How to Prepare for a Second Interview

Think longer and more in depth when planning for a second interview.

Congratulations! You’ve made it past the first interview and have been invited back for a second interview. So now what? Do you need to prepare like you did the first time? The answer is YES. You do need to prepare, maybe even more so, for the second interview. As Brian Tracy, author of Earn What You’re Really Worth: How to Maximize Your Income at Any Time in Any Market, has said “The second interview is your opportunity to showcase your intense desire for the job, demonstrated by everything you say or do.”

There can be many reasons for being called back for a second interview:

  1. The hiring manager wants you to meet with more people.
  2. There could be a more in depth investigation into your background and skill set.
  3. To alleviate any concerns regarding your background or ability to do the job.
  4. To get a better sense of your character and whether or not you will be a good fit with the company’s culture.

Regardless of the reason, and it may be a combination of several, here are some steps to take when preparing for a second interview.

  • Refresh your knowledge on the company. It may have been awhile since the first interview, and there is bound to be some news that you should know.
  • Come up with new questions to ask. Regardless of who you will be meeting this time, it’s best to have new questions to ask, since they will probably have notes on your previous interview in front of them.
  • Look up the new people you will be interviewing with on LinkedIn to get a sense of who they are and what role they play within the organization.
  • Keep dressing professionally. You still don’t have the job yet, so dress to impress.
  • Don’t worry if you are asked some of the same questions again. In an interview process with many steps, the hiring manager may want to be reminded of your answers. Also, being human, they may have simply forgotten.
  • Expect more situational questions on how you would handle something, rather than talking about what you accomplished in the past.
  • Don’t be caught off guard if salary and benefits are brought up. Be prepared to negotiate.
  • Just like with the first interview, send a thank you note to every person you met with, even those people you may have sent one to previously.

When in doubt, it’s best to just go with the flow. The company obviously liked you enough to call you back for a second interview. Be relaxed, be bold, and most importantly be yourself.

Check out our previous post on Interviewing Best Practices, if you need a refresher.