Although being invited for a second job interview is always a good sign, it doesn’t mean the job is in the bag. Sadly. So it’s not the time to be complacent. Second interviews are fairly common as part of an interview process, as often, one meeting is not enough to make a definite decision.
The good news is that if you have been invited for a second interview, the interviewer must have seen something in you that makes him or her feel it’s worth spending time finding out more about you. And for most people, time is their most precious resource.
Plus it’s also gives you another opportunity to really make sure the role and company are right for you.
These are some reasons why you might have been asked for a second interview - and how to make sure you really make it count.
You made the grade!
The best opportunities can receive hundreds of applications, so getting a first interview is a great achievement in itself. But often, employers will see a number of applicants face to face for a short interview to help them whittle down the list to a more manageable number for the more in-depth conversation.
So if you’ve made through to the second stage, well done! It means you’ve made a great impression and almost certainly demonstrated you can do the job. The point of the second interview is to find out if you are the best person to do it. So go in with that mindset - and focus on demonstrating why you are the one - and that you really want it.
To get a second opinion
In some cases, there is a specific person within the business who needs to make - or be involved in - the final decision. If they were unable to make the first meeting this might be their only opportunity to get an impression of you.
Or perhaps more junior staff conducted the first interviews so the directors or senior managers could spend their time with only the very best candidates.
If the second interview involves a different set of interviewers, it might mean you’ll be asked the same or similar questions again. Don’t worry and don’t get frustrated. You obviously gave good answers in the first interview to be invited back. So prepare just as well as you did before, and ideally look to take your pre-interview research and preparation to an even higher level.
To delve deeper
The second interview might be a the chance for the interviewer or interviewers to delve a bit deeper into your experience and how you might fit in the business. There may be some unanswered questions which the interviewer would like to explore further or they may have some queries about the way you answered a question.
Sometimes the first interview only scratches the surface and the second allows for a more in-depth conversation.
So if possible get feedback from your first interview, and specifically ask if there are any areas of concern they have from your first meeting, or areas that they will be particularly interested in drilling further into this time.
To test your commitment
If you attend a second interview, it shows you are committed to working for the employer. You might be surprised by how many people withdraw from the process when asked for a second interview because of lack of motivation or they cannot spare the time. Fairly or unfairly, this suggests to the interviewer that they don’t have the desire or commitment to work for the company, which makes their decision easier.
See second interviews for what they are: positive feedback on your performance in the first interview and a fantastic opportunity to build on that and land the job - and be as accommodating as you can to make the time to attend it.
Meet the Team
The second interview could simply be an opportunity for you to meet some of the people you might be working with and have a look around the office and facilities. It’s even possible you’re already their preferred candidate.
But never assume this.
The team is likely to be asked about their opinion of you and if you fail to make a positive impression with an influential member of the team you could inadvertently blow your chances.
There is no rule that says there will only be two rounds of interviews. The more senior the role the more stages there are likely to be, but the advice above still applies.
As a general rule always try and get feedback from your first interview and as much guidance and information as possible as to the format and objectives on any subsequent interviews.
If you’re working with a good Recruitment Consultant they’ll work with you and their client to get you this information, and ensure you’re as prepared and informed as possible to make the most of the opportunity - and really stand out from the crowd.
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