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Top Interviewing Tips: Part 9 – How to handle your second interview

Lisa Jobson

Top interviewing tips from Lisa Jobson (pictured), director of talent at Harvey Nash:

  • If the first interview is a screening process to make sure you're qualified for the job, the second one is usually to see if the company likes you and to make sure you fit the corporate culture.
  • Analyse your first interview. It's likely that any areas which you discussed will come under intense scrutiny second time round, so you will need to provide fuller answers to more searching questions.
  • Ask about the format of the interview in advance, and be prepared to show that you are competent and that you would work well with the existing team.
  • You can expect to meet different people each time. While the first interview may be conducted by your future boss, the second could be led by a human resources manager. Every interviewer has their own agenda, so keep that in mind as you prepare.
  • The second stage is likely to comprise competency-based questions designed to assess your personality and behavioural traits in different situations. A second job interview is as much about your people skills as your professional skills.
  • If you are meeting the same person, try not to repeat the same things you said at the previous interview. Try asking some more questions about the direction the company is going in and its history.
  • If you meet a new point of contact, keep in mind that they are already aware of some of your skills but you will need to go over some of the things you discussed in the first interview. During the second stage you may be asked about your current and expected compensation package, so be prepared to speak about what you earn currently as well as justify the package you are looking to secure for the new role.
  • If feedback has been consistently positive over the course of the recruitment process, you may get a job offer at the end of the interview. If that happens don't make a hasty decision, take all the details and ask for time to think about it.
  • If you don't get an offer, be sure to immediately send a brief thank you note to every person you met. Timelines and decision making process will vary from company to company so be patient, be flexible and be ready for an offer or an invitation for yet another interview.

More top interviewing tips >>


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