How to Make a Splash at Your Second Interview

Monday, January 22, 2024

If you’ve been invited back for a second interview, congratulations.

Getting to the next step is a fantastic accomplishment. And as you progress in the interview process, the interviewer may delve deeper into your experience to determine whether you’re a good fit.

Here are some actionable tips to help you ace the second interview and secure the job.

What Do Employers Want to Know in the Second Interview?

The second round of interviews can be nerve-wracking since this is the step where employers get to know each candidate on a deeper level to narrow down their options. But what exactly are they looking for in this stage of the interview process?

Here’s what executive coach Mary Lee Gannon says hiring managers want to know about you in the second round:

  • Will this person be able to do the job without much help? 
  • Will they fit into the culture, or will they make me look bad? 
  • Can I trust this person? 
  • Can I rely on this person? 
  • Will they exceed expectations? 
  • Are they collaborative? 

If your potential employer can confidently answer “yes” to all the above questions, you’re on your way to landing the job. “The second interview means the company is interested and is now comparing you to a select pool of candidates,” Gannon says. Bring your A-game to secure a spot in the third or final round of interviews.

Tips for Acing Your Second Interview 

A second interview means you’re that much closer to receiving an offer and landing the job. Here are a few tips to help you ace your second interview and impress your future employer.

Know Who You’re Interviewing With

The second round of interviews is where the vetting process gets more serious, which means you could meet with “key decision-makers and those higher up the management ladder,” says career and leadership coach Ayanna E. Jackson.

In the invitation email for the second interview, the recruiting coordinator should let you know what to expect and with whom you’ll meet. Before the big day, Jackson suggests searching these decision-makers on LinkedIn and reading through their career histories to help you ask better questions and demonstrate your interest.

Thoroughly Research the Company

Jackson has noticed a trend among job applicants: They get so caught up in presenting themselves as the strongest candidate that they fail to research the company they're interviewing with.

“Your second interview will focus on the specifics of the role in that department or division and how it impacts their needs and bottom line,” Jackson says. “A key miss is not knowing their industry, competitors, newest products or press coverage. This is where social media – and not just their static website – comes in useful for you to scroll through."

So, take the time to research your future employer if you haven’t already. You can even reach out for informational interviews with someone from the company so that you’re fully prepared.

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