Job Interview Articles

The Second Job Interview - the One That Really Counts

As soon as you walk out of your first interview you may be wondering if you'll get a call for a second job interview. Your mind may latch onto that thought and you can hardly get through a day without obsessing on what will happen next.

Before giving in to that worry and fear, give yourself a pat on the back. You made it this far. You can go the distance. When the call for the second interview comes in, acknowledge yourself. Out of possibly hundreds of job seekers, you are among the top of a handful of those seeking the position everyone wants.

You cannot sit back for long, however. The competition at the second interview level will be more difficult than at the first because it will concentrate on the person who is the most qualified for the job. The questions, therefore, will be more specific, more in-depth, and will require deeper and more thoughtful responses.

Prepare With Greater Focus

The first thing to do as you prepare for the second job interview is to be absolutely clear about what you did and did not undertake and accomplish in your current position. This is no time to exaggerate. Answer the questions in a friendly and forthright manner, quoting people who have acknowledged your competence and professionalism. If possible, engage someone you know at this company and ask him or her to speak on your behalf, perhaps in written or verbal form. That someone may be the Human Resources (HR) representative who scheduled your interviews. If it's someone else whom you admire, ask that person to be your advocate, perhaps practicing with you before the second interview.

As you prepare for the second interview, be sure to follow the advice of a friend or colleague who is already employed at the company. And feel free to ask the HR representative for some feedback on how you performed during the initial interview. She or he may have some tips for you to apply during the second round. In a similar manner, there is no harm in asking your contacts what elements are most important to the people you will be speaking with for the second interview. Avoid sounding like you're looking for an unfair advantage or inside information. On the other hand, don't be afraid to ask honest questions about what you can expect at the next level.

Remain Committed to Your Goals

By the time you've reached the second interview, you'll be dealing with a higher level of executive. It's possible that he or she will want to see you in a more informal, relaxed setting and you should be prepared to comply if you're directed. At this point there is no advantage to trying to change or expand your style. Be calm, cooperative, and quietly grateful for the opportunity. Show your best self and you'll have nothing to regret.