2nd interview

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2nd interview

Postby David M » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:23 pm


Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions, especially Dave, Kevin, Lora and Bill.

I interviewed with a small biotech for a process engr. position and I have a second interview with VP-R&D and some other managers.

Any suggestions on how to handle this, I think it will be a mix of technical and cultural fit type questions. But, I would like to hear some advice from you guys here.


David M

P.S. Is it acceptable to wear the same suit...but with different shirt and tie?
David M

2nd interview

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:08 pm

Congratulations, David, on the second interview. That's a real good sign. They have probably narrowed it down to just 2-3 candidates at this stage, and it may be that you are the only one in the lineup and that the job is yours to win.

Second interviews are more of the same, but often times with an emphasis on getting some questions answered from your first visit. Perhaps there is an area of expertise that you were a bit light on ("I'm not quite certain about David's exposure to ultrafiltration, George. Better run him through that a little"). Also, there could be a team interview involved to see how you hold up in a bit more stressful environment. Read the NextWave articles on panel interviewing for more advice there, but in general, make sure you share eye contact with everyone!

Yes, how you fit the company culture will be something that your interviewers will now try and determine. Don't phoney up your answers, but do try and remember what others have earlier told you about the way things work there at the employer.

Your same suit will be fine! No one really remembers what you were wearing on that first interview ):

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2nd interview

Postby Frank G. » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:03 pm

I just had a second round of interviews at a big pharmaceutical company. As Dave said, it was "more of the same". I met with two VPs, some people that I would work with if I get the job (supposedly to see if we get along) and someone from HR who is a bit higher up than the HR person I met the previous time. The type of questions they asked were similar to the first round of interviews: a mix of "traditional" interview questions (Tell me about yourself; why do you want to work for us, etc.) and some "behavioral" questions (quite accurately described here: Also in line with what Dave said, I used the information I got out of the previous interviews and tried to place more emphasis on those aspects that are important for this particular job. As opposed to the first round of interviews, I would say that this time there was a little more emphasis on the "business" aspects (problems the industry is currently facing, working in a team,...) than on scientific/technical aspects of the job, so it paid off that I had done some reading beforehand.

I did wear the same suit as the previous time, but with a different shirt and tie :)
Frank G.

2nd interview

Postby Lora » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:13 pm

Congrats! That's awesome. Second interviews are always a good sign.

Are there any questions you'd like answered that maybe you forgot to ask, or questions that maybe the first person you interviewed with wasn't able to answer? See if they have any recent press releases or new products and ask about those, how those pertain to your future position, that sort of thing. I have the incurable bad habit of not thinking of questions I should have asked until I'm halfway home from the first interview, so a second interview is a good time to ask.

Men can get away with wearing the same suit. I'm a stereotypical geek--my mom picks out my clothes, so I have two good interview suits. I think only women notice these things, though.

2nd interview

Postby Val » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:26 pm

David M wrote:

> second interview

The reason for the second interview is not that they want to learn more about you. Human brain is not a computer; it is a neural network. The neural network has to be "trained". In the lay terms, one should feed the same information over and over in order some of it retained. From psychological point of view, they formed an opinion about you, and in the second interview they just want to assure themselves that their initial opinion is right. So, expect more of the same questions. Maybe, they will ask the questions of the lower level of importance, such as your communication skills and the capability to play in team (the higher level importance is your technical capability).

> suit to wear

Suit does not matter, really. You can even come without a suit. It is attitude which counts. Fresh out of PhD, I weared a good suit and paid utmost attention to grooming. This did not work -- I got no jobs. Not long time ago, I went to the interview for a real job. I did not really care if I get it because I had a postdoc offer from the US; I weared no suit, asked them to pay a cab ride and came late. Surprisingly, I breezed through the interview and got my first "real" job. I was interviewed for my current job by the phone only; I was sitting at my place in my underwear during the interview.

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