Second Round Interview Tips

Keep your eyes and ears wide open; a second interview round might be your last chance to ask important questions.
i Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

By any measure, you’re probably under serious consideration for a position if you’ve been invited to a second job interview. Although you no doubt made a positive impression during the first round, this is no time to rest on your laurels. Second interviews can take several forms, from a casual meet-and-greet to an intense discussion. You should be prepared for virtually anything while keeping in mind that a second round also is your chance to learn whether the company and position are right for you.

Step 1

Review your notes from the first interview. Develop a list of follow-up questions about the company, the position and projects that would await you in the position. The point is to demonstrate that you are seriously contemplating how you would fit into the company culture as well as the contributions you could make.

Step 2

Wear a different suit from what you wore at the second interview. If this isn’t possible, at least wear a different blouse underneath your jacket.

Step 3

Maintain a professional demeanor by referring to people as “Mr.” or “Ms.” unless they’ve instructed you otherwise. A common mistake many job candidates make during a second interview is adopting an air of informality that is not reciprocated.

Step 4

Prepare for any type of interview technique. A second interview can come in many forms, from an informal discussion of your professional goals to a serious drilling down of answers you provided during your first interview. You might even face a combination of techniques, so it is important that you are prepared to deal with any scenario.

Step 5

Expect to meet with other people at the company whom you did not meet during the first interview. Now more than ever, prepare to respond to the query, "So tell me about yourself." Decode this seemingly harmless conversation starter by explaining why you are well suited to the position in terms of both your professional skills and personal attributes.

Step 6

Practice the art of the “30-second conversation,” just like politicians and heads of state. A second round is often an ideal time to take job candidates on a company tour, at which time you could meet everyone from the front-desk receptionist to the company president. Assume that even fleeting exchanges will be culled and reviewed the minute you step out the door after the interview is over. Prepare some friendly and engaging greetings and observations.

Step 7

Sell yourself and show enthusiasm for the position. Sometimes prospective employers simply want to see if you really want the job, so go after it if you really want it. Bring the second interview to an upbeat conclusion and make your wishes clear.

the nest