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Our Ultimate Second Interview Prep Guide

Our Ultimate Second Interview Prep Guide

So you've made it through the recruitment process to a second interview. This is a very promising sign for any candidate looking for new role, but now comes the hard part – outperforming the other candidates.

If you've received an invitation for a second interview, it means your first interview went well and the client would like to investigate further before making their decision. Second interviews can be requested for a variety of reasons but most commonly it is to further explore the cultural and personality fit of the candidate. Usually a candidate is a bit more relaxed at a second meeting and their personality can shine through. 

In our experience, here's what to expect at a second interview. 

  • Skills drilldown
    The client may want to drill down and confirm their candidate has the specific skills needed for that role to be executed well. They may also wish to check the candidate has a good understand of the job and demonstrate how they would see themselves performing in the role.

  • Delve deeper
    Candidates should be prepared to talk further about themselves such as their personal interests, friends and family etc. The employer wants to get to know the candidate and understand what makes them "tick". 
  • Less formality
    A second meeting may be less formal, so be prepared that the meeting might be over coffee. 
  • Meet the family
    Sometimes a second interview is requested to meet team members or managers and possibly to get the final approval from another person in the organisation before moving forward. 
  • It goes both ways
    If the employer is really keen on the candidate, but the candidate isn't 100% sure, a second interview can be a good way to "sell" the role to the applicant to get them on board. This is also the candidate’s opportunity to ask any questions to help them decide. 

Here are our DO's and DONT'S for a second interview.

  1. DONT assume that you are the only candidate offered a second meeting – it’s more likely that you are one of 2-4 candidates remaining. 

  2. DO draw some parallels between your skills and the requirements of the role – this is a good chance to cement these. Project forward about 6-12 months and discuss how you can see yourself performing.

  3. DONT show up unprepared. Now is the time to demonstrate any additional research that you have done into the company or the role.

  4. DO bring up any areas of concern, but remember to balance out any negatives with positives. For example, if you are a property manager you might enquire how much admin time you would get in the office each week. To balance out this concern, you could also highlight your awareness that the role is predominantly on the road and indicate that you are experienced at managing your own diary to be efficient with appointments. 

  5. DONT sound overconfident. It can come across as arrogance, which is usually a turn off for employers.

  6. DO bring up the topic of salary if the interviewer has not discussed this yet. A second interview is an appropriate time to discuss this.

There's a lot of information out there about how to prepare for a first job interview, but not a lot on how to prepare for a second meeting. We hope this article serves as a useful reference point for any second interviews coming your way in 2019.