12/22/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

One Job, Multiple Interviewers? How To Ace A "Panel Interview"

Dear Annie: I've been working with a recruiter on finding my next job, and he just told me that one possibility (an opening for a manufacturing manager with a midsized company) will require that I undergo a panel interview, meaning an interview conducted by a group of prospective colleagues and bosses, all in the room at the same time. I've never been interviewed by a group before. Is this unusual? Do you have any advice on how to succeed at it? -Stage Fright in St. Louis

Dear SFSL: Panel interviews, an import to the business world from academia, are getting more common all the time. The reason is twofold, according to executive coach Susan Whitcomb (, author of Interview Magic (Jist Works, $18.95). First, meeting everyone you'd be working with at once is a big time-saver for everybody. But more important, meeting your whole team gives everyone a better idea of how well (or not) you'd fit into the group.

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