Q. I managed to get through the HR process at an agency and met the hiring manager during my second round of interviews, Now, I’ve been asked to return for a half day of interviews with at least six people in the practice area where the job is located. Since this is the furthest I’ve made it in the job search, is this routine? -BK
A. It’s a good sign that you’ve been invited back to meet others in the agency. The hiring process often stretches over many weeks, sometimes months and often requires several return visits and meetings with many different people. It’s not uncommon for prospective bosses to meet with their future direct reports.
Fitting into the culture of an organization is critical, so many employers want current employees to be comfortable with hiring decisions so they engage them in the process. Usually, the hiring manager has narrowed the candidate field down to one or two individuals before embarking on multiple interviews.
Based on the half-day time allotment, it sounds like you likely will have individual interviews. Sometimes, organizations group interviews where two or three people meet with prospective candidates. This is more humane than six individual interviews.
Remember to go in prepared and keep your energy level just as high for the sixth interview as the first. Listen and react; don’t over-sell but be sure to maintain eye contact and show interest in whatever is being discussed. Ask questions to get interviewers talking so you can take a verbal and mental break every now and then. Collect business cards, and send a short, personalized email to each person within 24 hours.