In case of a B-school interview, the panel may include professor from different fields, viz. economics, sociology, finance, etc. In case of a job interview, the panel may include the hiring manager, internal client of the hiring manager’s organization (e.g. finance department manager in a consulting firm), and a member of the human resource recruitment team.
During a panel interview, each panellist asks a set of questions to the candidate in turns. The questions might be related to different fields or can be add-ons to the questions asked previously. This interview is a substitute for multiple one to one interviews; each panellist can hear the same response given by each applicant while getting a chance to ask questions relevant to his/her domain.
However, panel interviews are known to end up being ‘stress interviews’ as they put the candidate under intense pressure. A panel is intimidating and is also a means to test if the candidate can remain calm and composed under stressful situations.
There can be a case where only one person from the panel is asking questions while others are mere observers. However, it becomes important for the candidate to address the answer to every person in the panel by maintaining eye contact with each assessor.