A common recruiting mistake is treating a candidate’s second interview as just a rehash of the first round, only this time, with a higher-level manager involved. But here’s how you can craft the interview to really make sure you’ve got a good employee in the pipeline.
First, you have to decide on the purpose of the second (or third) interview – Is it just to get a final seal of approval for a candidate you and the manager have decided to hire, or is this the “real” interview, with the first round acting more as an initial screen?
If the purpose is verification, it’s important to only invite one candidate for this round (or two if two jobs are open, etc.). Include the people the candidate will be working with, if you want their input, and set an informal tone – if this is really for final verification interview, the grilling should have already taken place.
For all the marbles
But if it’s still up in the air among multiple candidates, here are some ways to get the most out of the second round of interviews:
- Make sure the decision-maker is ready. The hiring manager should go into the interview planning to make a decision soon afterward.
- Give candidates feedback on the first interview. When you schedule the interviews, tell people beforehand what they might be able to improve on to help their chances. Also, have the hiring manager prepare questions based on what was discovered in the first round.
- Let candidates know the schedule and process. If this is the last step, let people know. Likewise, make sure they know they’re part of a select few, if that’s the case. They’ve likely been taking time off from another job to come interview, and it’s nice to know when they might expect a payoff.