HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Panel Interview

What Is the Purpose of an Interview?

The interview is an opportunity for employers to identify the best candidate for a role within their organization. Interviews differ depending on the position and often vary in length, formality, and style.

Though interviews may vary widely depending upon the position, the overall hiring process should be structured and standardized within your organization.

What Is a Panel Interview?

Panel interviews involve one candidate and two or more interviewers, allowing more stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process. For example, a panel interview can take place over a lunch meeting at a restaurant, or it could be a series of one-on-one meetings with different team members.

Panel Interviews allow multiple interviewers to see a candidate’s potential and cover other interviewers’ blind spots. Each interviewer is naturally more attuned to certain aspects of each candidate. A panel allows for a better chance of covering all pros and cons of a candidate. They may notice red flags that others miss. They may think of questions that provide unique insights. For this reason, panel interviews are excellent mentoring opportunities for less experienced managers. They’re also great for more experienced hiring managers to gain a fresh perspective on interviewing.

Panel interviews can also create tension among hiring managers. They may be looking for different skills or have opposing ideas of what qualities a qualified candidate should possess. Sometimes hiring managers might disagree on a candidate that otherwise seems suitable, leading to tension. Panel interviews require clear communication and a defined process to alleviate possible conflicts.

Where Does an Interview Fit Within the Hiring Process?

The hiring process essentially breaks down into seven primary stages:

  1. Identify Need and Update Job Description
  2. Develop and Implement Recruitment Plan
  3. Screen Applicants
  4. Interview Candidates
  5. Check References
  6. Extend Offer
  7. Onboard New Hire

Although interviewing is in the middle of the overall hiring process, it’s near the end of the decision-making portion—when only the most qualified candidates compete for your extended time and attention. The hiring decision depends on these final interactions.

Related Terms: Stay Interview

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