You were called for an interview for the job of your dreams, and everything went smoothly. The call you’ve been waiting for finally happens, and surprise, surprise. The company suggests a second interview! Are you prepared?
First off, this is excellent news. It means that your application is being seriously considered for the position. The company sees you as a potential employee and probably wants to confirm some information. The second interview may be held in a different, friendly context (e.g., a meal at a restaurant), but it is crucial in selecting candidates.
Although each company has its hiring process, the person conducting the first interview was likely a human resources manager or recruiter. In many instances, your future manager will be present at the second meeting. Some organizations have three or even four interviews for a single position, depending on the duties involved and reporting hierarchy.
Normally, employers use the first interview to separate interesting candidates from those with less potential for the position to be filled. Topics are often discussed superficially because the company is mainly interested in getting a general picture of the candidate regarding their skills as well as their personality and ability to fit into the existing team.
The second interview is an in-depth version of the first. The company already knows that you have the required general knowledge and flexibility and will want to assess your suitability for the position. Some of your specific skills may be reviewed with a fine-toothed comb, with the employer looking for a “click” or a little extra something that will set you apart from the rest.
You have a great opportunity to learn more about the organization and the people who work there since new people often join the group to contribute more to the discussion. It can be a fabulous opportunity to draw your own conclusions.
Other than the usual business interview etiquette (arriving on time, dressing appropriately, rules of decorum, etc.), it is vital to be well prepared for your second interview. It may be worthwhile to go over the first interview (did you take notes?) and prepare a list of questions to ask.
Visit the company’s website to draw up your list of questions and learn the latest news about them and their sector of activity. Find out how your second interview will be conducted. Will it be an individual or group interview? Will there be tests? Will it be held over a full day or will it be a meal in a restaurant or a meeting that lasts a few hours?
At this juncture, you can also expect to discuss the salary offered. The employer will want to know your expectations to see if an agreement is possible. We recommend that you suggest a salary bracket rather than a fixed amount; this will leave some room to manoeuvre and negotiate.
In any event, the second interview is a chance for you to showcase your skills and stand out from the other candidates. Remember that you were selected during the first round and that your chances of getting the position you want are already very good. The key is to be true to yourself, true to your skills and true to your values.
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