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8 Tips to nail your second interview

8 Tips to nail your second interview

  • What to expect during a second interview
  • Build your confidence with these 8 tips for your second interview
  • 1. Request an itinerary
  • 2. Review your first interview
  • 3. Develop fresh examples
  • 4. Get familiar with your resume
  • 5. Know the company’s values
  • 6. Focus on your behavior skills
  • 7. Contact your references
  • 8. Followup
  • How to prepare for a second interview
  • Key takeaways

You’ve made it through the first round of interviews and are now ready for the second. Now, it’s time to learn some second interview tips that will help you land the job! Check out our guide for help with that.

Making it past the first interview means you are one step closer to landing that job. However, now you need to perform even better in the second interview! Second interviews work a little differently than first interviews. In this article, we’ll go over some of the top second interview tips that will help you perform your very best.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What to expect during a second interview

  • Build your confidence with 8 tips for your second interview

  • How to prepare for a second interview

What to expect during a second interview

Just like in your first interview, you’ll be faced with a list of questions and scenarios the interviewer will want to discuss. However, this interview will likely have a different approach. For starters, you will probably interview with someone who you will closely work with if you land the job, meaning the interview will focus more on the job itself versus your overall skills.

You may be presented with common challenges or situations you would face in the role and asked how you would approach them. This is your opportunity to talk more in-depth about your skills and how you will operate in the role.

Another common factor second interviews typically offer is a chance to meet other team members and senior leadership in your department. A hiring manager will want to see how you interact with others to ensure you are a great cultural fit for the role. You may even begin discussing salary preferences and career goals in this interview, so having answers prepared for these types of questions is also advisable.

Build your confidence with these 8 tips for your second interview

Although second interviews move you closer to getting the job, you should still prepare for them just as you would a first interview. To help you with that, keep these eight second interview tips in mind because they can help you build your confidence and give you a better chance at landing the job:

1. Request an itinerary

An itinerary will give you some clues as to what to expect during the interview. It can also fill you in on who you are meeting with and how long your interview(s) will last. Use this itinerary to research the company, the role, and your interviewer. You should also follow any notes or logistic requirements, such as dress code or parking instructions. 

2. Review your first interview

Think back over the first interview you had for this role. Were there any specific questions you felt were harder than the rest? What about any details you left out? These are all areas you should practice a little more for your second interview. Make a plan on how to improve when these topics come up again in a second interview.

3. Develop fresh examples

Since this interview is all about going deeper into your overall experience and skills, you’ll need a fresh set of examples to demonstrate your past success. Think of new ways you can demonstrate your skills, which will show that you are versatile and adaptable.

4. Get familiar with your resume

You should expect to talk a lot about your past roles and achievements. To become more comfortable with that, take some time to go over your resume. Think back to your past roles and consider which achievements and skills are the most relevant to the role you are interviewing for.

5. Know the company’s values

Further second round interview tips include showing a hiring manager that you are the right fit. Part of that involves being aligned with the company’s values, culture, and mission. Think about how you’ve embodied those same values in the past and develop examples you can mention.

6. Focus on your behavior skills

One aspect a hiring manager will want to focus on during an interview is how you approach challenges in the workplace. You should expect to go a little more in-depth into the ways you solve problems and work with other team members. Practice some responses to these types of questions and think of some specific examples and results you can bring up.

7. Contact your references

At this point, a hiring manager or team is likely to begin running background checks and contacting references. On your end, it’s a good idea to talk to each of  your references to determine if they’ve spoken to your potential employer. Learning what questions they were asked can give you some clues as to what questions you will be asked during your interview.

8. Followup

A successful second interview doesn’t end when the interview is over. Send thank-you emails to each of the people you interviewed with as soon as you can. Doing this immediately after the interview is the best option. Include any notes about the position that particularly excited you to show you were attentive.

How to prepare for a second interview

In the days leading up to the second interview, there are lots of things you can do to get yourself prepared for the journey. Much of that involves preparing for the interview itself and reviewing your resume and skills. However, there are also a few more ways.

For starters, get plenty of rest the night before your interview. You should also make sure you know how to get to the interview location, so you can arrive with plenty of time to calm your nerves and mentally prepare. 

Here are four ways you can prepare for your second interview:

  • Practice. Just as you would with a first interview, practice answering some of the questions you think you’ll be asked during the second interview. If you are expecting a group interview, this is also something you should practice.

  • Ask questions. It’s very uncommon for interviewees to not have questions after a second interview, so prepare some in advance. During your interview, jot down notes and additional questions you need to ask as they come up.

  • Plan to be friendly and professional. From the moment you walk into the building, remain friendly and professional. You are being evaluated throughout the day by everyone you come in contact with.

  • Do prep work. Take care of any assessments or paperwork needed for the interview ahead of time. You can even ask your interviewer if there is anything specific they would like you to bring.

Practicing for a second interview is one of the best ways you can ensure you’re prepared. Career.io’s interview prep and simulation tool can help with that.

Key takeaways

  1. Preparation is key when it comes to second interviews, so practice, review the questions you answered during the first interview, and conduct research on the interviewers.

  2. Enhance your presentation with new examples of your skills and achievements to ensure you stand out.

  3. Arrive at your interview well-rested, stay professional throughout the day, and follow up promptly following the interview. 

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