If you made it through the first round of initial interviews and are invited for a second interview with a senior manager, it's a good indication you're in the running for the job offer. This opportunity gives you a chance to stress your professional skills, talk about your background and explain how your experience relates to the position you're seeking. It's also the time to make a good impression on a company decision-maker.
Hiring managers narrow the field of prospects during the first round interview stage, then essentially pass on their top picks to senior management for review and evaluation. The senior manager might be the head of the department you would work in, or may be a senior hiring manager or corporate executive. This person is charged with reviewing notes from your first interview and asking you to elaborate on areas of your work history where the company wants more information.
Judging Your Personality
A second interview often moves beyond the traditional first interview questions about your education and previous employment. Second interviews often focus on your philosophical approach to work, your idea of professionalism and how you see yourself fitting in and benefiting the employer. This is the place to emphasize your teamwork skills, your adaptability and your plans for hitting the ground running, should you be offered the job.
Seeing if You Fit
Senior managers are often people who have been with the company for some time. They’re assessing your personality and your attitude to see if you’ll be a good fit with existing staffers. Senior managers know how the company works and they know how to evaluate whether a job seeker has what it takes to be a productive member of the team. This is the place to talk about what you know about the company's history, how you see yourself contributing, and asking questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the role.
Widening Scope of Introductions
Second interviews may introduce you to people beyond a senior manager, such as potential colleagues or other department heads introduced by the senior manager. The idea behind this approach is that it allows multiple people in the organization to assess you simultaneously and get a feel for what kind of co-worker you’d be. Be friendly, outgoing and personable, and treat each person with respect. Follow up your interview with thank-you notes to the interviewer and any other people in the company you had the opportunity to meet and interact with.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.