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Career Advice

How to Handle a Second Interview

interviewIf you’ve had an interview for a job and now they’ve called you back for a second interview – well done! Not only have you impressed on paper when the employer was shortlisting for the role, but you’ve also impressed in person. It’s not over yet however. You won’t be the only candidate that has been selected for a further interview after all, so you’ll still need to do your bit to ensure that you stand out and become their candidate of choice for the role in question. Here are some tips on how to handle a second interview that we hope will help.

Preparation is key

Firstly don’t assume that you’ve got this in the bag. You will still have to put the effort in with regards to preparation. Ensure that you are still familiar with your CV or the application form that you submitted. Review the job specification and advertisement again. Contact the recruiter or HR Manager and try to establish the format of the second interview. Will you be interviewed by a different person this time or will it be a panel interview? Try to find out as much as you can in advance so that you can adequately prepare. Don’t forget the more practical elements too – plan your outfit – ideally you will want to wear something different for a second interview – particularly if you may be facing the same person or group of people.

Research the Company

Admittedly you may have researched lots of information about the company in preparation for your first interview. However, you can still do more. There may be a little time between both interview stages and a lot can happen in a little time – particularly in business. Keep abreast of news about the company and indeed about the market sector in general. The more knowledgeable you appear about the company and the industry it is in, the better. Employers will be much more impressed by a candidate who shows that they are fully up to date with company news and updates than one who has simply done the bare minimum with regards to research.

Reflect and review

Whilst your first interview may have impressed the employer, you may still not be wholly happy with how you performed. Spend some time and look back at your interview and how it went. Reflect on everything from how you answered particular questions through to how you were with regards to nerves. If there were areas that you feel you could have performed differently or better, then you should learn from that. If any areas stand out as in need of improvement, then make sure that you work on those as part of your interview preparation. Fundamentally though – be honest in your critique without being overly self critical.

Use new examples

If there were lots of competency style questions during your first interview, chances are you have already supplied the employer with some great examples of situations in your past experience and how you worked. For the second interview however, it may be necessary to think up and use some new examples. Whilst you may not necessarily be asked the same questions, there is still the possibility that you could end up being somewhat repetitive in your answering. This is of course especially important if you are going to be interviewed by some of the same people the second time around.

Get your questions ready

Most job interviews tend to end with the interviewer asking you if you have any questions. At a first interview you may have asked quite generic questions – somewhat general in nature. For a second interview however, you could potentially go into a lot more detail. You may for example meet a department manager or direct line manager this time around and could ask a much more specific or technical question. You can use the opportunity to ask questions as a way of displaying your own expertise, knowledge and understanding of the role. No matter what though – make sure that you do ask something! These tips on questions that you could ask should hopefully help!




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