Call Back Interviews
Effective Interviewing Guide
After the Interview
The call back second interview has two objectives. The company wants to verify the campus interviewer’s positive first impression and then probe deeper into the candidate’s fit with the organization through exposure to a number of the company’s managers. Call back interviews offer an opportunity for you to find out more about the company, job and geographic area. Therefore, you should do as much interviewing as the company.
Attributes of call back interviews:
- They can be quite taxing. In some cases, they involve as many as twelve or thirteen different people plus a lunch or dinner. Any one of the participants may be able to veto your receiving a job offer.
- You are always on stage. A secretary you talk to may be asked what she thought of you. If you have a guide, he/she may not be neutral and sometimes may have input into the decision.
- Your competition at this stage is not just other GSM students, but also students of other top schools. Since competition is keen, it is most important to personalize your visit so that you will be remembered positively.
- Never take for granted that your expenses will be covered. When you receive and invitation to interview and it does not explicitly state that you will be reimbursed, do not assume you will. Call and ask in a positive way, “will my ticket and hotel reservations be prepaid or will it be handled through an expense report?”
- Try to get pre-paid airfare to conserve your cash flow.
- If they indicate that they will not cover expenses, the decision is obviously yours as to whether you want to pursue the opportunity. You may consider postponing and attempting to schedule the visit in conjunction with another interview in the same city.
Multiple interviews tend to be redundant, tiring, and sometimes irritating. Remember:
- The interviewer usually makes his decision during the first ninety seconds of the interview, so remember to greet with enthusiasm, project confidence, and smile.
- Don’t let interruptions irritate you (the interviewers also have jobs to do). If an interviewer gets involved in a long phone call, indicate that you will leave if it is confidential.
- Use waiting time to talk to secretaries and receptionists as they can sometimes tell you a lot. Also, secretaries can be allies for future contacts so be sure to get their names.
- Be consistent in your answers to repetitive questions.
- Get names and titles of interviewers as you go.
- Don’t relax too much with your “guides.”
- Try to be as alert and enthusiastic at 3:00 p.m. as you were at 9:00 a.m. Often the more important decision-makers are at the end of your schedule.
Much MBA business is transacted over meals, so employers use this as an opportunity to observe how comfortable you are in a social, yet business setting. Tips:
- Make sure you know which silverware is appropriate for each course. If you’re unsure, lag a bit behind and watch the others.
- No alcohol at lunch or breakfast. Your hosts may order several drinks, but you are on stage and need to stay alert during a long afternoon of interviews.
- Cocktails and wine at dinner are acceptable but only in moderation.
- If you drink wine, you should be prepared to order it. It is a courtesy for the guest (you) to order the wine. It is a plus if you can perform. If you don’t drink wine, say so, and let someone else do the honors.
- It’s prudent to shy away from messy foods such as soups and spaghetti to avoid having to interview the rest of the day with spots on your clothes.
- A light lunch will usually keep you more alert during the mid-afternoon portion of your schedule.
- If you can orchestrate it subtlety, try to sit across from the decision-maker.
- Try to involve everyone at the table in conversation.