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Profile for Rob Scott, Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

A panel interview consists of two or more people sitting together to ask a candidate questions. Typically, your panel might consist of someone from human resources, the hiring manager and an employee from the hiring department. But what are the benefits, and how do you lead a panel interview? Here, we’ll explain why it’s a useful tool in your recruitment armoury.

The benefits of panel interviewing

There are four key advantages to panel interviews:

  • In a multi-function role that straddles departments it helps to expose the candidate to more of his/her future bosses and colleagues
  • It can make logistical sense to get those interviewers in one place at the same time rather than calling a candidate back
  • The panel will, hopefully, form a common opinion of the candidate, reinforcing a hire or pass decision
  • Some recruiters believe you see more of the jobseeker’s real character under the duress of a panel interview, while they also like to see how the candidate communicates with people from different positions

An example of a role suitable for a panel interview might be a PR management position. This candidate would work across the business and so might be seen by HR, the Head of PR, an existing PR/internal comms employee and potentially a manager from marketing. All would have a valuable input in assessing the candidate.

Because you’ll be drawing upon many people’s time for this exercise, you’ll want to have shortlisted candidates at earlier one-to-one interviews before exposing them to the panel.

Planning for a panel interview

The first task is to establish who should be on the interview panel. Your interviewers should have different fields of expertise and perspectives of the job. This should not only give the business thorough representation, but also provide the candidate with a good insight into the organisation he/she is trying to join.

You then must establish who will lead. But how do you chair an interview panel? The role here is to prepare other members in advance about:

·      The job description

·      The candidate's CV

·      Your ideal candidate profile

·      Any other relevant information pertinent to the position

Ensure all panel members are aware of their responsibility, and what sort of questions they would be expected to ask. Make sure the panel arrives in good time.

The lead will meet and greet the candidate, introduce him/her to the rest of the panel, and then chair the questions, answers and general discussion, much like David Dimbleby on the BBC’s Question Time!

It’s the panel interview chair’s role to ensure the candidate has had a fair crack of the whip, and that the organisation has got the clearest possible picture about the candidate’s suitability.


What questions should I ask at a panel interview?

It’s likely your panel’s line of questioning won’t differ greatly to what might be expected during a one-to-one interview. The difference is each question should come from a relevant member of the panel, and that can change the dynamics of how the candidate answers, giving a clearer behavioural or cultural fit insight.

For example, the question: “How would your colleagues describe you?” puts the candidate under more pressure to be sincere if asked by a potential team mate who is sitting in on the panel. Whereas the hiring manager would ask: “Tell me about a situation where there was tension with a client or co-worker?” since that would be a strange question from the potential team mate!

It’s important to remember how intimidating a panel interview might be. While this is good for assessing true character, your line of questioning should not be aggressive – you’ll get more out of the process if the potential recruit is more relaxed and opens up.


A panel interview in progress


Should I use competency, value or situational interview questions?

In most cases you’ll be asking a mixture of all three. However, specific roles, or the bespoke nature of your business, might necessitate concentrating on one area:

Competency based interview questions will focus on the specific skills needed within a role. This might suit functions such as IT, where skill, knowledge and experience are the key. This person will not be customer facing, or dealing with colleagues in the wider business to any great extent.

Value based interview questions are ideal for establishing a candidate’s cultural fit to your organisation. Does he/she share your company values, goals and working ethic? If you’re a business that thrives on innovation and teamwork, can the candidate demonstrate these traits from previous roles?

Situational interview questions can establish how a candidate has resolved frictions or challenges in the past, be that as a manager, as a colleague or in a client-facing position. This might be more suited to potential managers as a way of probing their management style. The issue with this line of questioning is being confident that the candidate isn’t just saying what he/she thinks you want to hear.


How should I follow up a panel interview?

The panel interview should not end when the candidate walks out of the office door. Instead the panel needs to reconvene to discuss its findings while the interview is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Hopefully you have arranged the interviews in reasonably quick succession, allowing you to give the winner the good news in reasonable time. You should then give clear and honest feedback to those who missed out.

If you're an employer looking for support with your recruitment process please get in touch with Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.


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I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis’ services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

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Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles saught to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

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