You passed your first screening interview and have been asked back for round 2.
So what do you do now?
Firstly, don’t panic…
When you get to the second interview you are at the final stages of the process.
Main Purpose of Second Interviews
In the first interview, you may have touched on some of your core competencies when answering questions.
Now it’s time for the employer to dig a bit deeper and see if you have the right set of skills to do the job.
They will probe you on specifics and ask for more details about things you have done in previous roles that can help them.
Do you fit in with the company culture and would you work well with the rest of the team?
What happens next?
Meet with HR
If they are not attending the interview you will definitely meet a member of the HR department at some stage.
They may be there to greet you upon arrival to explain proceedings.
They may meet you after the interview to see how things went.
This is where you can find out what comes with the role.
There may even be some tests you need to complete like psychometric and behavioral testing.
Ask questions if you are unsure as this may be the last time to negotiate before a job offer.
Candidates on their second interview may get to meet some existing staff members.
Remember to be polite and smile.
A good firm handshake and make eye contact to show your interest.
This can be a test by the employer to see how you fit in so give it your all.
Manager / Staff meetings
You may get to meet your manager or some of your direct reports.
This is a great opportunity to make a first impression with a potential boss or somebody who will work for you.
Preparation for Second Interview
Now is your time to show you have researched the company.
Check online for news about the company, any recent achievements or client acquisitions.
Follow their social media accounts. Often the best company news is shared on Social Media first.
LinkedIn is a great source for this. If there is no company page then search for employees and see what they are saying.
If they have a News section on their website read through some of the articles.
Apart from giving you details about what they do it also gives you insight into company culture.
Have they been awarded any big tenders lately? This may have a direct impact on you so read as much as you can.
Questions to ask
You may have a long list of questions to ask at the second interview.
The best way to sort these out is to write them all down and pick your top 2 or 3.
Don’t underestimate the importance of asking questions.
It does 2 things:
- Shows you are interested in the role and the company.
- Gives you more details on the role and your responsibilities.
Ask about your goals or targets for the first 6 months.
Ask about your team or manager
It is also a good time to ask about the companies long term plans. You can use this question to show how you can help on the journey.
One thing to note is don’t ask anything that was already answered in the first interview.
It’s fine to ask for clarification but don’t repeat the question.
Questions to answer
There will be a series of questions asked by the employer.
Have a think in advance about these and write down as many as you can think of.
Practice answering these as it will help the conversation flow and stop you from getting caught off guard.
- What difference will you make to this company?
- Why should we hire you?
- What challenges you?
- What makes you happy in work?
- What are your career goals – short and long term?
- What are your salary expectations?
These are standard enough questions and you should be able to answer them without issue.
The other type of questions to be familiar with are competency-based questions.
This is where a scenario is described to you and you have to show how you handled things.
- Can you tell me about how you dealt with a non-performing team member…
- Tell me about a project you worked on that failed…
- Tell me about a situation that made you uncomfortable…
- These types of questions need practice to get your message right.
They are, however, the best time to use examples of your core competencies and explain how you do things.
Highlight some of your skills such as teamwork, management and problem-solving as part of your answers.
Getting to second stage interviews does not mean you are home and dry but you stand a good chance if you are prepared.
Research the company and understand the role in detail.
Prepare your answers as best you can.
and Good Luck.