Knowing a Panel Member


I encountered a touchy occurrence today. I had an oral interview today and was well prepared. Except for one thing, I walked in and sure enough I knew one of the interviewers. We both played it off very well.

This intimidated me more than any other part of any interview I have participated in. I have a question though about this, do I talk to this person after the testing process and ask how I performed or do I pretend this never happened ?

Any comments would be a great help since this is a personal friend. Neither of us knew that we were both participating in this process.


It is protocol for the person on the panel that knew you state that he did and ask if everyone is comfortable with the situation. If not, excuse himself. If you felt uncomfortable, you could have said you knew the panel member. He probably thought he was helping you. You let that situation psyc you out. This situation through you off. No matter who is on the panel or what you think they are doing, it's show time. Give your greatest performance.

Yes, I would contact that person and ask what you could do to improve your interview skills. In that process, you can find out how you did.

The testing agency usually shows the panel the list of candidates. If they know anyone, they switch them to another panel. I recognized six names on a oral board list on one test. They were moved to other panels. Another seven came through that said they knew me and or had my program. I had never met these candidates. I asked the candidates and the other panel members if they were comfortable with me in the room. They were.

Then I got my reward. I saw the magic happen. Several of these candidates didn't have the best credentials, but they used their personal life experiences (their stories) to demonstrate that they not only knew the answer to the questions, but they had already lived. After the candidates left, the other panel members would say, "Did you see how he brought in that experience from UPS to answer that question?" I waited for the other panel members to put their scores down before I added mine. These candidates didn't just get good scores. They got top scores. You couldn't connect one to the other in how they did it, because they were using their own personal life experiences; not a coached "Clone" of someone else.

I had the opportunity of a life time watching these candidates shoot past the competition with simple proven skills. If I wasn't totally convinced that our program worked before, I was after watching these candidates blew the doors of their oral boards.

Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!

"Captain Bob"

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Fire "Captain Bob" Smith has coached countless entry level and promotional candidates to get their badge. He is a retired 28-year Hayward, Ca. Captain, speaker/author of the audio/video program "Conquer the Job Interview," the book "Fire Up Your Communication Skills" ISBN 09657620-6-8 and a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association. You can book him as a speaker or get a copy of his books and tapes by calling toll free at 888-238-3959.

E-mail: captbob@verio.com  Web site: http://www.eatstress.com