You’ve just received a call from the hiring manager with news that they’d love to invite you back for a second interview. Congrats! Although may not be long before the initial buzz wears off and you find yourself thinking: “what does a second interview actually entail?”

Have no fear! It’s important to realise that the company is sincerely interested in you otherwise they wouldn’t have called you back. The first interview is generally a way to weed out candidates that don’t fit the basic qualifications for the position.

Second interviews can vary greatly, from a meeting with a CEO, to a presentation or a group task. Treat this stage with as much enthusiasm as you did with the first, just make sure that you don’t become arrogant or complacent during your prep or even during the second stage.

To help you, here are some tips on how to prep and nail the second interview!

The News 
You’re on the phone with the hiring manager, who has just given you a time and date for your second interview. Instead of bolting off the line as quickly as possible, try and squeeze some details out of them.

Anna Skelton, Senior HR Business Partner at Jobsite suggests asking for feedback from your first interview. “Not only does this help you to identify the areas you need to work on and improve your interview technique for next time, it shows real self-awareness and an eagerness for the job.”

Having a little bit of a feedback can really benefit you and your performance in the second stage. You will know what areas you may need to work on beforehand which will give you a sense of reassurance too.

Research, Research, Research 
Before you hang up, you should also confirm with the hiring manager who will be present at the second interview. Your first interview was probably conducted by someone from HR or a hiring manager, as well as your potential boss. In the second stage, you will most likely meet someone more senior in the business, the person who will ultimately have the final say.

Confirm with the hiring manager so that you can glean some information about the person/people on LinkedIn or the company website. It’s great for small talk and it will give you an idea of what their position is in the company and their level of expertise.

Panel interviews are becoming increasingly popular, as it saves a great deal of time for the company. So be prepared and print out multiple copies of your resume to hand out to the other interviewers.

Get your head in the game
Now is the perfect time to sit down and figure out what matters to you in a job. Come up with a list of new questions to ask your potential employers in the interview and also brush up on company info to really demonstrate your genuine interest. Think about how you and your skills are a good fit for the company. Always keep this in mind when you plan any answers to potential questions.

Another way to show your enthusiasm is to discuss any news the company releases via their social media or website. Having this information show you stay up-to-date with their news and that you go that extra mile.

Tips for Preparation 
While a first interview involves more generalised questions, the second interview will be far more detailed and will be more behavioural-based. Make sure you come prepared with lots of stories of your accomplishments (think STAR – Situation, Task, Action & Result) and how your qualities and skills can fit perfectly with the job at hand.

Diana Marshall, HR generalist at a national law firm based in Detroit confirms this. “Basically what I look for from the candidate is to articulate how they will be successful in the job, and what attributes they have”. This is your chance to shine so go into detail with your past experiences.

Elaborate on how you acquired those skills with examples from your past job in order to really paint the picture for your audience.

Final advice
It’s important to never assume that the first interviewer has relayed feedback to the second. If you’re meeting a second interviewer, it’s essential you go into as much detail about your experience, skills with as much enthusiasm for the position as you did in the first stage.

Always remember to thank them for the opportunity at the end of the interview and let them know that you appreciate the time they have taken to meet with you. Make sure you follow up to say thanks again via e-mail or if you want to add on any information or examples of work that might have been missing in the interview.

Good luck!

Francesca Hooper writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobsin London.



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