How to Conduct a Proper Second Interview

Do you schedule candidates for a second interview? If not, you may want to start. A second interview with a candidate should tell you more about a candidate’s qualifications and cultural fit. Employers schedule a second interview to increase their knowledge about a candidate and to find out if the candidate can work successfully with the other employees.

After the first interview, you had some positive impressions about a candidate’s skill and cultural fit. This is the opportunity to confirm those first impressions so you can feel comfortable when making a job offer. Here are 5 tips for conducting the second interview:

  1. Discuss Specifics When bringing a candidate back for a second interview, the candidate should have a better idea of what the company does and how they can make an impact. This is the employer’s chance to ask more targeted questions like “if you get the job, what would you do to establish yourself?” or “upon starting this position, what steps would you take to ensure you get up to speed with the work, company and colleagues?”
  2. New faces This is an opportunity to invite other people in the office to meet with the candidate. By allowing other employees to interact with the candidate, they can help vet the candidate’s qualifications and offer their opinion to you. It always helps to have more than one person’s opinion in the interview process because they will share some of the responsibility for the hire. Plus, if you hire the candidate, the same employees who helped interview the candidate should have more interest in ensuring the candidate’s success.
  3. Prepare for Questions With the second interview, the candidate has had time to research you, your employees, the company and more. Be prepared to answer questions related to the candidate’s development and growth with the company.
  4. Culture This is tied into point two above, New Faces. The second interview is your chance to market the company to candidate. Show them what life is like working for your company. Let your current employees share stories (both good and bad). The stories will provide an idea of the work environment and its challenges/expectations. Give the candidate a quick tour of the office. During the tour, you can show the candidate the different departments and give a quick explanation of how they help the company.
  5. Compensation, Benefits and Next Steps Before the candidate leaves, be sure to discuss compensation and benefits. Don’t forget about the perks! You don’t have to negotiate the exact compensation package at this point, but you should have a good idea of what the candidate needs in order to accept the position. At the end of the second interview, tell the candidate what happens next and when they can expect to hear back from you. You could offer the position on the spot if you would like, but don’t expect the candidate to accept it on the spot. Give both yourself and the candidate a day or so to think about everything you talked about throughout the entire interview process.

Make sure you follow-up with the candidate like you said you would. If the process is delayed for any reason, tell them. By doing this, you’re giving the employee a feeling that the company is organized and professional. My next blog will be about extending a job offer.

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