Second Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

Congratulations! You’ve been invited back for a second interview. Get ready to wow again, but don’t assume it will go like the first interview. In that regard, here are some second interviewing do’s and don’ts.

  • If it’s a different location, do establish how long the travel time will take. Punctuality is still important.
  • Don’t go in thinking you have the job. You have to prove more than ever you’re the candidate as you’re getting closer to the people you may be working with.
  • Do expect to be asked the same questions. Be consistent with answers, but don’t worry about repeating yourself. It’s unlikely the new interviewer was given a transcript of your first interview. Remain confident, upbeat, and honest.
  • Don’t anticipate the second interview will be as polished as the first. We know of a candidate who was shocked when the vice president for his second interview not only had no people skills, but to save time, she interviewed all the candidates at the same time.
  • The second interview is your best chance to make personal connections. Your engagement will be critical. Do be prepared to ask questions. Your interest will make you a serious candidate.
  • Don’t be thrown if compensation is brought up. While this is a human resource responsibility, be prepared for a general negotiation because this person could have final say in whether or not you get hired.
  • Do be prepared to spend a significant amount of time at the second interview. There could be tours of the office. The interviewer may be impressed enough to encourage a spontaneous interview with the next person in the chain.
  • Don’t feel you need to accept the job on the spot. Request a few days to get back to them. It’s not in anyone’s interests to take an offer in the heat of the moment.
  • Do remember the second interview is to see if you’d fit in. If it doesn’t go well, it’s likely because you weren’t a good fit. That means you wouldn’t have been happy there anyway.

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