The good news is that you made the cut. You've mastered the art of how to how to write a resume. And you aced the on-site, and the employer thinks highly enough of you and your potential from your initial interview to invite you to meet with team members in a different location.
Perhaps they want you to come on-site to the company headquarters, or to a key strategic location. Or maybe they want you to come to a neutral location, like a meeting space in a different city, or at an airport.
The prospect of spending all day (or more) meeting with various people from the organization can be daunting for many job seekers.
Although an all-day or multi-day interview involving travel will definitely be exhausting, it needn’t be overwhelming.
9 Focus Areas for a Successful Onsite Interview
Once you’ve received the invitation for the onsite interview, you need to competently navigate the travel arrangements. Many employers handle the travel logistics for strong interview candidates, so be sure to ask for travel specifics.
Depending on where you live and where the office is, you may have to deal with airlines, buses, trains, taxis, rental cars, maps, tolls, hotels, restaurants, and other expenses. Consider researching the city if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Plan to arrive everywhere early: the airport, the location of the onsite interview, and for any meals.
Informal Social Event: A Social Interview
Whether it’s the night before or the evening afterward, an informal social event designed for casual conversation is almost always part of the onsite interview.
Employers use informal social events to see how well you seem to fit with their current mix of employees — and you should take advantage of the event to see how this group fits you.
Some employers put a high degree of importance on this issue, so don’t ever forget, for even a second, that this event is a series of interviews. Don’t talk about controversial topics; don’t get into arguments, and avoid all other bad habits/manners.
Meals and Drinks
You can usually expect one or more meals during your onsite interview. These “breaks” from interviewing should be seen as just another interview, in which your manners, poise, conversation skills, and judgment may be evaluated.
Booze and interviews don’t mix. Just say no to any alcohol while at your onsite interview.
Corporate Culture and Fit
An onsite interview is also a great chance for you vet out corporate culture. In fact, the reason you’ve been invited to an onsite interview is to see if you will mesh with that culture. They already know that you have the skills and experience necessary to do the job. They want to get a better picture of your social skills. Smile, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, and treat everyone you meet with respect.
At the onsite, you will likely meet with multiple groups of people, from potential coworkers to managers and executives. Be prepared for different types of interviews and different style of interviewers. You need to stay focused and excel at each interview session and keep in mind that you are there to demonstrate that you understand the problem facing the business and that you know how to solve it.
Remember our advice:
Again, here preparation is key. Ideally, you are aware of the salary range for the position before you travel to your onsite interview. Still, you should do your preliminary research, and know what the market rate is for the position and someone at your level.
You may be requested to take one or more aptitude or personality tests. The aptitude tests are designed to analyze whether you have the skills you claim to have. The personality tests are designed to see whether your personality is a fit for whatever personality types the company is looking for.
End of the Visit
At the end of your on-site interview, you should ask about the next steps in the process, as well as any administrative questions you may have relating to expense reimbursement.
One of the most important things you can do after the on-site interview is to write follow-up notes or emails to each person who interviewed you or spent a fair amount of time with you. This is not merely a courtesy, and these are not merely thank-you notes! This is your opportunity to drive home your message that you are the best person for the job.
Learn more about how to excel during out-of-town on-site interviews by reading up on these common blunders and tips.
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