So you’ve interviewed for a position and it went well—congratulations! What’s next? If the position has a lot of potential candidates, you could be lined up for a second interview. Since you got through the first round of interviews, both you and the hiring manager know you have the core requirements. Now, more than ever, is the time to really show off what you can do and make sure the company is the right fit for you.
The same rules apply to a second interview as apply to the first: dress professionally, show confidence, and bring your resume and other required documents with you. However, second interviews are designed to delve a bit deeper. Here are a number of things you can do to ensure that the second interview goes well:
- Plan and prepare beforehand. Research the company further, review the topics covered on your first interview, and reread the job description. What did you forget to, or not have time to, address in the last interview? What else do you want to highlight? Maybe you have more questions to ask the hiring manager. In any case, jot some talking points down and get to the interview early to review your cheat sheet.
- Be ready to answer some deeper questions. There are a number of questions you responded to in your first interview that were asked for the purpose of assessing your skills. A few questions to assess cultural fit might have been thrown in as well, but ultimately, during the second interview, questions will be focused mostly on your compatibility with the company and its employees. To prepare, you can practice answering some example questions, but expect the unexpected. Interviewers have been known to throw curveballs to see how you answer them. Likewise, be prepared to ask deeper questions. Whereas you may have prepared a list of questions for the first interview to show your analytical skills and determine whether you’d enjoy the position, you should now focus more on culture, management style, and the things that matter most to you as a potential employee.
- Show that you want the job. It might be obvious, considering you’ve accepted a second interview, but you need to express your desire to work for them and why you think you’d be a great choice. Sometimes you might have to refresh your hiring manager’s memory of who you are and what you can bring to the table, or in other cases, you might have a new interviewer to impress. Either way, show that working for that company is your ultimate goal—and that obtaining you as a valued employee should be theirs.
- Have a repertoire of stories—the questions that will be asked of you will likely require them. Even if you aren’t asked about specific experiences, it’s still helpful to have examples of projects, challenges you managed to overcome, and teamwork from prior positions. Use these stories to show how you handle tough interoffice challenges and used your skills to tackle obstacles or bring a business forward.
- Say thank you (again). When you last interviewed, you (hopefully) sent a well-thought out follow-up, thanking the interviewer for his or her time. Do the same this time around, and maybe include a specific topic you discussed in the interview, such as “I really found our conversation about ___ interesting and am happy to discuss it further in the near future.”