"Second Interview Focus?"
May 13, 2007 10:14 PM   Subscribe

I have been asked back for a second interview (technical position but not software/coding centric) with 4 of the 6 people that interviewed me the first time. I will likely be interviewed by 3 of them first followed by a one-on-one interview with the other gentleman, as I was last month.

My first round of interviews was both technical and to gain a better understanding of why I want to work for them. I cold-called them and they were interested because they are thinking of expanding in the area of my expertise.

What do you think I should expect in the second round of interviews? Will the thrust be more technical or more to see how I fit in with potential co-workers? Both?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
posted by hellhammer to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I was in a similar situation, my first interview was a three hour technical meeting plus a couple of hours of a getting-to-know-you sort of thing. The second one was basically sitting in on a working meeting and my attempting to ask relevant questions and get a better understanding of the obstacles they faced on a day-to-day basis.

While YMMV, I suspect if you got asked back, they're going to see how well your technical skills translate into fitting in and working with your potential coworkers . So um, both of those things you mentioned, just intertwined.

I got the job, BTW, and I love it so far. Just be your eager self and I'm sure it'll work out well. Good luck!
posted by universal_qlc at 10:23 PM on May 13, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, Universal!

I am really interested in working for this company and I am confident that I got that across successfully the first time I was there. I also took with me a list of ideas and we talked about those for quite some time.

I am happy that I am meeting the same people because

(a) they are the senior engineers and directors of the department; and
(b) I have a better idea of how they respond and react

I certainly hope it works out well :) Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by hellhammer at 10:33 PM on May 13, 2007

IF the POV is not technical, but rather on your personal interaction skills...

Totally random, but I was once in a series of interviews, but not the interviewed, where the candidate was asked to tell a joke. There are two possible bad scenarios here-

1) You can't think of a joke and just say 'nope, sorry.'
2) You tell an offensive joke.

So on the 1% chance somebody asks you that in an interview, it's invaluable to have a short, clean joke in the back of your mind. Also, thinking of a joke takes your mind of your nerves.
posted by conch soup at 11:04 PM on May 13, 2007

Best answer: It probably depends very highly about where you are interviewing. Some places don't really know how to interview, so it'll just be another chance for them to try to figure out if you fit with them. If so, it will be a random thing where you just get put in front of people so they can spend time with you.

Other places know how to interview better and will be able to ask hard questions that will help them figure out if you fit with them. This version is harder on you!

I'm a software person in the midwest, so there's a preponderance of the first type of interview around here. People don't know what they want. They know they have an open position and just want someone competent to fill it. So they just bring in people until someone passes the sniff test.

I've been through both these kinds of interviews. Personally, I approached them the same way.

The important part is what kind of person you are: whether you get excited about things you love and whether the company does those things. If you really want the job, you can do your best to find out ahead of time what the company does and then try to be excited about those things. It helps a lot if you actually are though, especially if this is your career and not just another job.

From a software point of view (so I don't know if this applies in what you're doing, but this is the best advice I can give to someone worried ahead of a technical interview), if you get put in a hard details oriented technical interview, just remember that the most important thing in there is not to know every last detail about what you're being asked. Be honest and be open to learning. You're not in there to show you can work without reference materials. You're there being evaluated for your problem solving skills.

In a technical interview, the most important things you can show are your competence (which doesn't involve knowing every little detail but just that you aren't totally out in left field) and how you approach a problem. Never get flustered and keep smiling. Don't make stuff up!

Good luck. Just be yourself, show you want the job, and then put the hard decision on them!
posted by cmm at 4:32 AM on May 14, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you, cmm!

This is definitely not just another job for me and I really want to join this company... they're the best at what they do and have a rich history of research and innovation.

The interview is tomorrow and I'm going to go do my best. I'll post tomorrow and let you all know how it went ;)
posted by hellhammer at 10:32 AM on May 14, 2007

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