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2nd Interviews & 1st Interviews

by: Michael R. Neece, CEO Interview Mastery

2nd Interviews with Some, 1st Interviews with Others
First and second interviews can be quite different. Interviewers meeting you for the 2nd time have different expectations and they're more comfortable with you. They expect that you'll be more informed about their company and express targeted enthusiasm for the position.
The questions you ask 2nd time interviewers are focused on the company, industry trends, market drivers, key position deliverables, and competition.

During your 2nd visit, you'll meet new interviewers for the first time. These interviewers are really 1st time interviewers and they'll conduct the interview like a 1st time meeting. The difference is they've heard good things about you and expect you're a strong candidate. But they'll still have to be convinced. With 1st time interviewers, conduct yourself like it's your 1st interview because this is your 1st interview with these evaluators.

Your Questions for 1st and 2nd Interviews
During the 1st interview, interviewer questioning focused on the position and your qualifications. You ask questions about the key position requirements and present your experience.

Questions you ask during 1st interviews include:
- What are the key business reasons driving the need for this position?
- Describe the three top challenges that I'll face in this job?
- What has to happen for you to know you've hired the best person?
- What are the key deliverables that this position must achieve?
- What are the key metrics used to measure success?

Questions you ask during 2nd interviews include:
- Please describe three company initiatives and how the position is linked.
- What competitors do you feel present the strongest competition?
- What market dynamics do you feel will have the greatest impact?

As with all interviews, make sure you ask the two closing questions at the end of each meeting.
- What do you feel are my strengths for this position?
- What concerns do you have about my background?

Changing the Game
2nd interviews include meeting higher level people in the company. Higher level interviewers are more likely to be unskilled but they're more comfortable interviewing and asking unorthodox questions. Interviewer skill is not correlated to years of experience or level in the company.

As you progress through the hiring process you'll encounter different types of interviews. You may be asked to deliver a presentation. Panel interviews (multiple interviewers simultaneously), problem solving/simulation interviews, personality tests, mealtime interviews are also common on 2nd interviews.

Show Me the Money
Finally, on 2nd and 3rd interviews you'll be questioned about your salary expectations and possible start date.