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A Team Interview?

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A Team Interview?

Postby Andy » Wed Nov 10, 2004 4:28 pm

Hi all,

I'm very excited. Next week I have an interview at a large biotech in the Bay Area. It's a place I would love to be, and I think I'm ready to go in and nail the interview. Wish me luck on that!

When HR from this company contacted me, they indicated it would be a "team interview." Does that differ in any material way from a regular interview in which you meet with members of a team individually and talk about the position? Any insights would be appreciated.

Andy
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A Team Interview?

Postby John Fetzer » Wed Nov 10, 2004 4:42 pm

Oh, my, yes!!! Those are as different as night and day....but team interviews are getting to be more and more common.

In a team interview you are interviewed by a group, often three to five - but I have heard of ones as large as eight. Each asks you his or her questions, then there usually is a second round in case things popped up in the earlier ones. For the company, this results in many more focused questions. If you talked to each of the three to five, there would be a lot of getting acquainted and redundant questions. In the team form this is only done once.

So prepare yourself for the feeling of being grilled by interrogators. You will answer more questions in a more concentrated situation. You may even get a good cop-bad cop pair of questioners. (these also help a company assess personality and behaviors much better) The comfort of talking one-on-one is gone. Steel yourself for those one-sided dynamics. Open with a relaxed or even humorous comment, if there is opportunity. Focus on each person as they ask you their questions.

John
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A Team Interview?

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:24 pm

Andy, as one of our favorite frequent posters, the entire site is hoping that you make the cut and get that job offer . . .

Panel interviews are a real pain in the you-know-what. You have to keep comfortable, and yet deal with questions coming from all sides. I made a big mistake in a panel interview a few years ago for a company that was considering hiring our search firm. I had people on all sides and in front of me, and I paid too much "eye contact" attention to the ones in front. The woman at my side took offense, and I didn't get the deal.

Here's an article on NextWave about the process of panel interviews . . . Andy, if you don't have NW access where you are, let me know.

Panel Interviews Article


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A Team Interview?

Postby Drew Parrish » Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:24 pm

Part of my interview for a scientist position at a large biotech company was a panel interview. There were two directors, six scientists, and myself around a rectancular table.

There was a bit of "grilling" on various scientific areas, but it was (mostly) done in a friendly, conversational manner. I will say, though, that it seemed rather calculated - they would continue asking questions in one line of thought until they had expanded the topic past my knowledge base...and then another line of questions would begin. Also much of the discourse was not immediately related to my own science.

I actually enjoyed this part of the day more than the one-on-one interviews. The panel interview seemed like this fun, fast-paced conversation on science that got away from the "so tell me what you work on" type questions that populated the one-on-ones.

Good luck Andy - and let us know how it goes!
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A Team Interview?

Postby John Fetzer » Fri Nov 12, 2004 10:33 am

Yes, from this standpoint a panel/ team interview is similar to many doctoral defenses. That should make it a little more familiar and manageable psychologically.

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