News and Articles

Employment: 10 tips for a second interview

By: Mark Braund, Chief Executive Officer at InterQuest Group PLC
Published: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 16:20 GMT   

Recruitment expert Mark Braund continues his Employment series with tips on presenting the best version of yourself in a second-round interview.

Getting invited back for a second interview is a great feeling and it often means that you are on the right path towards getting the job.

Still, one of the biggest challenges at this stage is avoiding becoming complacent or too familiar.

Here are ten key points on how to prepare for a second-round interview:

Research is key

Your research on the company and the role should be even more in-depth than it was for the first interview.

Make sure you read up on the company’s latest updates, news, and social media posts. Even if your interview was only a week ago, there will be even more for you to find out now.

Reviewing the information you researched previously will help to keep it fresh in your mind ahead of the second interview.

Refer back to the first interview

Reflect back to your first interview and think of all the questions and answers that were covered.
Think of how you can build on any of these in the next interview in a way that might allow you to cover different skills that might be more relevant to the role.

Impress all the interviewers

Often in a second interview, a candidate will meet different interviewers to those met in the first interview.

This means you should go into the interview ready to be just as impressive -  making as good an impression as you did the first time.

Convince everyone you meet in the interview process that you are the right person for the job.

This means you should be as professional as possible; be ready to show that you’ve done your research and you are interested in joining the organisation.

Draw on different examples

If questions come up in this interview that are similar to those asked last time, try to draw on different examples from your experience.

Having only one example could suggest that your experience is limited.

Before the interview you should try to think of all the questions asked the last time and how you could improve or elaborate on the answers you gave.

Be sure to be consistent in your answers, drawing on different relevant examples.

Show that you are you the right candidate

The employers are trying to find a reason to choose one candidate from their shortlist of candidates from the first interview.

You need to make sure that in your answers you highlight all the things that make you perfect for the role.

Prior to the interview read the job description and your CV again and make sure you know exactly why you are the ideal person for the role.

Be prepared to discuss this; consider your experience, skills and qualifications.

Be concise in your answers

As in all interviews, keep your answers to the point.  Try to avoid wandering off the topic, ensure that everything you say is relevant to answering the question you have been asked.

Show that you are keen

At this stage of the interview process the employer has shown an interest in you by inviting you back.

This is the time to tell them why you came back.

Talk about the things that appeal to you about the role and the company, referring back to the information you learned in the previous interview, your research and the job description.

Don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know that you want to join their organisation.

Ask Questions

By asking relevant and well thought out questions you can show the interviewer that you have really thought about the role with a genuine view to working within their organisation.

Prepare questions that are different from those you asked in the first interview and that draw on some of the information you gained in the first round.

Good questions to ask in an interview might include how your performance would be measured in the role, how the department is structured and where the role you are interviewing for sits within it, and what the opportunities for career development and progression are.

Remain Professional

Remember, the second interview is just as formal as the first. A common mistake that candidates make at the second and third interview is to become complacent.

Go into every interview with the same professional attitude you had at the beginning. 

Follow up the interview

After the interview, send a short email thanking your interviewer for meeting with you, and reaffirming your interest in the role.

If you’re working with a recruitment consultant, it is wise to let them know that you’re doing this before sending.

A well written and courteous email following up the interview is a great way to stay fresh in your interviewer’s memory as well as illustrating your interest in the role.

Though the number of stages to an interview process can vary from one organisation to another, it is important to remember to approach every interview professionally and with a focus on impressing the interviewer.

After an interview it is always wise to review and make notes on the questions asked and the topics covered in the conversation.