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A second interview is an important stage in the job application process. It indicates that a company has enough interest in an applicant to call him or her back to talk with other decision-making staff in the company. Depending on the organization, an offer of employment may be extended after the second interview, or an applicant may be asked to return for another interview. The goal of a second interview is to glean more information about the applicant, usually from a different perspective to see if he or she will fit in well about the company.
There are several steps which an applicant has to go through before being asked to a second interview. First, the applicant must create a strong application which encourages the company to ask him or her to a first interview. If the applicant does well in this interview, the staff who performed the interview will recommend a second. This means that the applicant has gone through two cuts, one to establish basic qualifications through the review of a resume and other supporting material, and one to determine whether or not the applicant has potential.
Generally, the people who conduct a second interview are higher up on the company food chain. They take the screened applicants they interview very seriously, as other members of the company believe that the applicants may perform well in the company. These staffers may ask an entirely new set of questions or pose new challenges, or they may go over previously discussed material; each interviewer has a slightly different style and perspective on the applicants, and applicants should try to remember this.
As with a first interview, applicants who have been called to a second interview should prepare themselves. Dressing professionally is a must, as is making sure that one's appearance in general is neat and presentable. It may help to generate a list of potential interview questions and review them, and if possible the applicant should find out more about the company and the specific people performing the interview. This ensures that the applicant is knowledgeable, and it means that he or she will have comments or questions during the interview, showing interest in the job and the company.
It is also an excellent idea to write thank you notes after a second interview. Applicants should take the time to thank all of the people they interacted with, and they should ask a secretary of member of the administrative staff about how to spell names, if they are unsure. Thank you notes do not have to be elaborate or excessively florid, but they should convey genuine appreciation.