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How to Call Back Potential Employees for a Second Interview

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Attending an interview as a job candidate is a stressful experience. It can also be stressful if you are conducting the interview. Not only do you have to sort through piles of resumes, but you also have the exhausting work of meeting multiple candidates and preparing questions to identify the suitable from the not so suitable. When you've conducted the first round of interviews and have narrowed your candidate pool, you may elect to conduct a second round of interviews. The first step in this part of the process is calling that pool of candidates.


Before you call potential candidates for second interviews, take some time to ensure that you have all your ducks in a row. The second interview is often a chance for the candidates to meet staff members with whom they'd be working, This means that you must clear the schedules of those staff members, and get the staff up to speed on their roles in the process. Reserve a conference room or other meeting facilities and make arrangements for snacks, coffee or lunch you may be serving. Be considerate of the candidates' availability and schedule interviews when they are convenient for them.

Make Contact

Calling the candidates by phone is generally the best mode of communication, as it gives you an additional opportunity to gauge their enthusiasm and professionalism. On top of that, it allows the candidate to ask questions ahead of the interview. Go over any notes you made about the candidate's availability and call her during her specified free times to invite her in for the second interview. Congratulate her on making it through the first round, and let her know you're looking forward to seeing her again.

Missed Connections

If the candidate doesn't answer her phone, leave a voicemail message letting her know you want her to come in for an interview. Ask her to call you back to confirm the interview. If you have a limited amount of time in between the call and the interview, send the candidate an email as well. Because she's already attended one interview, she should be standing by for your call, but contacting her using multiple methods can ensure that you'll get a quicker response. If she doesn't call you back within 24 hours, this may indicate that she's not interested -- or not very conscientious. Make at least one more attempt to contact her before you move on.


When you talk to the candidate, give her all of the information she needs to know about the interview. Include the date, time and location of the interview, as well as information about what she can expect and who she might meet. For example, if you plan to have the candidate take a competency exam, tour the facility and shadow an employee, the candidate may need to wear certain clothing, such as scrubs, laboratory gear or comfortable shoes. Some interviews take up most of a day -- which the interviewee will certainly want to know to plan her schedule. Giving these specific instructions is another way to test the candidate's commitment to the job. Those candidates who don't follow your instructions on how to dress or what to bring show that they may not be fully engaged in this process.