Ace the Second Interview and Secure a Job Offer
You’ve made the first cut. You’ve received the callback you’ve been waiting for. Now you need to nail the job offer. How do you ensure your second interview leads to the hospitality position you want?
“First, under no circumstances let your guard down,” says Peter Shrive, a partner with Cambridge Management Planning. “You have not aced the interview process, you are not the absolutely selected candidate yet…or you might be.”
Why a second interview?
There are two top reasons the human resources or hiring officer has called you in for a second look. Understanding why you’ve been asked for a return visit can help you achieve your goal: the job offer.
Here are the most common reasons for the second look:
1. You are the finalist candidate, and the second interview is an opportunity for you to meet your potential co-workers and managers to allow these people to comment yea or nay to the hiring officer. In other words, this is probably a courtesy meeting.
“In most companies,” says Shrive, “if the hiring officer has said ‘I want this person,’ you have to do something pretty drastic or bizarre in your second interview to have that person overruled.”
2. You are an attractive candidate, but the interviewers didn’t get everything they needed from the first meeting.
“They’re now prepared to zero in on one or two issues either because they have suspicions left over from last time, or they didn’t get everything covered, or they’ve met several attractive candidates,” says Shrive.
You must do everything you can to find out what they’re after.
Second interview techniques
First, never assume your interviewers remember everything about your initial meeting. Bring your resume, credentials, and information on any awards or commendations with you to refresh their memory.
- Take control of the interview. Use a line like … “I’m wondering if there’s some ground we didn’t cover in our last interview that you might want to know more about.”
- Take cues from their questions. For instance, if you’ve applied for a server position and the questions refer to how much you earned in tips or how you increased average table sales, the company might be looking for a server who knows how to upsell. If you’re applying to be a manager at a hotel chain, be prepared to answer questions about your ability to relocate.
- Elaborate and embellish. There might be items of interest that are not included on your resume. For instance, if you’re a wine steward completing a sommelier course for designation, let the interviewers know. This type of information will help them choose you.
- Don’t let your guard down. The second interview can seem less formal than your first meeting. Make no mistake: you are still being assessed. The hiring officer might like your credentials, but is now trying to see whether you’d be a good fit for their hospitality operation.
- Watch for trick questions. Interviewers sometimes ask the same question in different ways. Make sure you give the same answer each time. Know your resume, have your story straight, and don’t be afraid to ask if you’ve answered the questions to their satisfaction.
- Close the sale. Try to gauge whether they’re going to make you an offer. “The best strategy for closing the sale is to ask for the order,” Shrive advises. If they aren’t ready to make you an offer on the spot, find out what the next steps are.
In larger companies, like hotel chains, you might be called in for even more interviews, including psychological profiling. But for many positions in the hospitality industry, if you’ve aced both your first and second interviews, a job offer should not be far behind.
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Related Hospitality Career Articles:
• 5 Common Types Of Interviewers--And How To Handle Them
• How To Respond To Tricky Questions
• Post-interview: The Power Of Thank-You Letters And Follow-up Calls