How to prepare for a 2nd interview

The Second Round – What to Expect

Good news! You've been invited back for a second interview (or a third or fourth). But wait, you feel that you've already covered everything in the first interview and you wonder what else there is to talk about… How will this interview be different from the first? How do you prepare for this next round?

Review the Basics

When you are asked back for a second interview, it means that you are considered a viable candidate for the position and are qualified to do the job. Second interviews vary with each company, but more than likely you will be meeting with different people and, therefore, can expect to be asked some of the same questions you were asked during the first round – beginning with "Tell me about yourself" or "Walk me through your resume…"

Focus on Your Strengths

By now, they know you have the skills for the job and will be trying harder to assess your personality and “fit”. You will be measured closely against the other candidates who have applied for the same position and made it to this round. It is important that you leave the interviewer with something to remember you by, to set you apart from the competition. Think of five of your top strengths and pick the one you feel differentiates you from the pack. An example would be a technical person who has great customer service skills. One effective way to let the interviewer know about you is through other's quotes, "If you were to ask my last boss he would tell you that I am his right hand man -- or woman..." Regardless of the example you choose, be sure to make it relate to a skill the company is looking for – always demonstrate how well-matched your experience is to the position.

Be Prepared for New Topics to Surface

Other subjects may come up during this second-round interview, such as salary requirements and benefits. Prepare by doing some research on salary and consider your benefits requirements. You cannot negotiate a salary until you have an offer, but you can prepare by knowing the "going rate" for your position – (come armed with a range). You should also do a budget sheet of your expenses (what it costs you to live each month) to determine your salary needs. Finally, you should know your "walk away" number (an amount at which you could not afford to take the job).

It is a competitive job market out there and you will have to sell yourself during each round of interviews. Work hard to prepare, but remember to congratulate yourself each time you get that call for a second interview – it means you just got up to the next rung of the ladder towards that job offer!


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