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Cracking the Code: 7 Types of Interviewer Mindsets in Panel Interviews


Panel interviews can be a daunting experience, especially when you're faced with a range of different interviewer mindsets. That's why we've put together an insider guide to help you prepare for your next panel interview. We'll take you through the seven types of interviewer mindsets you might encounter, from The Expert to The Devil's Advocate, and give you essential tips to identify and address each one. With our expert guidance, you'll be able to approach your next panel interview with confidence and poise, and make the best impression possible.


  • The Expert

The Expert is a panel member who is highly knowledgeable in the field or industry, and is looking for specific technical or professional skills in a candidate. This panel member is likely to ask highly specific and detailed questions about the candidate's experience and competencies in a particular area.


How to identify: The Expert is likely to have a more serious demeanor, and their questions will be highly focused on technical aspects of the job. They may also ask for more detail or clarification on certain technical aspects.


How to address: When addressing questions from The Expert, it's important to provide specific examples that demonstrate your expertise and technical skills. Use industry-specific language and be prepared to discuss specific projects or accomplishments that demonstrate your technical skills. This can help to show that you have the necessary technical skills for the job.


  • The People Person

The People Person is a panel member who is focused on assessing the candidate's social and communication skills. They are looking for a team player or someone who can communicate effectively with clients and colleagues. They may ask questions that focus on how you interact with others, and may ask about your experience working in teams or with clients.


How to identify: The People Person is likely to have a more friendly demeanor and may smile or make eye contact more often than other panel members. Their questions may be more open-ended and may focus on how you interact with others.


How to address: To address questions from The People Person, focus on showcasing your communication skills and ability to work well with others. Use specific examples that demonstrate your ability to collaborate effectively and communicate clearly with others. Additionally, be sure to use positive body language and maintain good eye contact to show that you are engaged and personable.


  • The Devil's Advocate

The Devil's Advocate is a panel member who is playing the role of the skeptic or challenger. They are looking for the candidate's weaknesses or flaws and may be asking tough questions or making challenging statements. This panel member may be trying to see how the candidate responds to criticism or pressure.


How to identify: The Devil's Advocate is likely to have a more serious demeanor and may ask more challenging questions than other panel members. They may also ask follow-up questions that challenge your responses or push you to think more deeply.


How to address: To address questions from The Devil's Advocate, it's important to stay calm and composed, even if the questions are challenging. Use specific examples to demonstrate your abilities and don't be afraid to ask for clarification if needed. Additionally, be prepared to provide examples of how you have overcome challenges in the past to show that you are resilient and adaptable.


  • The Decision Maker

The Decision Maker is the final decision-maker or leader of the panel, and is focused on evaluating the overall impression and fit of the candidate with the company culture and values. They may ask questions that focus on your long-term goals and how they align with the company's mission and vision.


How to identify: The Decision Maker is likely to have a more serious demeanor and may have a more senior position in the company. They may ask more general questions that focus on your fit with the company culture.


How to address: To address questions from The Decision Maker, focus on demonstrating your alignment with the company's values and mission. Use examples that demonstrate your ability to work well within a team and contribute to the company's success. Additionally, be prepared to discuss your long-term goals and how they align with the company's vision.


  • The Silent Observer

The Silent Observer is a panel member who is present in the interview but does not actively participate in the questioning. They may take notes or observe the candidate's behavior and interactions with other panel members.


How to identify: The Silent Observer is likely to have a more reserved demeanor and may not ask any questions during the interview. They may take notes or simply observe the interactions between the candidate and other panel members.


How to address: To address the Silent Observer, it's important to maintain a positive and engaged demeanor throughout the interview. Remember that their observations may play a role in the final decision-making process, even if they do not actively participate in the questioning.


  • The Newbie

The Newbie is a panel member who is new to the company or the interview process. They may be less experienced in conducting interviews and may ask more generic or general questions.


How to identify: The Newbie may appear more nervous or unsure during the interview. They may ask more general or surface-level questions and may not be as familiar with the company's mission or culture.


How to address: To address questions from the Newbie, be sure to provide specific examples and highlight your experience and qualifications. Be patient and understanding if they ask generic questions, and take the opportunity to provide more detailed or specific answers.


  • The Culture Fit Assessor

The Culture Fit Assessor is a panel member who is focused on evaluating the candidate's fit with the company's culture and values. They may ask questions that assess the candidate's work ethic, personality, and values.


How to identify: The Culture Fit Assessor is likely to ask more general questions about the candidate's work style, values, and long-term goals. They may also ask questions that focus on how the candidate would fit into the company's culture.


How to address: To address questions from the Culture Fit Assessor, focus on demonstrating your alignment with the company's values and mission. Use specific examples that demonstrate your ability to work well within a team and contribute to the company's success. Additionally, be prepared to discuss your long-term goals and how they align with the company's vision.


In conclusion, while the seven mindsets that I mentioned earlier are common in panel interviews, there may be additional mindsets or roles that panel members may play. It's important for candidates to remain flexible and adapt to the different mindsets of the panel members in order to present themselves in the best possible light.


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