Mastering A Second Interview

It was hard but you made it through the initial cut. You put forth your best effort and now it’s time to close out the job.

Remember, if you get a second interview then the company is seriously considering hiring you! You should be proud of what you have accomplished so far and enter the interview with confidence.  The key is to back this confidence up by preparing for the proper things.

Most career experts estimate only between 25-45% of people get this far in a company’s hiring process.   This makes it even more important that you stand out among the remaining candidates.

Questions to ask:

A second interview gives you the chance to come in with some questions of your own. In fact, the second time around employers expect you to have some questions ready for them.

Almost every employee has questions about salary, benefits and vacation time. If you really want to impress during this meeting you need to be asking strong questions related to the position.  Leave these personal questions for afterwards.

Ask for examples of specific problems and responsibilities you might face on the job. Follow up the examples they give you by showing how your previous experience has prepared you for these things.

Be extremely specific whenever trying to prove a skill. Getting specific examples ready beforehand is the best thing you can do to prepare.

Another question to ask is why the position you’re interviewing for is available. If you can find out the reasons the other person was let go, or why they were successful in that position, you’ll learn things that are important to employers and show how you can help in these areas.

Be ready to sell yourself

2nd interview questions are usually more intense and specific, especially for technical positions.

Come ready with concrete examples. You need to know yourself and your strong points, align these skills with the job requirements.   Be prepared to elaborate on the answers you give.

Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to “toot your own horn” a little bit. Confidence is also important.

Behavioral questions are typical for second interviews. Don’t be surprised if they come up. You can prepare yourself by having leadership and skill specific examples on hand.

Second round interview tips:

Don’t be afraid to make a little bit of small talk. Employers are most likely to hire someone they got along when inviting candidates back.

Remember that employers are looking for a good fit for their company. Not only do they want someone who is qualified but someone that will be able to easily fit in to their culture. Be flexible and willing to adapt to the atmosphere.

Second interviews are also an opportunity to decide for yourself if this company is for you.  Don’t just jump at any opportunity, take the time and reflect on your interview experience to see if it’s for you.

second round interview tips

2nd interview tips

Make sure you include what you didn’t say

Meeting with employers a second time gives you the chance to improve on areas that you that you may not have been able to cover in the first interview.  Try to write down some notes right after the interview if possible.

Mention things like skills or specific experiences that you didn’t get a chance to address. Look for new ways to show them you have all the skills they need.

Continue to dress professionally in these situations.  Even if the environment is casual you don’t have the job yet and must act accordingly. Keep your body language and actions just as professional as in the first interview.

Obviously after your interview you need to act on basic post interview etiquette. Send out the requisite thank you letters.  If you’ve been in communication with the secretary throughout the process, feel free to send them a personalized thank you as well.

The best thing to do is to be prepared and leave nothing on the table or unsaid.  Focus on being a good fit for the company and giving concrete examples that back up your skills.

second interview tips


  1. Aiden November 19, 2014
  2. karthikeyan November 20, 2014

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