A second interview is like a championship game in professional sports, where the remaining finalists compete for the ultimate prize. If you’re a die-hard sports fan, you know that mistakes and a lack of preparation usually separate the winner from the losers when everything’s on the line. Managers use phone screens and first interviews to qualify and eliminate candidates, while the purpose of subsequent interviews is to eliminate any lingering concerns, assess your desire and organizational fit, and tout the merits of the company so you’ll accept the job. You’ll be expected to ask insightful questions, demonstrate an understanding of the job duties and responsibilities, and of course, ask for an offer. Preparation Tips: Always ask for an agenda or schedule ahead of time so you can research the interviewers’ profiles, understand their roles and anticipate their questions. Review your notes from earlier interviews while noting areas that concerned the IT manager, because he or she may ask additional, more in-depth questions to assess your technical skills or attitude before making a final decision. This is a good time to clarify your actual duties and the manager’s expectations so you have the necessary intelligence to engage in salary negotiations. When the time is right, close the deal by presenting an outline of what you’ll accomplish in your first 60 days on the job. You’ll not only impress the manager by offering value and solutions but you’ll surmount the other finalists because you already seem like a member of the team. Conclude by saying that you’re ready to start as soon as you receive an offer, which will elicit any objections and help you steer the conversation toward compensation.