Preparing for panel interviews in the aviation industry

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Interviews of any description can be stressful, but not surprisingly, aviation panel interviews can be a cause of even more stress than a one-to-one interview.  One sure-fire way of keeping stress in check at a panel interview for your next aviation job is to be extremely well prepared. 

Here are our 10 Top Tips to get yourself ready for your panel interview:

  1. Brush up on your knowledge. It goes without saying that you should be well prepared for any interview, but with a panel interview it pays to go the extra mile.  Not only should you know exactly what you want to say about yourself to make it clear that you’re the best person for the job, but you should also invest in preparing a broad understanding of the organisation you’re being interviewed by.  The likelihood is that any panel interview will be made up of interviewers from a range of different areas of the business.  For this reason, when preparing for a panel interview, you owe it to yourself to develop a real and thorough understanding of the overall business and its position in the market and its sector.

  2. Get to know the panel. Time spent investigating who is likely to be on the panel is time well spent.  Once you know who you might be facing, take time to snoop around the social media to develop an understanding of each interviewer’s pet interests.

  3. Beware of your body. Body language is important in every interview setting, but in a panel interview setting can be more complex.  In particular, you’re likely to need to decide on your feet whether it’s appropriate to shake hands with each of your interviewers at the start and end or not.  Also, if you find yourself at a round table setting, you need to be careful not to forget to include the people right next to you in your eye and body language.

  4. Be wardrobe wise. What you wear to any aviation interview is important but when it comes to panel interviews you need to be doubly sure not to shock or alienate anyone.  While you want to stand out at your interview, unless you’re applying for a particularly offbeat job, it pays to have conservatism at your core.

  5. Practice punctuality. Being late for any interview is pretty inexcusable, but when there are 6, 8 or even 10 people sitting waiting for you, it simply shouldn’t ever happen.  So do all you can to be on time, every time.

  6. Make your presence felt. Entering any room with half a dozen or more people waiting for you and looking at you gets the blood pumping, but don’t let that spoil your entrance.  In many cases, judgements are made in the first few seconds, so plan your entrance and make it a good one.

  7. Embrace the power of the pause. No matter how nervous you are at your panel interview, you will do yourself a whole lot of favours if you master the power of the pause.  Pausing in conversation not only makes you seem more confident, it also buys you time to think.  Pauses needn’t be so long that your interviewers think you might have lost consciousness, but can be really powerful if used wisely.

  8. Use your voice. We recently published an article on using your voice, which you can find here.  But in a nutshell, in a panel interview in particular, you need to be sure to project your voice and ensure that everyone can hear what you have to say as well as varying your pitch, tone and tempo.

  9. Be inquisitive. Once you’ve done your research about your interviewers, it’s a clever tactic to carefully craft some questions that will demonstrate clearly that you understand their pains, problems and dilemmas. 

  10. Be polite. It goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway – don’t forget to thank your interviewers for the time they’ve given you at interview.

If you’re on the lookout for an aviation job, why not upload your CV today to get headhunted by top airlines and aviation companies as well as receiving job alerts that tell you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted on our site? 

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