2nd interview tips
CONGRATULATIONS, you’ve nailed your 1st interview. Now to get over the line.
The 1st interview is usually about testing your personality and basic skills. Employers use it to see whether you match up to your CV.
The 2nd interview is a way to find out more about you. Usually there will be some different faces there so expect a review of your capabilities and, unless you are the only 2nd interviewee, an emphasis on what separates you from other candidates.
This will involve asking more specific questions, elaborating on aspects that were covered in your 1st interview and, usually, covering salary expectations.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT IN A SECOND INTERVIEW?
Although your 1st interview may have been in-depth, you’d be surprised at how much the employer still doesn’t know. To make sure you know what to expect, here are a few things that are usually covered in a second interview:
- More questions. A 2nd interview is not only the perfect time for the employer to ask any questions they may have missed off – it’s also an opportunity for you to ask anything that’s on your mind.
- Proof of your most relevant skills. Be prepared to elaborate. This may involve tests, quizzes, or technical questions.
- A salary discussion. Make sure you’ve done your research to ensure what you’re asking for a reasonable amount and be prepared to make the first move.
- A tour of the workplace. The employer wants to see if you fit in culturally. This might involve meeting more members of the team and (post Covid!) looking around the workplace. Be friendly and polite!
- A different interview type. 2nd interviews often follow a different format than your first one. This means that if you originally had a group interview, this one might be one-on-one. Or if you met one-on-one last time, this could be where they bring more people in for a second/third opinion.
- Tying up loose ends. A 2nd interview is also a good opportunity for employers to find out the logistics of hiring you (e.g. your potential start date). Come armed with your availability (along with any other requirements/details), and you’re likely to move forward faster.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A SECOND INTERVIEW
- Do your research. If you’re not meeting with the same people, look the new ones up to give you an idea of what to expect. It’s also a good idea to see what kind of experiences others in your situation have had.
- Be consistent. Your 1st interview obviously went well; now all you have to do is keep it up. Aside from focusing on the key strengths that made you stand out in the initial meeting, it’s also key to establish a good rapport.
- Prepare questions. In round two, the questions you ask the employer are extra important. Use what you already know, and the time between the 1st and 2nd interview to think of original questions that show your genuine interest in the role.
WHAT QUESTIONS WILL I BE ASKED IN A SECOND INTERVIEW?
Although there aren’t any set rules for what should be asked at a 2nd interview – there are some questions that are more likely to come up than others.
Aside from questions involving start dates and notice periods, you might also notice the employer asks about your long term career goals. After all, if they’re seriously considering hiring you (which they could well be at this stage), they want to know you’re in it for the long haul.
You’ll also be tested further on your ability to do the job and how your skills and abilities translate into the perfect candidate.