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Second Interview on Friday: Tips / Help / Advice appreciated!

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Jun 11, 2012, 7:56am   #1
Sternchen's Avatar
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Sternchen
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Hi everyone,

as most of you know I've been pretty unhappy with my current job situation and have been applying for a new position. Most of my applications were rejected but a nice, middle-sized company 20 minutes from my home (as opposed to the 1,5 hour commute I have now) invited me to an interview. I applied as an Assistant to the CTO.

The first interview went well. They asked about me, my resume and told me about the job in general. I met with the CTO and with a lady from HR. I had prepared a list of questions but they answered a lot of them while they were talking about the company, lol. So I only had 1-2 to ask at the end of the interview.

I didn't hear anything for a week and then I get a letter in the mail. They invited me to a second interview on the 15th. I replied promptly via E-Mail and graciously accepted the invitation.

Now it is time to prepare for my second interview and I'm not really sure what to do. I've never been invited to a second interview before! Either I got the job or I didn't!

Do any of you have any tips?

What should I ask at the interview? I am seriously not a creative person and have trouble thinking up clever things to ask that aren't boring or typical. *sigh*
Jun 11, 2012, 10:19am   #2
p
plain jane doe
Member
Don't have much advice but wanted to pop in and send you good vibes!

I have had multiple interviews but always with different people, so the preparation was similar. I guess the one general point I would make is that I think it goes easier if you think of it less as what "should" you say or ask and more what you want to tell them about you or what you want to know about them and the job.

Break a leg!
Jun 11, 2012, 12:20pm   #3
thepoppet's Avatar
thepoppet
wind sylph
This website offers a ton of really helpful (and very accurate) interview advice:

http://www.askamanager.org/

In the right hand column, you can find the category "Interviewing."

http://www.askamanager.org/category/interviewing

The writer also offers a free guide on interviewing:

http://www.askamanager.org/how-to-guide

There may be some differences because of hiring culture/practices differences between the U.S. and Germany, but the advice in general is extremely helpful and sound. Good luck!
Jun 11, 2012, 1:35pm   #4
ILuvShopping's Avatar
ILuvShopping
★☆★★☆★★☆★
maybe try to think of questions if they offer you the job?? benefits... schedule.... things like that. maybe think about if you want to negotiate the pay....

i know places are different and depends on the company on how many interview rounds you get. but most i think offer you the job during the 2nd or 3rd interview. and i think since you've already had an interview with the person you'll be working for AND HR then i think that's a good sign.

good luck!
Jun 11, 2012, 1:42pm   #5
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Sternchen
Member
Originally Posted by thepoppet
This website offers a ton of really helpful (and very accurate) interview advice:

http://www.askamanager.org/

In the right hand column, you can find the category "Interviewing."

http://www.askamanager.org/category/interviewing

The writer also offers a free guide on interviewing:

http://www.askamanager.org/how-to-guide

There may be some differences because of hiring culture/practices differences between the U.S. and Germany, but the advice in general is extremely helpful and sound. Good luck!
Thank you for the links! I will take a look now

I don't find the procedures to be too different, as I've intereviewed in the US and in Germany quite a few times. It's always good to get some sort of advice.

The question I hate most: "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" Ughhhh! lol
Jun 11, 2012, 1:44pm   #6
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Sternchen
Member
Originally Posted by plain jane doe
Don't have much advice but wanted to pop in and send you good vibes!

I have had multiple interviews but always with different people, so the preparation was similar. I guess the one general point I would make is that I think it goes easier if you think of it less as what "should" you say or ask and more what you want to tell them about you or what you want to know about them and the job.

Break a leg!
Thank you! I never try to script myself because I believe honesty and being one's self is always the best policy. I always try to be poised, polite and well intersted. Seems to have worked so far, haha!
Jun 11, 2012, 1:45pm   #7
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Sternchen
Member
Originally Posted by ILuvShopping
maybe try to think of questions if they offer you the job?? benefits... schedule.... things like that. maybe think about if you want to negotiate the pay....

i know places are different and depends on the company on how many interview rounds you get. but most i think offer you the job during the 2nd or 3rd interview. and i think since you've already had an interview with the person you'll be working for AND HR then i think that's a good sign.

good luck!
Thanks!

My first interview was with the CTO and with one lady from HR - this time ANOTHER lady from HR will be present. ACK!

I'm trying hard to memorize the names of the people I will be meeting with on Friday. The CTO has a strange name that's hard to pronounce and I don't want to make a mistake.

I'm bad with names so I asked in my acceptance E-Mail if she would tell me who my interview partners would be
Jun 11, 2012, 2:29pm   #8
M
Morisa
Member
Typically when you are invited to a second interview, it's to meet more people that you would be working with to see if you "fit" with the culture of the workplace. If you've passed the first cut, presumably they don't have any questions about whether you are qualified for the job.

You mentioned that you had applied to be an assistant to the CTO. In that role, who else would you have a close working relationship with? You may not report to those people, but if you would be working with them on a daily basis, chances are the 2nd interview is to get a feel for how well you fit with them.
Jun 11, 2012, 4:23pm   #9
lorihmatthews's Avatar
lorihmatthews
Doberhuahua!
My "ace in the hole" question comes at the end, when the interviewer asks me if I have any questions. Since I usually don't, my favorite response is to ask "Is there anything else you are looking for in this position that we haven't discussed yet?"

That way, if the interviewer has any doubts, they can say "Well, I want to make sure this person has X skill" and then you can speak to it. Works like a charm every time!
Jun 11, 2012, 4:31pm   #10
thepoppet's Avatar
thepoppet
wind sylph
Originally Posted by ILuvShopping
maybe try to think of questions if they offer you the job?? benefits... schedule.... things like that. maybe think about if you want to negotiate the pay....

i know places are different and depends on the company on how many interview rounds you get. but most i think offer you the job during the 2nd or 3rd interview. and i think since you've already had an interview with the person you'll be working for AND HR then i think that's a good sign.

good luck!
First: Here's a super awesome (and easy to follow) interview advice graphic!

http://fosslien.com/job/

No offense to the great gesture by ILuvShopping, but I have to say, absolutely do NOT discuss salary/benefits until there is an offer. You save that sort of stuff at the offer stage (unless of course they ask for your salary expectation, then agreed to be prepared with research and offer a range higher than what you'd accept--forget the making them state the salary first game; they rarely do and it's not fair but it becomes weird when no one will say anything).

Also, doubtful they would make an offer right then and there anyway (although that does happen on rare occasions). Usually 1st interview is HM or HR screen, then following are interviews with HM (if only HR interviewed initially), Manager you'd be reporting to, possible team members you'd be working with, other higher ups as needed, etc. Be prepared to answer some of the same questions you were asked the first time around (since it's a different person asking)--they are usually behavior questions ("describe a time when you've had to deal with X. How did you handle it? What did you learn?").
Jun 11, 2012, 4:43pm   #11
ILuvShopping's Avatar
ILuvShopping
★☆★★☆★★☆★
Originally Posted by thepoppet
First: Here's a super awesome (and easy to follow) interview advice graphic!

http://fosslien.com/job/

No offense to the great gesture by ILuvShopping, but I have to say, absolutely do NOT discuss salary/benefits until there is an offer. You save that sort of stuff at the offer stage (unless of course they ask for your salary expectation, then agreed to be prepared with research and offer a range higher than what you'd accept--forget the making them state the salary first game; they rarely do and it's not fair but it becomes weird when no one will say anything).

Also, doubtful they would make an offer right then and there anyway (although that does happen on rare occasions). Usually 1st interview is HM or HR screen, then following are interviews with HM (if only HR interviewed initially), Manager you'd be reporting to, possible team members you'd be working with, other higher ups as needed, etc. Be prepared to answer some of the same questions you were asked the first time around (since it's a different person asking)--they are usually behavior questions ("describe a time when you've had to deal with X. How did you handle it? What did you learn?").
that's what i meant. AFTER they offer her the job, perhaps she should think about the type of questions she might have. not before.
Jun 11, 2012, 5:00pm   #12
thepoppet's Avatar
thepoppet
wind sylph
Originally Posted by ILuvShopping
that's what i meant. AFTER they offer her the job, perhaps she should think about the type of questions she might have. not before.
Perfect. We're on the same page.
Jun 11, 2012, 9:35pm   #13
a
aklein
Member
I always ask whether it's a new position entirely or if not, why the last person left. That can tell you a lot.
I also tend to ask questions about the work culture -- the qualities that the team members seem to have that makes them successful, what the goals of the team are, goals of the company (both short and long-term). I also try to find out what their expectations of me will be as a new hire, like how long they expect it to take me to get adjusted, what the training process is, what is the support system like, etc.
Those are just a few. I try to remember that I am interviewing them too.
Jun 11, 2012, 10:53pm   #14
athena21's Avatar
athena21
Member
From second interviews where I've been going for the position, they've typically been more technical interviews....wanting to know more than just the standard interview questions, by asking specific scenario questions that only someone with experience in the field would be able to answer.

From second interviews I've conducted, it's usually just to let more people at the company get a feel for the candidate, and to give me a second opinion.

Regardless of whether you're going for more of a technical position (where I'd brush up on more of the aspects of the job duties), don't be over-prepared....or at least be good at acting like you aren't over-prepared. I used to go online and look up a ton of typical interview questions so I could pretty much already have my answers formed. In one interview it backfired a little, where the guy said I sounded a little *too* prepared. I definitely agree with the above posters who said have an idea of salary/schedule you want to ask for. Glassdoor.com is a good site to get median pay rates for specific jobs in different companies.
Jun 13, 2012, 7:06am   #15
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Sternchen
Member
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've been trying to prepare as good as I can - thinking of answers to the "standard" questions just in case they are asked in the 2nd round - they weren't asked in the first.

Right now I've got my strengths written down:

1. flexibility and ability to integrate quickly

2. intelligent and ready to learn

3. very organised

Trying to think of Weaknesses now... haha, this is the worst!
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