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Has anyone ever been involved in a "panel" interview and what did you think about it?

A couple of months ago, I went to an interview where I was informed it would be a "panel" interview. ALL of the applicants would be interviewed at the same time. There were seven of us total (2 did not show). The first question asked was if any of us were "bilingual" - and only one was so we can assume she is the one that was hired. My complaint about this type of interview was how unimportant and negligible it made me feel as a person. All it told me about the prospective employer/company was that they were LAZY and did not want to invest an entire day to interviewing several candidates. To make the interview a "drive-in, hurry-up" deal, they took one hour to interview all of us. I will NEVER go to this type of interview again. It was demeaning. One of the interviewers called me on his cellphone on his way home from work to say I didn't get the job, which was also rude. Am I wrong to feel so slighted by this?

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Honeybear52

Asked by Honeybear52 at 5:06 PM on Jun. 26, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • First- no I've never had a panel interview. At least not like that. I've been interviewed by three people at once, but it was a very friendly setting.

    I would be very very insulted about the whole situation. The good news is, at least you know that you wouldn't have enjoyed working with them anyway.

    If it helps maybe you can write them an angry letter. You don't have to send it, it just might feel good to get it out.

    Sorry about the interview!
    Erica_Smerica

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 5:16 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • The thing that sparked up this bad memory is that I had another interview, different company, on Wednesday, and they just sent me an EMAIL saying that I didn't get the job. After I invested a lot of time out of my day to drive 40+ miles to interview, I think I deserve a written letter in the mail, at least. I want to respond to the email and tell them that I expect emails from my friends and SPAM - but I do not expect to be emailed a job rejection!! How rude and unprofessional can you get? Is it just ME, or does it seem that because so many of us are unemployed and perhaps a bit desperate for work that employers no longer feel the need for common courtesy and professionalism?
    Honeybear52

    Answer by Honeybear52 at 5:32 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • At least they told you you didn't get the job...many employers won't even notify you. I do panel interviews and the reason we do them is this: To see how prospective employees act in uncomfortable situations. It helps us see if they would be team players or not. It helps us see if they are shy. There are many reasons and none of them are because we are lazy. And, you shouldn't be offended.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:44 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • I've been interviewed by two panels, but never with all the other candidates. Civil service jobs typically involve being interviewed by a panel. The last one led to the job I'm in now.

    As far as the written letter...I don't think ANYONE does that any more. And frankly, it would just be a form letter which is no better than an e-mail.

    I prefer a phone call, because it gives me a chance to ask where I might have gone wrong and to ask for referrals to other opportunities. In fact...my first boss did phone calls. I had FOUR interviews with him before I was finally hired, because with each phone call we were able to build a better relationship.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 7:31 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • Ive gone to a panel interview..all of us were looking at eachother completely confused!! none of us had ever been in that situation either...from a business perspective, its cost effective, and weeds out the people who cant handle pressure!!! but its very impersonal, and im not sure i want to work for an employer that has these practices...interviewing with two or three managers is bad enough...but having your competition beside you answering the same questions is AWFUL! it shouldnt be allowed!
    sweetstkissez22

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 11:28 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • I'm so glad I found this question. I just had my first experience with this type of interview. I showed up at Babies R Us recently, I waited for the manager to start for about 10-15 mins. And she says "Well I guess its just me and you since the other girl didn't show up" Im like HUH...and there she comes walking over saying "Yes I'm here". So we're walking back and I'm thinking...great we both got hired already and she wants to do paperwork or something. But it wasn't like that. She asks us regular interview questions that i certainly don't need to know about this other girl, like the fact that she was fired from her last job and wasn't sure why and that was embarrassing for both of us. Needless to say we both felt humiliated afterwards and I didn't even need to ask her I just knew. That was first interview I didn't get hired at, and overall it was just an unpleasant experience.
    lesliemck86

    Answer by lesliemck86 at 12:58 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I think its very unprofessional when employers do this and disrespectful, among other things. If they are looking for certain qualities in someone, you don't need 2-5 extra potential employees sitting in the room to find things out. Smart employers KNOW what they're looking for without having multiple interviewees in the room.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:05 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • In today's distressed work environment, I find this kind of interview particularly upsetting. So far this year, I've filled out at least 20 or more applications and have only had 2 interviews. I have 23 years of administrative and secretarial experience, an AA Degree in Business Admin, and my grammatical skills are excellent. Still, I don't even get called for an interview most times. This panel interview was one of only two interviews I've had during the year 2009 and it was very demeaning. I know that someone wrote in with an employer's perspective on this type of interview, stating it was to view how potential employess react in stressful situations, but I'm sorry - there is NOTHING an employer can say to excuse this type of interview as being respectful to each and every applicant. After all of my years of experience and expertise in my field, I deserve the interviewers' complete attention, as do we all.
    Honeybear52

    Answer by Honeybear52 at 11:15 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

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