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Second Interview

You have made a good first impression, now it's time to continue representing yourself as the "perfect" fit for their organization. Companies will typically invite the top two to four candidates to their location for a site visit, plant trip, or second interview.


Second interviews are typically requested for the following:

  • Evaluate your personal/professional skill set within their office and/or plant.
  • Assess your interactions with other fellow colleagues in their organization.
  • Reinforce their (and your) belief you are the right fit within their organization.


  • This interview may last an hour or it could be an all day agenda.
  • One-on-one meetings - May be done with a variety of people with multiple interviewing styles. They may also do them back-to-back (this may be to see how you handle the intensity/stress over the course of several hours). Enthusiasm is a key with these types of meetings, as you may be asked to answer the same question with every new meeting. It's key to be consistent with your responses to similar questions while not necessarily repeating the same answers verbatim.
  • Group setting - This style may be used to see how you handle being in front of a wide variety of people looking to you for answers on given topics.
  • A meal may be a part of this round of interviewing - to see how you are in a social and professional setting. matter how social it seems, you are still being interviewed.
  • Tours - Are used to let you see the potential work setting and to also evaluate your enthusiasm and still assessing your comfort level in a different setting.


  • Continue working on your interviewing skills. You have made it to the second interview, but they are looking more intently this round to ensure their decisions.
  • Research the company. Their website can be a great instrument for reviewing current employee names, positions, and responsibilities. You may have to research various sources to get into more depth such as company history, projected growth and other pieces of information that could represent your knowledge of their organization.
  • Refine your portfolio. Especially in some areas (PR, marketing, etc.), students find that bringing their portfolio or "brag book" can help them showcase past successes and their potential in a professional setting.
  • Review the agenda. Some organizations may allow you to become familiar with the agenda prior to the day. If this is the case, it is extremely important to review and become familiar with how they have scheduled your time with them.


  • Who is paying for the trip? (Typically, if the organization is asking you to travel to them, they will pick up all expenses.) Questions that are important for you to know ahead of time are:
  1. Is this trip prepaid?
  2. Is this a reimbursement situation after I return home?
  3. Will I be paid upon arrival?
  • Key pieces of information to have before traveling are:
  1. Your contact upon arrival at the hotel or onsite (name, contact information, etc.).
  2. Transportation to and from hotel (if applicable on the trip).
  3. Expected times to be at a specific location.
  4. Appropriate attire for the day.


For the Candidate

  • Is this the right overall fit for me and my skill set?
  • Can I see myself being in this position for my career?

For the Employer

  • Does this candidate bring the skill set they have set out to find?
  • Does this candidate have the capacity to handle the job we are going to hire them to do?
  • Can we see this candidate taking this company or specific project to the next level?
  • Will the candidate's skills and attributes mesh well with others in the organization?


Some employers require candidates to submit to certain drug and/or background screenings. An employee is considered an investment and they would like to make sure they have not overlooked anything that may hinder performance once on the job.


  • Be sure to write a thank you letter or email to the company contact within 48 hours.
  • If at all possible, write a similar letter or email to all the persons met during the course of the day.
  • Follow-up with the employer if you haven't heard from them in the time-frame originally communicated. Sometimes employers hit snags in their system and may not think to follow through with candidate(s).
  • If offered the position, decide if this opportunity is the right one for you. It is okay to turn down positions if you are not completely comfortable.