How to Ace Your Second Interview

By Siew Ching

Keep the momentum going on your job interviews with our tips.

Congratulations, you sailed through your first interview! Now you’ve been called back for your second interview and boy are those nerves going crazy…

Don’t worry – you got this. The good news is if you have been called back for a second interview, it’s safe to say you’re 75% most likely to get the job. Now for the bad news – the job may still not be yours at the end of it! Maybe it’s because the other candidates they called back for the second interview have more to show for. Maybe your asking salary is too high.

Or maybe you weren’t prepared enough for your second interview that the people behind the table weren’t really impressed with you…. here’s where we come in to help! While you can’t control all the other factors on why you didn’t get the job after all, you can still take charge on how you can influence the deciding factor on whether to hire you or not based on your second interview.

What exactly are the interviewers looking for? Typically, it means you were chosen for the final stages in the hiring process and the company is interested in you and your experience. But they want to get to know you better and understand your potential to make a more informed decision. You can expect the second interview to be a more in-depth discussion about how you will operate in the role. Your task? It is to solidify your standing as a strong candidate by showcasing your experience, skills, and knowledge about the business. It should also cement that you are the right fit for the company in terms of your values and expectations.

With all this in place, you can expect to be talking to more than just the hiring manager during your second interview! In fact, it’s most likely you will also speak to a high level executive (like your future boss or a department head), maybe the more senior member of your team, and yes, even the hiring manager for the second time.

Sounds daunting? Don’t sweat it – here are tips on how to navigate your second interview like a pro.

#1 Continue the research
Like your first interview, doing research before you go into the second interview will help give you more insight as well as confidence to know exactly what you’re talking about. This time round, you need to do a deep dive into the company – to learn about its values, business operations, or any recent news or events they’ve been involved in. This will also give you the opportunity to really explore if the company is a good fit for you. Remember, the second interview is also your chance to interview the company in more details to find out if you really want to work there.

#2 Expect to spill the beans
As the second interview will be a more in-depth conversation about the role and your abilities, it will help if you can prepare ahead how you will answer the questions concerning your skills and knowledge. For example, you might want to explain in more detail about a project you worked on before and how it could possibly be something you could replicate with more success if you were hired by the company. You might also be asked for your opinion and ideas for something the company is working on – this is where your research will come in handy so you can align your knowledge and experience to whatever the company is focused on at the moment. Preparing yourself this way shows you’re serious and excited about the job, and it also shows you are competent enough to craft ideas based on your experience.

#3 Be positive – but don’t assume you’ve already got the job
Remember, you’ve already made a good impression which is why you’ve been called back for the second interview. But make sure to still maintain your professionalism; don’t assume you already got the job! Anything goes, which is why you still need to maintain your confidence and impress the people interviewing you. This is also a time for the hiring manager who interviewed you before to clarify some of your answers from the first interview. Think back of how you performed in your first interview and if you could improve on your answers. Take it as an opportunity to provide even more details that can give the hiring manager the confirmation that you’re the right fit.

#4 Establish rapport
You could very well be working with these people in the future so it’s a good time to build rapport with them! Especially if it is your future boss. You can afford to be casual at some parts of your interview to show that you’re an easy person to work with but don’t be too pally-pally that it comes across as rude. Instead, maintain a professional tone but keep it light and casual. After all, the people interviewing you just want to get to know you better!

#5 Have your answer ready
You know it’s going to come up during this interview – what is your expected salary? To prepare your answer, do some solid research on what someone with your expertise and experience is most likely to be paid for the same role. Be prepared to discuss this openly with your interviewer. You will need to back up why you think you deserve this salary and also express if you’re willing to negotiate. If you’re not – that’s fine too but make sure your skills and experience make up for what you want to be paid for. Also, you’ll be asked about the notice period so be sure to have this information on hand.

Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash.

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