Second Interviews - your experiences?

I have a second interview tomorrow with a media company; if hired, I think it would be a great opportunity for me. For my first interview, I met with the HR person, then my possible immediate supervisor (we hit it off well), then the HR person again.

Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with my supervisor again, as well as her boss. Now, I know there were two other interviewees besides myself, and AFAIK I’m the only one that was called back. I’m just wondering if I’ll get an offer tomorrow, or if it’s another meet and see and wait type thing.

It’s been a while since I’ve had any second interviews, and I know there are a few things I should make absolutely sure of so there are no unpleasant surprises around the corner. A friend of mine went on a second interview once upon a time only to be told he wasn’t being hired because the company was “going in a different direction” (I love that excuse).

What have your experiences with second interviews been like?

When I worked in New Jersey they were rare, since we didn’t want to pay for someone to fly in twice. In Silicon Valley they are common for locals. For my current job I saw the director, HR and the guy who would be my boss the first time, and the people I’d be working with the second time. I actually had a third meeting, with the director, for breakfast at which I asked exactly what he wanted of me. I had gotten burned by the job I was in then.

So, it worked out very well, and let me interview by just leaving work a bit early.

This little bit of advice has really helped me with every stage of an interview:

The goal is not to get the job. The goal is to not get eliminated from the running.

The ‘best’ person for the position doesn’t always get the job. You need to treat every stage as if your only goal is to be invited back.

Your first interview should be planned and performed to get you to the second interview. The second to get you to the third. Etc. You suspect, but you do not know for 100%, that you are the only person being called back. Might be true, but what if a headhunter calls them in the next 15 minutes and says they have a hot candidate? Your second interview will now be compared to their first interview, not a job offer, and then it is round 3…then round 4…etc.

Example: Don’t start talking about the salary/wages/vacation time in the first interview. This second interview might not be the best time to talk about that stuff either. You’ve probably gone over your general background, so now might be a good time to focus on how your relevant experience fits into what they need. (Do you know what they need? Do you know everything there is to know about the company?)

Also, there might be a new person to meet - this time have a quick synopsis of your history that is clear and relevant to the position. Basically boil down the first interview into a paragraph so you can share this with the newcomer and quickly move onto new information.

Until the contract is signed, do not think you have made it. At every step just try not to be eliminated.

Best of luck-

That varies a lot by sector/location. I’ve had hiring processes where that information had already been in the offer, others where they were surprised when I asked about it once they’d offered a contract (so sorry, but I kind of need to know if I’ll have enough to eat before I sign up - I’ve had to give the contract back because HR had drawn it wrong).

I currently work as a consultant; that may mean 5 or 6 levels of subcontracting, so I get interviewed by a recruiter from the first contractor, then one from the second… the final client usually doesn’t get a say. I treat each interview as if it was the first, only it’s a “first” where I already have a good deal of information (I may ask some question again to reconfirm, but I mention it’s to make sure).

Timely thread - I’ve just been through 3 second interviews, got the job for two of them. Lessee…

At one place, I was supposed to meet with the supervisor and someone else on the first interview. However, the supervisor couldn’t make it (after rescheduling twice anyway, and then she still didn’t show!). I thought I was a strong candidate anyway, but I did suspect that I might have gotten the second interview just because she missed the first one. That one was largely a rehash of the first (since she wasn’t there) with a few more specifics. Interestingly (to me, anyway), we didn’t even talk benefits until she offered me the job. I didn’t end up taking it because of a better offer.

At the place I eventually accepted, I met with two of the team members I’d be working with and hit it off great, then with a different supervisor I’d work with occasionally. At that point, I didn’t feel like I was doing so well, largely because I thought I was just repeating myself. Well, I was, but the supervisor didn’t know that - she wasn’t party to the other interviews. After I relaxed a bit, tho’, things went better. An HR person had run through a quick overview of the benefits at the first interview, and I’d also been through a quick call screen interview where I was asked what I currently made, so I never had to talk salary with them, which was nice (tho’ they did ask for a range on the job application).

The final place, I thought I’d nailed it and that things went well. Again, HR had gone over the benefits on the first interview, but I did have to talk salary. I didn’t get that job.

At my current position, I was offered the job at the second interview, but not at any of these most recent places. My husband was also offered a job at his second interview. So it happens sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m a second round interviewer where I work. First round means meeting with our HR person and one of our bosses (there are two in the company) and the positions immediate supervisor, and second round means meeting them for some follow up and then a couple people you would be working with and usually me.
My whole role is to feel them out to see what kind of fit they would be, and how they would work into our corporate dynamic/team/company attitude. It’s dicey - I don’t want to ask illegal or discriminatory questions, but I do need to get an idea of you are going to freak out the first time I push you on a deadline or blame other people if you miss stuff, or sue the company because you overheard someone say the F word.
So we don’t offer positions after the second round. We wait for you to drive off then we talk about you behind your back. :slight_smile:

Well, I was made an offer after the second round of interviews. I accepted, but did have to negotiate salary. I start July 10th! I’m excited - it seems like a creative, dynamic company and I have a good feeling about it.