How to ace a second interview
It’s an amazing feeling acing a job interview. Your potential-future-boss seems to like you, the HR rep looks impressed, and you’re ready to sign your contract.
And then it hits you: There’s another interview.
Moving on to another round of interviews can be a nerve-wracking process, where your initial sense of relief and excitement is replaced by a second wave of stress and anxiety. So how can you make sure that you stay calm and impress your would-be employer … again?
Alan Kearns, managing partner at CareerJoy, offered a few key tips.
Make it a conversation
The first interview is a chance to meet the hiring manager and other interviewers and get the nuts and bolts out of the way. By the second round, you’ve already done those cold introductions and gained some insight into their personalities – so it’s time to relax a bit!
“You’re really positioning what you really like about the organization, and what you have to offer … it’s a conversation versus a negotiation,” says Kearns.
You still have to stay professional, of course, but you can use the second round of interviews to showcase your personality and your career goals.
Focus on fit
The first interview was likely a chance for the employer to see if you’re a good fit for the role at a basic level. Once you’ve passed that test, now it’s their chance to see if you’ll click with other team members and fit in with the company as a whole.
Kearns says it’s important to highlight your strengths in those areas, and also use the meeting to get a sense of things like company culture and the management structure – with questions like who you’ll be reporting to, what that relationship is like, and what the expectations are for your career path.
“You want to get a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the position and the opportunities,” says Kearns.
But, he adds, don’t make it seem like you’re expecting (or looking) to get promoted quickly; it’s important to remember you’re vying for a particular role, not a leg up on the corporate ladder.
Seal the deal
The best thing you can do at the end of a second-round interview? Politely but confidently tell your potential boss that the role seems like a great fit, and say you’d like to find out the next steps.
“Be upfront, and say these are the reasons why, and this is what I bring,” Kearns says.
Sure, it might seem blunt, but by this point, both you and the employer have invested a fair amount of energy and time into the interview process. Ultimately, they want someone passionate about their company who is ready to hit the ground running.
“If you think you’re good for the position, and you want it, then don’t be afraid to ask for it,” says Kearns.
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