Interview questions and structured interviewing
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The Second Interview - What to Expect

Carole Martin

Good news! You've been invited back for a second interview (or a third or fourth). But, you feel that you've already covered everything in the first interview? How will this interview be different from the first? How do you prepare for the second round?

Can you do the job?

When you are asked back for a second interview it means that you are considered a viable candidate for the position and you are qualified to do the job.

Second interviews vary with each company. Since you are going to meet with different people, you can expect to be asked some of the same questions, beginning with “Tell me about yourself," or "Walk me through your resume."

Do we like you – are you going to fit in?

They know you have the skills by now, and will be looking to see personality and cultural fit. You will be measured against other candidates who have applied for the same position. It is important that you leave the interviewer with something to make you “remembered.” Think of five strengths you have and pick the one that you feel differentiates you from the pack. An example would be a technical person who has great customer service skills.

A good way to let the interviewer know about you is through other’s quotes. "If you were to ask my last boss he would tell you that I am his right hand man -- or woman."

Your challenge is to set yourself apart from the pack. It will be necessary to let the employer know that you are a great match for the position and that you have what it takes to do this job.

"Fit" is an important factor. Be sure to review your match to the position description -- from the company's standpoint as well as your own.

Be prepared for other topics to surface

Other subjects may come up in this interview such as salary requirements and benefits. Prepare by doing some research on salary and some thinking about your benefits requirements. You cannot negotiate a salary until you have an offer, but you can prepare by knowing the "going rate" for your position -- You should also do a budget sheet of your expenses and figure out what it costs you to live each month - your salary needs. You should know your "walk away" number. When you cannot afford to take the job.

It is a competitive job market and you will have to sell yourself whether it is a first or second interview. Continue to congratulate yourself each time you get that call for a second interview -- you just got to the next rung up the ladder towards that job offer.