Congratulations! You aced your first interview! The first hurdle in the process is over. You gave great answers and they like you. Now they want you back for a second interview. Which is great, even if it means you have to go through the process of doing an interview again. It can be stressful, but you’ve gotten this far; you can do it!
The Difference Between the First and Second Interview
You might think the second interview will be similar to the first one, only with another person – a higher up person. However there are significant differences between the two. This isn’t going to be the same questions with someone new, and it’s most likely not going to be the same person–by themselves at least–with a couple extra questions. The second interview is all about getting to know you better. There will most likely be a couple of people interviewing you. Some may just sit and listen, some will ask pointed questions, and others might be your prospective co-workers. Your job for the second interview is to be ready for these questions and to demonstrate you’re serious about the position.
Know the Company and the Position
Before your first interview you hopefully looked into the company you’re applying for. Maybe you knew of them beforehand. Either way, now it’s time to really dig deep. Find out, not just about the company, but where it’s headed. What’s the most recent news about this company? Bring what you’ve learned into the conversation during the interview. Prepare ideas on what you would do in your role to help the company meet its goals.
Prepare for Harder, More Specific Questions
If you thought there were some tough questions in the first interview, get ready for more in the second. You’ve made it to the next phase of the selection process, so instead of seeing if you’re a better fit than most, your prospective employers are seeing what makes you a better fit over a handful of others. The best way to rise to the top is to be quick, concise, and articulate with your answers. According to an article about How To Prep For Second Interviews, from Forbes:
Be brief and concise in all your answers to questions. “Don’t ramble or go too off-topic,” says Annie Shanklin Jones, manager of IBM’s recruiting in the U.S. There’s no stopwatch running, but try to keep each response about two minutes or less.
You know the company, you know your position and you know what you would do if you got the job. Rambling can lead an interviewer to believe you are looking for an answer or are unsure of yourself. Quick, clear answers let interviewers know you are on top of your game.
Prepare Your Own Questions
Your interviewers have some new questions, and you should too! Make sure you aren’t asking the same questions you asked in the first interview. This is a great time to ask more in depth questions. Ask about the company’s goals. What is their five year plan? You can also ask about your position and how they’d like to see the position evolve. This ensures your interviewers know you’re thinking of your future with the company. If you’re not offered the job by the time you’re asking questions, ask what the next steps in the process are.
Final Thought on Preparation
You’ve come this far, so you know they’re interested. Project confidence that you are what they are looking for. Don’t try and change yourself, just be honest about who you are. Feel free to have a little small talk as well. More than likely a couple of the people you’re interviewing with are going to be co-workers, and they want to know that they’ll get along with their new hire. Be prepared, and before you know it, you’ll be at your new job!