Yeah! You have a second interview coming up. Congratulations, in this economic climate that is great news. Whatever you did at the first interview has got you through to this stage, but now the pressure is on as you look for ways to improve on that and, hopefully, get the job.
In this post, ex-recruiter and career coach Michelle Baker looks at how to prepare for a second interview…
“One of the best things about being a Recruitment Consultant was telling a candidate they’d been offered a job. The second best feeling was telling them they’d been offered a second interview and the satisfaction I then got from preparing them for it, drawing on what they had learnt during their first interview and also what I’d gleaned about them from the client.
You don’t have the job yet but they like you enough to want to see you again. So what do you do to prepare for the second interview that you didn’t cover in the first? There’s a lot and here’s my top 10 tips to maximise your success:
- Basics: Confirm with your Recruiter or the hiring company where, when, who and what type of interview it is? Research the route again and ensure you can get there on time and prepared. Find out who is interviewing you and research them on LinkedIn? Check what type of interview it is going to be: panel, assessment day, 1-2-1, competency based questioning or other?
- Feedback: Ask what the feedback is to date? What did they like, what would they like to know more about? Who else is going, numbers, what’s your competition? Are there going to be more interviews after this and when will a decision be made?
- Revisit first interview: Reread or write down now what you learnt from the first interview; about the role, company, the work space, job colleagues and environment? How did you see yourself working in the team? Write this all down, did you miss anything, what questions would you ask now that you didn’t in the first interview? Did they go over something you weren’t sure about that you’d like explained in more detail?
- Prepare Answers: Go over your experience again against the job description plus what you’ve learnt so far. They will be delving deeper in to what you can offer so give them different examples. If competency based questioning – eg. give me a time when and what was the outcome? – remember STAR…answer with Situation, Task, Action, Result.
- Research: Research the company in more depth this time, they will want to see you’ve done more homework and are excited about the company and what you can offer them. Check out latest news, tweets, product launches. What’s their latest news?
- What will give you the edge?: They clearly like you and a second interview will ensure they can confirm anything they are unsure about. There may be some questions around what makes you tick, so prepare for questions around how you deal with stressful situations, or difficult managers/colleagues (check out Be My Interviewer for more questions you may get asked and some of the answers that interviewers look for). Always remember STAR as above when answering.
- Confirm Package: This is your opportunity to confirm the benefits/package plus prepare yourself for the question around the salary you want for the role – again check with your recruiter what they’ve represented you at. If you are offered the role on the spot, respectfully request time to think about their great offer, unless of course it’s a no brainer and you want to start right away!
- Presentation: As always dress to impress unless you’ve been told otherwise. Remember that you may well be taken on a tour to see where you would be working and to meet potential colleagues. This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression with them; have great eye contact and smile, they will want to see how you interact. Head up, exude confidence – as they will be asked for their feedback.
- ‘Out There’ Questions: Be prepared for some potentially ‘out there’ questions – one favourite from a client of mine was; put a lion, a dog, an elephant in a cage, what would happen? There’s no right answer here – it’s about how you answer that reveals more about you and your personality, how you think on the spot, approach the question. Enjoy the moment; smile, be confident, tell them what you think. Stay calm and do not get flustered.
- Above All Else: Enjoy it, this is your chance to also interview them – this is your opportunity to decide if this is the right role for you also. This fact alone should give you confidence. Are they a good fit for you?
Good luck and remember to send a thank you email. If you’re having a second interview then let us know how you get on.”
Michelle Baker is a career coach who uses her previous experience as a recruiter to help give an insider’s guide to gaining career clarity plus maximising success through the recruitment process. Her business is called Your Career Coach
article categories: Job Interviews