst other candidates?
First, let me say that youâ€™re not alone in being a little intimidated by a panel interview.Â Personally, I like these a whole lot better than the â€śbeauty paradeâ€ť or serial interview setup, as you donâ€™t hear repetitive questions, and there is less room for interpretation of what youâ€™ve said, as many are hearing the same thing from you.Â Also, individuals can step in and ask for clarification and probe for more information than any one interviewer might not think to do.Â This gives you a better chance to sell competencies.Â Panel interviews are really easier in many ways than other forms, if you have the right mind set.
To stand out, you need to answer questions directly to the person who asked the question, while gaining and moving through eye contact with the others as you respond. You want all to feel included in your answer, while the questioner feels he/she is receiving proper attention.
As in any interview, you stand out by preparing very well so that you are not surprised by questions and so that you have figured out ways to highlight your unique features in your answers.Â Also know the school, the personnel and the specific job description thoroughly.Â Ask for the names of all on the panel and check them out on LinkedIn and other sources.
A prepared interviewee is a calm interviewee.Â When youâ€™re not nervous, you present your genuine self, which is always best.