The Importance of a Second Interview

The Importance of a Second Interview

More and more small and medium companies today are choosing to hold multiple rounds of interviews in order to conduct a more comprehensive evaluation of their candidates technical and personal skills and avoid toxic hires. It’s a great way to organize the hiring process and keep your processes running smoothly.

Holding two interviews gives you the power to create a more human hiring process. Once you have a pool of qualified candidates, you can use the first round to assess technical skills, and save the second to dive into cultural fit, and even bring in department heads and other employees to help make the final decision.

As second interviews become more popular, they also become a more important part of the hiring process. Not on the bandwagon yet? Read ahead to see if you should be:

Why Should You Hold A Second Interview?

You can hold a second interview for a variety of reasons:

1. You have multiple rockstar candidates to choose from: When you’ve got a large pool of qualified candidates to pick from, making a culture-fit call after just one meeting may not seem very realistic.  When you are hiring for a role with a large pool of qualified applicants, you might want to consider holding multiple rounds to take the pressure off of your interviewing team.

One easy way to pick the best person from a rockstar list is to focus on different elements of “fit” throughout the interview process. Dedicate the first round to technical skill to hone in on the group of people that will do the best job day-to-day. Then, invite the best two or three candidates from your first interview back for a second round that focuses on things like culture fit and the logistics of getting them onboarded. Discuss the company’s values, trajectory, and goals at length in order to be confident that you’ve found the right match.

2. You want to get leadership in on the hiring process: Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates to a small group, many managers might want to get involved in order to help assess cultural fit. After all, they have a stake in who they work with day-to-day.

Using current staff in the interview is good for candidates too. Interacting with department heads and other employees helps candidates understand the expectations of the workplace and decide if they will thrive with the business.

You can offer 1:1 interview between department heads and candidates to make human connections between the two potential co-workers, or you can even conduct a group interview with multiple members of your leadership team to assess the candidate and answer any questions they have.

3. You have loose ends to tie up: Sometimes, a second interview can be more of a formality than anything else. If you have a good idea of which candidate you’d like to pursue, the second round of interviews can be a good way to introduce topics like salary expectations, moving expenses, and other considerations that affect a candidate’s ability to take the job.

Are Multiple Rounds a Good Idea for You?

Whether or not you should hold a second round of interviews depends a lot on your bandwidth as a hiring manager and if  you’re able to get effective answers for every vital question in one interview:

A second round may be a good idea if:

  • You’re looking for candidates that need a large variety of expertise.

  • You need to coordinate with department heads during the hiring process.

  • You expect to have multiple rockstar candidates.

A second round may not be a good idea if:

  • You’re hiring entry-level positions.

  • You’re spending the majority of your time disqualifying junk candidates, and have a small pool of qualified applicants to work with.

  • You need a body in the chair asap.

Sample Questions:

You’ve likely already asked questions about technical proficiency and a candidate’s ability to get the job done. What you’re looking for now is the perfect fit:

Cultural Questions

  • What about our company makes you want to leave your current position?

  • How will our company’s values impact your workday?

  • What excites you about this position?

Salary, Benefits, and Moving Questions

  • What are your salary requirements?

  • Do you have dependents that need insurance coverage?

  • Will you need to move to take this position? Are school districts and specific neighborhoods a concern for you?

Misc Questions

  • How does this job fit into your overall career goals?

  • Why are you the best person for the job?

  • How do you think this job will challenge you?

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