I first wrote about this last year, but I've heard so many success stories, it's worth sharing again. After reading my advice on second interviews, Howard Reis, a healthcare and telecommunications industry professional, kindly took the time to write to me to share his (excellent) advice on second interviews:
I wanted to share with you a thought which may be helpful for people approaching second interviews. I learned this when a candidate interviewed for a job with me and I used it as part of my recent interview process.
The best way for me to call it is a "Brag Book". I put together a detailed (10-page) binder which discussed the industry, the company I was interviewing with, the problem they were trying to solve and how I was the best person to solve it. I included relevant industry articles, examples of my work (a white paper I wrote) and some specific suggestions for the first 90 days on the job.
Who knows? I may have gotten the position anyway. But in this competitive environment I felt like this gave me a bit of a leg up.
I'd bet the "Brag Book" made a big difference in the outcome of the interview. It not only showed that Howard knew the industry and the company. It also showed that he had invested his time and energy to show the company how he could make a positive impact if he were hired.
If I was the hiring manager, the applicant who took the time to show me how he could help would trump the person who just showed up for the interview - every time.
In fact, I've heard from other job seekers who created their own "Brag Book" and are convinced it helped them get the job. Here's what I heard from someone else who used the idea:
The process actually consisted of seven interviews of varying types: an initial phone interview, three in-person, two via videoconference, and one coffee date.
By the time I got to the fourth round, I took the advice you received from Howard Reis and created a "Brag Book." It sealed the deal.
This is a project that takes some work to pull together, but it may pay off and help you lock in a job offer and even get a better offer than you expected. The last person I heard from who used it, got an offer that was $30,000 higher than she was currently earning.
I also heard from someone who does something similar, but calls it a "Success Book" instead. That might be a good descriptor to use, so it doesn't sound so much like you're bragging about your accomplishments..