2nd Interview Success

Sam Wilson, August 18, 2014

Congratulations! You’ve made it through that tricky 1st interview and you’ve been invited back for a 2nd. It’s really getting serious now, you’ve obviously impressed so now it’s time for you to seal the deal.

A 2nd interview can be a different beast altogether and will involve some different preparation however it is important to retain the same all round approach of your 1st interview.

• Dress well
• Smile
• Be punctual
• Eye contact
• Confidence

It’s important to note that every company has a slightly different recruitment process. Often a 2nd interview will only take place if they are struggling to choose between 2 or more candidates and require another interview with each, in order to make that final decision, so don’t be alarmed if you are used to just attending 1 interview.


A 2nd interview may well take a different format to the 1st. This might involve a panel of interviewers rather than just 1 or 2, it might involve a series of separate interviews or a form of assessment.

It is essential that you know what format the interview will take, as this will obviously have an impact on the way in which you prepare.

If you will be interviewed by a number of people, either all at once or one by one, you are well within your rights to ask who those people will be and their position within the company.

It’s also important to find out how long the interview is expected to take, the last thing you want is to find yourself having to leave early because you only booked the morning off when you were expected to be there all day.

Research Research | Jobsgopublic

You will have researched the company before your 1st interview but it’s now time to go into more depth. Spend some significant time on the company website and gather as much information as you can. Social media is a good place to get an idea of recent goings-on and news.

Think about how your department and role fits into the wider picture of the company, the purpose and challenges that exist. Being able to demonstrate that you’ve thought about this in some detail could really work in your favour in terms of standing out against your competition.

Get as much of an idea about the role and where you fit into the company as you can, you are not going to impress if asked ‘what do you understand about the role?’ and all you can provide in response is silence.

Tell us a story

At a 2nd interview your prospective employers will want to delve into your experience and skills, prepare some stories about your working life that show off the skills you’ve developed. Look at the job description for the role and think of the different skills required. You ideally want evidence to back up each one.

The missing piece

Puzzle | JobsgopublicA 1st interview will primarily be about whether or not you fulfill certain criteria and whether you’re capable of doing the job. A 2nd interview will likely be more focused on whether you will fit into the team you will be working with and the company culture as a whole.

This may include introducing you to some of your potential colleagues and/or a tour of the workplace but will almost definitely include your line manager being on your interview panel. It’s important to come across as friendly and personable as well as professional.

It’s important to remember that should you not get the job at this point that it could be largely because the interviews felt the other candidate was deemed to be a better fit for the company. There is nothing you can do about that and you should take away the positives of getting as far as you did. It also suggests that the position might have not been the perfect job for you, it’s important that your personality matches the company for you to have a happy working life.

Remember the 1st time

Before a 2nd interview, take some time to remember as much as you can about the 1st. If the person who conducted your 1st interview is present again then they will be conscious of things they have heard before. Repeating certain pieces of information is fine especially if there are new people there this time however it’s important that you don’t come across like you just have a certain number of pre-prepared statements that you’re just reeling off again. As stated above, they want to see your personality, which won’t come across if you seem like you’re reading from a script.

You should go into this interview with confidence, you’ve seen off most of the competition and they are definitely interested in you. What’s important now is that you don’t lose focus, carefully prepare and let your personality shine through. Good luck!