You passed the first interview and you just got a call to schedule a second interview. What happens next? It's important to be aware that the company/organization is seriously interested in you, and you are definitely in contention for the job! Here are suggestions on how to use your second job interview to help secure an offer.
Get the Agenda
Sometimes, a second interview can be a day-long interview. You may meet with management, staff members, executives, and other company/organization employees. Ask the person who scheduled the interview for an itinerary so you know upfront what to expect.
Research, Research, Research
Learn everything you can about the company/organization. Review the “About Us” section in their web site. Use Google and Google News (search by company/organization name) to get the latest information and news. If you have a connection, use it to get some insider information on management and staff, as well as the company/organization in general.
Review Interview Questions and Answers
You may be asked the same questions you were asked during the first interview. So, review the questions you will be asked and brush up your responses. Like the first time around, it's good to take some time to practice interviewing so you are comfortable with your answers.
Even if the workplace is casual, until you get the job, dress in your best interview attire, unless you are told otherwise. If the person scheduling the interview mentions dressing down, business casual attire would typically be most appropriate.
When you are scheduled for a full-day of interviewing, lunch and/or dinner may be included on the agenda. Dining with a prospective employee allows the company/organization to review your communication and interpersonal skills, as well as your table manners. It's important to dine carefully. The last thing you want to do is spill your drink (non-alcoholic, of course) or slop food all over the table. Order appropriately and brush up on your dining skills, and your manners.
What You Didn't Say
Was there something you thought you should have mentioned during your first interview? Or was there a question where you had difficulty? The second interview will provide you with the opportunity to expand upon your responses from the first interview. Review the notes you took during the first interview, to see what you might have missed and what you can clarify or add.
When you're invited to interview a second time, the chances are good that you are in contention for the position. It's appropriate to ask for a copy of the job description to review, as well as to ask about the company/organization structure and how you will fit in.
Is There a Fit?
Sometimes, whether a particular job is a good fit is hard to define. If a voice is telling you you're that you are not sure about this job, listen to it. You don't have to turn down the job, but you can ask for additional meetings with staff, especially the people you are going to be working with, to make sure the job is a good fit for you.
If You Get a Job Offer?
In some cases, you may be offered a job on the spot. You don't have to say yes, or no, immediately. It actually makes sense not to say yes right away, unless you are 110% sure that you want the job. Everything may seem perfect while you're there, but once you have a chance to think over the offer, it may not seem as wonderful. Ask for some time and when the company/organization needs a decision.
Say Thank You
You have, hopefully, already sent a thank note to the people you interviewed with the first time. Again, take the time to send a thank you letter (email is fine) to everyone you met with and reiterate your interest in the company/organization and in the position.
Two other good articles about the Second Interview/On-Site Visits are:
- Preparing for the On-Site Interview by Aaron Wyche in The Black Collegian Online.
- Preparing for Your Second Interview from the Career Center at Florida State University.