Congratulations! You’ve got a second interview!

It’s clear that they’re interested in what you have to offer. But they haven’t offered you the job yet so you need to ace the next interview.

Here’s what you need to do to be well-prepared for the meeting.

Know Who Will Be at the Second Interview

If, during the scheduling process, the employer doesn’t tell you who will be at the second interview, ask. It’s a fair and reasonable question and shows you’re taking the opportunity seriously.

Assess the Reason

There are three possible reasons for another interview:

  • It’s part of their standard process. This is common for government or large companies where you might have only met an HR rep during the first round.
  • They’re having a tough time deciding between you and other strong candidates. Often, a peer to the open position will attend this kind of follow-up interview.
  • They like your skills and experience. Now they’re trying to picture how you would fit in with the company’s culture.

Review Your Notes from the First Interview

Ideally, you took notes during the first interview or immediately after. They can help you know if you made any common mistakes.

For answers you wish could have been stronger, find a natural way to raise the topic again. But only if you sense it’s a sticking point for them.

Note the type of questions they asked the first time. If they were mostly procedural or technical, expect the emphasis to be on behavioral or situational questions this time.

Second interviews are more detailed and rigorous. Be prepared to elaborate on answers you gave last time.

Anticipate Questions

This interview will likely cover a broader range of questions and issues.

Use the knowledge gained from the first interview and additional research to understand the unique, problematic, or sensitive aspects of the role. This is essential if they are hiring to replace someone they fired.

Think of what questions you would ask if you were in their shoes. Prepare clear and brief answers.

Know Why They Should Hire You

If they were certain you’re the right person for the job, they would have already hired you. (The sole exception is if a multi-interview process is standard.)

Your goal for the second interview is to leave them with no doubt that you can step into the role and be an asset from day one.

Practice ways of talking about your unique set of skills and/or experience. Discuss how you would bring immediate and long-term value to the team.

Decide What You Need to Know

Interviews go both ways. Be prepared to ask detailed questions to make sure they’re the employer for you.

Explore the company’s culture and team dynamics as well as workload. You should feel that you’re a fit as much as they do.

Be Ready for a Variety of Interactions

To help determine cultural fit, many hiring managers take candidates on a tour of the workplace. They might introduce you to key colleagues and stakeholders.

How would you greet potential workmates? After all, it will be their first impression of you. And you never know whose feedback about candidates the hiring manager might seek.

Be Prepared to Talk About Money

Total compensation is an important factor for you and them. Know what the role is worth and your salary expectations.

Be prepared to offer results-oriented evidence to support your expected salary.

The Basics Still Apply

Don’t get over confident and skip the basics. Remember to:

  • Arrive ten minutes early
  • Have copies of your resume and any supporting materials
  • Dress for the job you want and to match the company culture
  • Listen carefully to questions
  • Keep answers brief but thorough
  • Speak clearly and don’t ramble
  • Be your best self

Need More Training for Your Second Interview?

Do you want additional guidance as you prepare for a successful second interview?

Contact us! We’d love to help you polish your interviewing skills and win the job!

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