Here are some essential tips for preparing your panel interview and getting the job you deserve:
- Clean suit with a tie (ladies). ( We want to see what you would look like in the class A uniform.
- Black or Navy Blue ( do not try to be trendy or overly fashionable)
- No hair patches!
- Easy on the makeup
- Do not over power on perfume (and men for the cologne)
- Application: What you must include
- Resume: What you want to include
- Bring 7 copies of resume and OFFER to hand them out before the interview starts
- Resume should be one page in length (Front/Back Page acceptable) (exceptions for higher positions can include a four page color resume)
- Do not put unrelated information
- Do not assume ANY of it will get read!
Beginning the Interview:
- Strong, firm handshake
- Pronounce names CORRECTLY and use their rank. (Chief Smith, Captain Jones)
- Ask to move the chair if needed
- Posture! (Do not ever slouch, cross your legs or fold your arms whenever or especially answering questions)
- LISTEN to the question thoroughly
- Pause for a moment and THINK!
- Remember: Listen, Think, Respond!
- SMILE as you begin (it is almost always appropriate)
- Come out and answer the question and then elaborate
- Answer should be no more than 2-3 minutes in length unless required
- Relate the question to the position
- Give an example where you can and only if it fits
- Be honest
- Be passionate about your answers
- Show integrity, pride, honor
- Have a closing to the question: “And that’s what leadership means to me.”
- SMILE when you’re finished!
- Video tape / record yourself doing panel interviews
- Become self-aware of your bad habits and STOP THEM!
- Practice your panel interview skills
- Show some passion and enthusiasm for the job!
- Have your opening memorized: 3-4 minutes only
- Have your closing memorized 15 seconds – 1 minute only
- Bring in your favorite quote / story (SHORT!)
- Bring out information from your resume – assume it won’t be read
- Know how you would answer a wide variety of questions, especially about YOU:
- Know your strengths
- Know your weaknesses
- Why you want to promote
- Why you should be selected over other candidates
- Get cocky
- Answer too quickly
- Speak too low
- Tell the panel how nervous you are
- Spin in your chair
- Name drop
- Ah and um your way through it!
- Bull Shit your way through a question
- Use slang
- Ramble on and on and on
- Ask if that is what they were looking for or if you answered it thoroughly enough
- Turn on the water works (There is NO CRYING IN PANEL INTERVIEWS!) – do not even tear up!
- Give a bunch of personal information in the interview
- EVER SAY “Wow, that’s a tough question…” or “Wow, that’s a great question.”
- Ask to have every question repeated – once or twice unless you really did not hear the question properly. (However, we are paying attention to your hearing habits)