Getting to the second interview can mean the final step before being hired at the company. This is always a good sign and there are few tips that can help the interview to go smoothly and can mean the difference between being hired and being passed over. Being yourself is always a good tip and it is definitely what you want to bring to your interview, but the following are going to offer more value for the second interview process:
Ask for a Copy of the Agenda– The first interview is pretty cut and dried. You go in; interview and you go home, no big deal. A second interview is much different than a first interview in that it can take a few hours to an entire business day. You may be asked to tour the company and to meet with various department heads. Each company conducts a second interview differently so knowing what to expect can get you the edge you need over the other candidates. When you are contacted for a second interview, ask that the agenda or itinerary be faxed or emailed to you so you can plan for the time you are going to be at the company.
Study the Company– Make sure you know as much about the company as you can so that you are not blindsided by a question you cannot answer. The Internet is a great tool for conducting this type of study. Look at the company’s website and go to the information page. Familiarize yourself with all of the products or services that are in their industry. Read news articles that have been printed about the company so you are up to date on their latest business news. Even looking at the stock exchange if they are on the market can help you to determine how well the company is doing and is not going to hurt if you are offered stock options as a part of the compensation package.
Be Prepared to Be Interviewed at Meals– If the interview itinerary shows that there are going to be times when you are eating with department heads, you should be prepared to continue the interview process during this time. Never order a cocktail during the meal as this is highly unprofessional and can be the kiss of death. Even if the department heads enjoy a two martini lunch, you should abstain until you actually get the position. You want to use your best table manners as well.
Just as you would with any other interview, you need to dress professionally and be prepared to answer all the questions that are put to you. If you did not ask any questions at the first interview, this is the time to ask them. Write them down so you can remember what you need to know about the position or the company you are working for that was not listed on the website. Review any questions they may ask you and be prepared to answer them without referring to notes.
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