Congratulations, you’ve been selected for a second interview. Now, what to do? The odds might appear to be in your favor, but nothing is set in stone. Your first interview is great for establishing a first impression, the next step is where the real challenge begins.
In your next interview, you need to show that you’re the best fit of all other candidates. Do more than tick the boxes of the hiring manager, throw the clipboard out the door and truly stand out.
When the likelihood of your receiving a job offer at this point is somewhere between 25% and 50%, here are a few useful tips to take with you and help secure your dream job in your second interview.
What Happened in Your First Interview?
You’ve obviously hit the mark in your first round interview, so it’s great to take the time to reflect on the good and the bad moments. Even the smallest missteps are crucial to improving upon the second time round. If you answered the questions too briefly, practice a more detailed discussion. If you arrived late, try your best to arrive on time. While the second interview isn’t quite a do-over, it can help to settle any earlier worries of the hiring manager.
Start to Plan Out Your Answers Early
Prepare for any curve balls that are likely to come your way. While it’s better to be natural, it’s best to be confident which can require practice. Second interviews often build on your responses in the initial round, so make a note of the line of questioning.
Be sure to check out the business you’re applying for in further detail before you arrive for your second interview. Read through their social media profiles and the company website. This will give you a greater understanding of the culture and brand pillars within the workplace. In turn, shape your responses to position yourself as the ideal candidate for them.
Get Ready For Those Sticky Questions
You know those references you have on your resume? Hiring managers tend to get in touch with them to gain extra insight into your character, not to mention validate any of your initial claims. As a result of this, expect some seriously sticky questions.
To prepare for tricky topics, make a list of the questions that would be the hardest for you to answer. Things like, ‘why did you leave your last company’ and ‘where is there a 6-month gap between jobs’ often top the list.
Always stick to the truth but try to give your response a positive spin. If you spent more than a few months searching for a job, it is more valuable to a hiring manager to know that in that time you enrolled in a short course or TAFE course, to further your industry knowledge. Short courses and similar certificates add flair to your resume and can be a point of difference amongst the sea of degrees.
Have Your Own Questions Prepared
This is a great opportunity to ask your own questions and demonstrate a proactive approach to your second interview. Try to prepare a few variants before you head in around the culture in the workplace, problems that the business face and growth opportunities for employees.
By engaging with a genuine interest, you show recruiters that you are also not willing to work in an environment that isn’t the best fit for you. This creates trust and an understanding that you intend to be the right candidate for their company.
Keep Up to Date With Company News
Wherever you happen to be applying, it’s important to take an interest. Keep an eye on both company news and trends in the broader industry, which may come in handy during your second interview for a knowledgeable and relevant discussion. Too often, established professionals act as though they have learned all that they need. This is a bad sign to a hiring manager, who is looking for someone who will continue to grow with the business.
Leave Your Interview on a Positive Tone
It doesn’t matter how awkward or perfect your second interview turned out, leave it on a positive note and with a big smile. Your last impression could just be the thing to push you over the line. It’s crucial that every answer you give is finished with an uplifting, forward-thinking dialogue.
At the conclusion, thank your interviewer for their time and the chance to meet. Every time you enter a workplace to apply for a job, there is a successful networking opportunity just waiting for you. In an age where job seekers rush from one interview to the next, the small things are the key to a lasting impression.