Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to Ace your Second Interview

Congratulations! You have successfully completed your initial interview and have been invited back for a second interview. This time around, expect to spend more time at the company, talk to more people, both individually and collectively, and have your skills and personality scrutinized more closely.

From an employer’s perspective, the second interview is a chance to closely evaluate a candidate's abilities and interpersonal skills. Your prospective employer wants to see that you can do the job and work well with colleagues. Be aware that many employers bring in several candidates on the same day to streamline the second interview process. Your challenge is to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. Remember your interview fundamentals: have a plan, prepare good examples, and close the interview.

What to Expect

On your first interview, you probably met with one or two people. It’s possible that the only interview you have conducted was a phone interview. This time, be prepared to meet several more interviewers over the course of the day, including potential managers, coworkers and other staff members. If you meet with a panel or group, be sure to make eye contact with both the individual asking the question and the group as a whole.

You may meet individually with several people, who will most likely ask you similar questions. Keep your answers consistent but mix up your delivery so that your answers don't sound stale or staged. If possible, before the interview, acquire a list of the people you'll be meeting with and do a little research on each one. Then, ask questions that show your knowledge of each person.

Keys to Success

Prior to your second interview, make sure you review Interview Fundamentals and Sample Interview QuestionsThe interviewing fundamentals covered there are just as applicable for second interviews. You must have a plan, practice questions, identify specific examples to use, and close an interview.

In addition to the fundamentals covered previously, keep the following tips in mind as you prepare for your interview:

Be Early. 
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. You will more than likely be traveling in a strange city. Err on the side of caution and leave earlier than you normally would. Don’t rely on online maps. If possible, travel to the site the day before to make sure you are 100% sure where you are going.

Be Prepared
Make sure you know the appropriate attire to wear and look as sharp as possible. Ensure you have a professional portfolio with additional copies of your resume and professional references. If you are preparing for a sales interview, make sure you have a brag book prepared. Lay out your clothes the night before and make sure that everything is ironed and ready to go. You don’t want to be caught rushing around the morning of the interview because you didn't properly prepare.

Develop a Plan. 
Do additional research on the company. Talk to your recruiting team and look online to ensure you can make your case. Know what the company wants and be prepared to talk to those points. Identify strengths and examples to support your case.

Do Not Assume Anything. 
You don’t have the job yet. You must impress everybody you speak with. Be friendly to everyone. Janitors, secretaries, assistants, and other support staff sometimes have the ear of key decision makers. Be courteous.

Close the Interview!
You must close the interview and ask for the job. Show them you want the job in no uncertain terms and close the deal.

Follow these tips, and; hopefully, soon after your second interview, you'll be negotiating an offer!

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