Your first job interview went well. And the call back for a second interview confirms exactly that. You’re feeling on top of the world! You know you’re seriously close to being offered the job. Perhaps just one of two left to choose between. Exciting!!! And that’s when it hits you. This is a defining moment. How will you prepare?
The invitation for a second interview confirms you have the qualifications required to perform the role. You can now expect the questions to be more detailed than those of the initial screening interview, so anticipate a more in-depth analysis of your skills, competencies and experience. Don’t be surprised if you’re met with a host of behavioural questions….describe a time when you…can you tell me about a situation when…The goal is to assess your future performance within the company by understanding how you will manage specific situations. If you’re serious about winning the role you will anticipate these questions beforehand and prepare your responses. Excellent preparation demonstrates a professional approach. And by this time you can assume your nominated referees have also been contacted.
An update to the interviewing panel is also likely with more senior executives joining the meeting. While they may not be the seasoned interviewer the HR Manager is, you will want to know well ahead of time exactly who you will be facing and become familiar with each with some savvy research. Make sure you attain these details along with the agenda of the pending interview. It could be a general hour long meet and greet, or a more thorough day long encounter. Be organised.
On that note, a little housekeeping…Come prepared with extra resumes for the new interviewers. Set yourself to arrive early, park long term and dress to impress. Oh, and in case there is a hold up beyond your control, have the phone number of your contact within the company handy to let them know ahead of time should you be unavoidably delayed.
While you are researching your audience, undertake a secondary detailed review of the company along with an in-depth assessment of your first interview. Some of the original interview questions may be reiterated for the interest of new comers to the table. With them also weighing in on the final hiring decision, your answers need to be polished and include all those elements you forgot to mention during your first encounter. Perhaps there was something highly relevant that you negated to mention. Something that could set you apart from remaining candidates? Remember, you’re up against the best of the best now. This is your moment to shine. No holding back. And relate your response to the current undertakings of the company. Assuming you have caught up on the company’s latest news and press releases, you can infuse your responses with qualities you discovered through your research. The panel will be impressed at your ability to connect your successes with their endeavours. And bear in mind that cultural fit will be high on the panel’s agenda. Don’t be too disappointed though if you discover that your values don’t align, you probably wouldn’t enjoy working there anyway if the two of you are not on the same page.
In concluding the job interview, ask what the next step in the process is. How long will they take until a final decision is made? If you have really impressed, a job offer may be made to you on the spot. This may catch you off guard. Remain calm and request a couple of days to consider the offer. Don’t allow excitement to overwhelm you before you have had time to conduct a post-mortem of the interview and are confident that you would enjoy working within the company and with your direct colleagues. If an offer is not forthcoming immediately, drop a quick email shortly afterwards to your contact within the company, thanking them for the opportunity and state that you are keen to step into the role and become a part of the team. Keep it short. You simply want to demonstrate your seriousness about the job as well as place yourself at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind. Even if you’re not successful in securing the role, you’ve left on a positive note.
The call back for a second interview gives you great confidence and knowledge that you have the right credentials to succeed in the role on offer. It is not a time to become complacent though. Only the best candidates progress to the second and probably final round. Consequently it is the moment when you must compete most fiercely for the competition is at its strongest. Researching and finding a connection between you and the hiring company will impress, but only those who can demonstrate a fit with the company values and colleagues will succeed. Generally though, the odds are in your favour. So put your best foot forward and go for it!