Q: I will be interviewed by multiple interviewers at once. Who should I look at when answering questions? (EC, email).
A: A big interview panel throwing questions at you can feel like having four prosecutors on your case – no wonder people get nervous and uptight, writes Patricia Maloney, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.
Address the start of each answer to the person who asked the question and, as the answer unfolds, look around at the entire panel.
Do not presume that the only person interested in your answer is the person who actually asked the question. They may have little or no interest at all in the topic. It’s entirely possible that they may have just been given that question to ask beforehand when the panel divided up the topics.
Others on the panel may, in fact, be more interested and knowledgeable.
If you were sitting with four people in a coffee shop, you’d include all four in the conversation. The same applies in an interview.
Try to avoid getting locked into a tightly knit conversation with just one panellist. If you do that, you run the risk of alienating the other panellists who feel you are making a judgement call on their knowledge or interest in the topic.