Getting that second foot in the door

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By Ian K. McEwen

The second interview will involve more preparation, more interviewees, more questions, and more pressure. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare:

Research the company: Do everything you can to learn as much as you can about the company. Delve into the company website and absorb their “About Us” section. Use search engines to find out the latest news and company initiatives. Why have they been in the news? If you know someone in the company, you will be able to get the inside scoop on its current state of affairs.

Review notes from first interview: Even though you will probably be interviewed by different people, you might be asked the similar first interview questions. Review your answers and responses. Think of the answers that gave you confidence and do more of the same. And if there were things that you missed in interview number one, you have a second chance to provide better answers to elaborate or clarify your abilities. Even though you have a different audience, think of some new examples and some new accomplishments that prove your worthiness.

Know the job description: Know the job description inside out and backwards. Be able to cite specific examples that support each function in the job description. Companies may have a problem they cannot solve internally. A second interview is your time to demonstrate that you can solve their problems.

Behavioural questions: Some unscripted second interviews are used to determine personality traits rather than specific knowledge, skills and abilities.  Listen to clues in the questions. Often the interviewer will outline the company and position needs, concerns, issues and problems that you will be expected to handle. The company will be looking for someone who can get along with other team members in an interactive and positive way.

The job offer:
If you are successful in securing a job offer, make sure it is presented in writing. Don’t make a decision on the spot. It is quite acceptable to defer your decision for some time to review the offer in detail and make sure you want the job. Ask the company when they want a decision.

- FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF TIPS ON PREPARING FOR THE SECOND INTERVIEW, CHECK OUT THE UPCOMING EDITION OF CANADIAN AUTOWORLD -

Ian McEwen is president of the Marckis Group, where he specializes in automotive executive search, recruiting, franchising and career outplacement. For more information, visit www.marckisgroup.com or call 1-866-627-2547.