Congratulations—you made it through your first-round interview! It’s likely that the first round interview was conducted by Phone or Skype—now they want to meet you in person.

The following sections will help prepare you to ace the second round interview.

What to Expect

  • You might start off by having a one-on-one interview with your prospective manager.
  • That may be followed by back-to-back interviews with your potential co-workers and other managers— individuals that you will likely be working with on a daily basis should you be selected for the position.  
  • You should be getting an interview schedule in advance, but if you don’t make sure to keep your whole day clear.

SECOND ROUND INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Questions posed during the second round interview are often more specific and focus more on the particulars of the job and your understanding of the company and its objectives. Behavioral questions are common during a second interview. Employers may ask you to describe how you handled past situations in order to assess what your future performance may be like.

How to Prepare

  • You should always visit and carefully read the company’s  website.  
  • It’s always helpful to speak to current and former employees if possible, to find out what makes the company unique and to show that you have done your homework.
  • Seek out information on any recent events going on within the company and industry (e.g., mergers, management changes, etc.) as well as about the organizational structure and culture.
  • Re-read the job description in order to understand what the company is looking for and to anticipate the questions that will be asked.
  • Review your resume and focus on discussing related experience in more detail. Think about what you have learned, the skills you have developed  and how they relate to this particular employer.
  • Practice your answer to the “Tell me about yourself” question.
  • Think about the points that you want to get across about yourself in the interview.
  • Prepare descriptive stories that you can tell about yourself in the interview.
  • If possible, do a Mock Interview with a CCE counselor.
  • Find out the dress code for the interview.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume.
  • Be prepared to leave a list of professional references should they ask for it.
  • Before you leave, make sure you have all the pertinent contact information, addresses, and directions.
     

Good Questions to Ask the Employer

The following are examples of good questions to ask employers towards the end of your second round interview:

Questions for Supervisors

  • What are the ongoing or special departmental projects?
  • What are the daily responsibilities of the position?
  • What are company expectations for the position? What does the company or team hope that the employee will accomplish?

Questions for Peers

  • What do you like best and least about working for this department/organization?
  • What is a typical workday like for you?
  • Are there opportunities for professional growth?
  • What are the greatest challenges you face on the job?

Questions for Human Resources

  • Will there be an orientation or any additional training?
  • What are the pathways for advancement within the organization?
  • What do employees like best and least about working for this company?

Super Days

A Super Day is a type of final-round interview generally given by bulge bracket firms in the financial sector. After a first round interview, you may be invited to a Super Day that is being held within a day or two of the first interview.  Super Days get their name because they take multiple hours, sometimes even full days. A Super Day is a firm’s way of determining if they want to hire you and if so, in which team you would work.

What to Expect

In a typical Super Day, you will have multiple interviews, either one-on-one or in a group, with employees who have different levels of seniority. Interviews are usually between 30 to 60 minutes in length and are held back-to-back. Some of these interviews will be more behavioral and others more technical. Generally, senior interviewers will ask more behavioral questions, but this is not always the case. Super Days may also include projects or presentations and social events like receptions or meals.

How to Prepare

First, check your schedule before accepting the invitation. If you have a conflict that you cannot avoid, ask if an alternative date can be arranged.  Re-read the job description and think about the points that you would like to get across about yourself in the various interviews.  Think of illustrative stories that you could tell to reinforce your fit for the position. Prepare questions to ask the employer at the end of the interview.  Get a good night’s sleep because you have a long day ahead of you.

How to Shine

Arrive on time and dress appropriately. Due to the length and intensity of these events, pacing yourself to maintain your energy is important. Your interviewers will be deciding not only whether you have the skills for the job but also whether your personality would make you a good fit, so make an effort to be polite and personable both in formal interviews and less-structured events like lunches and networking events. As you’re going to be meeting with many people, and sending many thank you notes, be sure to get business cards or write down the name and team of each person you interviewed with so that you can follow up.

Additional Resources: Superdays, Dining Etiquette, Networking.

After the Interview

You should find out the next steps in the hiring process. For example, you should ask if third round interviews will be held or if decisions will be made immediately.

If you receive a job offer on the spot, which is uncommon but not impossible, it is appropriate to tell the employer that you need more time to think about the opportunity. You should ask for the specific deadline by which the company needs your answer.

Consider what you learned about the position and the company during the interview. Do you feel that this would be a good fit for you if you are offered the position?

You should send a thank you note to every person with whom you met. It is important to write a different note to each interviewer in order to emphasize your appreciation for the opportunity to interview with the company.

Additional Resources

Please refer to the following tip sheets for additional help or answers: Interview Questions, and Networking and Informational Interviewing.

The Center for Career Education also suggests the following additional resources:

  • 201 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview by John Kador
  • 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry
  • Interview For Success by Caryl Krannich

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