ASK HR: Is it normal practice to have 10 interviewers on a panel?

Friday May 24 2019

Candidates new to interviews may especially find paying attention to a large number of interviewers a little daunting. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Candidates new to interviews may especially find paying attention to a large number of interviewers a little daunting. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FRED GITUKU
By FRED GITUKU
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Q Three weeks ago, I was interviewed for a school nurse position in a secondary school. While I was okay with the interview questions, I was horrified when I saw the panel interview.

There were 10 interviewers across the table, which was very intimidating. I found this very intimidating, and believe I would have performed better had they been fewer.

  

Some organisations hold several job interviews with a few interviewers at a time while others have all the interviewers meeting candidates in one sitting, based on their resourcing policies and practice. Whatever format an interview takes, the greater focus ought to be on a process that best facilitates quality hiring decisions.

Organisations often prefer interviews that have all interviewers in one sitting primarily to save time although others admittedly pad interview panels with passengers in the hope of making them appear grand.

Having all interviewers in one sitting may provide occasion for more robust and conclusive discussions concerning a candidate at the end of an interview, rather than holding such a discussion in abeyance until all candidates have been met by the various members of the interview panel.

Some candidates may also prefer having one main interview rather than several separate ones.

Notwithstanding convenience, a group of 10 interviewers could appear intimidating to some candidates, making them feel crowded and possibly denying them a degree of ease without which they may be unable to perform optimally during interviews.

Candidates new to interviews may especially find paying attention to a large number of interviewers a little daunting or have an experience similar to the one you have related.

Candidates however need to be prepared to go through different formats of interviews as there is usually little room to dictate or debate how they would wish to be interviewed.

Although there is no prescription for the right number of interviewers per interview, many organisations tend to have three to five at a go.

Candidates new to interviews may especially find paying attention to a large number of interviewers a little daunting or have an experience similar to the one you have related.

Candidates however need to be prepared to go through different formats of interviews as there is usually little room to dictate or debate how they would wish to be interviewed.

Having 10 interviewers in one interview would seem a bit excessive and this behoves organisations to consider whether each member of an interview panel brings value to the hiring process.

And while having several interviewers has its merits, greater effort should be invested in gathering as many suitable candidates rather than interviewers as the latter are not the subject of pursuit in an interview.

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