Nailing the Second Interview

Give yourself a pat on the back, it feels great to be called for a second or subsequent interview.  Out of many other possible candidates, they chose to bring you back as a part of the small group for more consideration.  In your second interview, it’s important to distinguish yourself and ensure that you stand out above your competition.

Do more preparation than you did for your first-round interview.  Dig deeper into the company’s website and review how your job will fit into the corporate structure and the overall mission of the company.  Your second interview will likely involve meeting more people, probably, you’ll meet the hiring manager again, and you could meet other co-workers, supervisors, and maybe even high-level executives.  Be prepared by researching these folks as much as you can on LinkedIn, and on the company’s website About Us page. 

Find out in advance the agenda for your day.  As with most skilled trades interviews, you may be going to job sites, touring, or asked to perform a field test.  Ask the hiring manager if you can find out in advance exactly what the agenda will be and with whom you can expect to interview. If you aren’t given this information, remember to dress wisely for your intended position and any possibilities.  You’ll want to make a good impression both on site and in the corporate office if you meet with executives.

Get a good night’s sleep.  Oftentimes, a second interview process can last for several hours, especially if you’re meeting multiple people, or touring the facility.  Look for ways to refresh yourself during the day to maintain your energy, confidence, and enthusiasm.  If you are asked to complete any testing, a good night’s sleep will go a long way toward you performing your best. 

The second interview largely assesses whether or not you’re a good fit.  It’s the role of the first interview to make sure you’re qualified to do the job, but the second interview assesses your ability to fit in with the company culture and your team of co-workers.  Each person you meet with will not only be evaluating your skills and experience, but also how well you will get along with other team members with whom you’ll be interacting every day. Use your very best communication skills. But remember, you’re assessing the right fit too. The second interview is also your opportunity to determine whether the company is a good fit for you, your lifestyle, work habits and ethics, and personality.

Be ready for more questions. Second-interview questions will get more into your personality, specific technical skills, projects you’ve accomplished well, and where you see yourself as a part of this new company. Keep your responses fresh and consistent for each person you meet.  Also be prepared to discuss your compensation expectations in a second interview.  If the employer thinks your second interview is going well enough that they’re considering an offer, they may ask what your expectations are.

Don’t forget to say thanks…again!  Hopefully you sent a thank you note or email to follow up after your first interview.  The second thank you, much like the second interview, allows you to go into more depth about how you see yourself fitting in with the company.