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How to get through second and third-round or Technical and management-round interviews
So, you've made it through your first round of interviews -- congratulations -- and now you're on to the second and third round ... the good stuff.
Many of these interviews will take the form of business lunches and dinners. These are less about assessing your business acumen -- this has been solid enough to get you past the first round -- than about seeing how you are able to interact with others in collegial and social situations. In short, this is where the smallest of small details is what separates those who receive an offer from those who don't.
Here are a few restaurant recommendations:
ˇ Don't turn up smelling so strongly of scent that they smell you, not the food.ˇ Do not wear your sunglasses, either on your face or on your head.ˇ While I have no objection to the flaunting of chest hair or cleavage on your own time, it needs to stay under wraps in a business setting.ˇ Follow your host's lead with regard to beginning with small talk versus diving into a business conversation.ˇ Don't drink, even if they do.ˇ Order food that's easy to manage. No one wants to see you playing cat's cradle with the cheese on your onion soup.ˇ Don't discuss your dietary habits. Your feelings about protein, white flour or the conditions under which chickens are raised should remain yours alone.ˇ Aside from the fact that my mother always impressed on me that salting your food before tasting it was an insult to the chef, I've heard that those in the business world view it as indicative of poor impulse control -- you may make judgments without having all the facts.ˇ Do not check your PDA in between standing up from your table in the restaurant and exiting the restaurant. Give your goodbyes the same attention you did your hellos.
Another way second- and third-round interviews are often conducted is with case studies -- both group and individual -- designed to prove that you are, indeed, the creative and logical thinker your résumé claims you are, or that you're the "people person" your recommenders claim you can be.
A key thing to remember with all three types is that there is no "right" answer to the case. They are behavioral tests that check mental agility.
Group case interviews: These are more about not failing than about wowing people. They have one goal: to find out which people work and play well with others. Are you collegial and can you make an impact in a tactful way in a group setting?
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