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How to Successfully Structure a Panel Interview

There are many ways to interview a candidate. These can include one-on-one interviews, group interviews, panel interviews and interviews via Skype or phone. This article will highlight how to successfully structure a panel interview as well as some positives and negatives of conducting a panel interview.

  1. Make sure you are clear about how the interview will be run. This may involve one main leader and a few other selectors/observers. Alternatively, all attendees of the interview can have equal contribution.
  2. Write a script. Having a script detailing who is asking which question when will eliminate any unprofessionalism. Have a spot in the middle or end of the interview for any adlib questions. 
  3. Include a ranking system for the questions. Everyone has a different opinion so if each panelist has each question in front of them and are able to rank how they perceive the candidate’s answer for each question, the answers can be collated much easier and quicker and a trend can be spotted more efficiently.
  4. The panelists must maintain a common goal for the interview, as some people may have different ideas and outcomes they wish to gauge and obtain.


  • Gaining a wide range of opinions from fellow employees within the company, or similarly an outsider’s opinion. 
  • The interview is more focused and formal. One-on-one interviews can tend to become chatty, and sometimes seem less formal. 
  • Saves time. Having one interview with four or five panelists saves having four or five separate interviews.


  • Alternatively, difference of opinions may cause some delay in decision making.
  • The candidate may be more uncomfortable or nervous facing a panel rather than just one person; thus they may under-perform. 
  • Because of the structure that a panel interview can have, it can prove hard to maintain professionalism.

By ensuring that you and your team are prepared for your panel interview these negatives can be alleviated or at least be kept under control to give you a strong and productive panel interview.

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