Getting a second interview means you've passed the initial screening and have been invited to the next stage of the interviewing process. Often, the second interview is at the employer's office, where you must know general interviewing etiquette such as maintaining eye contact and showing enthusiasm when speaking. But there are other interviewing skills you must master on this interview to eventually get the job.
Interviewing With Multiple Employees
Since many applicants travel considerable distances for second interviews, human resources managers usually arrange for candidates to interview multiple employees. Interviews may be arranged so you have an hour with each person. In this situation, you must be skilled at adapting to each person's interview style and asking questions that pertain to their fields. For example, you wouldn't ask a finance manager the same questions as a marketing manager. Obtain an agenda before your interview so you know the names and titles of people interviewing you. Prepare a list of questions for each employee. Ask the hiring manager more specific questions related to projects and performance reviews and inquire what working relationships you will have with others.
Relating Skills and Accomplishments
Chances are your initial interview was conducted by a human resources manager and the information you shared was more general. You must get more specific in matching your skills to the job in the second interview. Research the company and review your resume. Create SAR (situation, action and result) stories of past accomplishments to demonstrate the skills you need for the position, advises Quintessential Careers. If you're interviewing for a sales position, you might relate how your previous job increased sales by 10 percent. Actions you might have taken to increase sales by 15 percent include more cold calling and improving your sales closing ratios.
Answering Tougher Questions
Companies usually ask behavioral questions on second interviews, according to Quintessential Careers. Behavioral questions prompt you to elaborate on past job experiences. You must know how to answer these questions to pass the second round of interviews. For example, the interviewer might ask you to "describe yourself." An appropriate response is summarizing your education and describing your expertise in project management, report writing or strategy development, and your skills that relate to the job. Avoid discussing your childhood or personal life, though the question lends itself to that type of response.
The closing moment of the second interview usually occurs when all questions have been asked and the interviewer seems ready to wrap everything up. At that point, ask the hiring manager if she has any questions or concerns about you. One little objection on the employer's part could cost you the job, so it's best to have the opportunity to explain yourself before it can become an issue. If there are no concerns, say how much you want the job, especially if this is the last round of interviews. Tell the hiring manager that you would be a good fit and that you're looking forward to hearing from her soon.
- Boston College: Interview Skills
- Forbes: How to Ace Your Second-Round Job Interview
- Quintessential Careers: Dos and Don'ts for Second (and Subsequent) Job Interviews
- CBS Money Watch: How to Answer the 5 Toughest Interview Questions You'll Face
- The Ladders: What to Expect on a Second and Third Interview