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How to prepare for a second round job interview

09 August 2021 by Sarah Connell
How to prepare for a second round job interview

Tips for your second round interview​

Congratulations – you’ve made it through the first round of interviews! First of all, you’ve done very well so far, you have obviously impressed them and are a good contender for the job.

So now it’s time to seal the deal! You need to know what you’re in for and be prepared with a strategy for success.

The first thing to do to prepare for a second round interview is to ask your recruiter or the hiring manager you’re in contact with what you should expect from the interview. They will inform you if there’s a presentation involved, if you’ll be facing a panel, if you’ll be tested during it or if you need to prepare in a specific way.

In general, these are the sort of things you should do to prepare for a second or final round interview:

1. Reflect on the first interview

Take the time to think back and reflect on your first interview. Think about how well you answered each question; was there anything you could have answered better or forgot to mention? This interview is your opportunity to expand on topics you may have skimmed over or perhaps revisit any questions you didn’t feel you answered well the first time round.

2. Prepare your homework well

A lot of second round or final interviews will involve some sort of a task that you will have to prepare at home before your interview. If you’re asked to do a presentation ensure all your points are clear and easy to understand. And make sure you answer the questions they are looking for, with valuable recommendations. Make your presentation engaging and interesting! Use visuals instead of too much content. Prepare speaking notes and practice presenting out loud or to family and friends, so you can speak with confidence. Ensure you make eye contact with everyone in the room when giving your presentation.

3. Know your interviewers

Ask your recruiter or the hiring manager who exactly will be interviewing you and find out as much information about them as possible. Check out their LinkedIn, their profile on the company website, and know their name and position. This will help you to anticipate what angle they may take in their questioning so you can plan ahead.

For example, if you know one of the interviewers is the Financial Controller, be prepared to answer any budget related questions.

4. Prepare for more in-depth questions

For your second round interview, be prepared to answer more in-depth and behavioural questions. Try to think of potential questions they may ask and think about some different examples from your past to demonstrate your track record in specific competencies related to the role.

It’s also important to note that if you’ve already been asked extensive questions about your hard skills, your second interview questions might focus more on your soft skills and cultural fit for the company.

5. Go in with a strategy

It’s important to remember that this interview is more than just “getting to know you”. Your interviewer may expect you to come with your own ideas for how to solve the issues and challenges the organisation is facing. Or expect you to provide recommendations or strategies on how they could be doing something better.

Think about a clear strategy on how you would overcome some of their challenges. What would your strategy be for making the organisation’s goals a reality? By providing a clear, concrete and achievable strategy, you will convince them that you’re exactly what the business needs.

6. Prepare questions to ask them

Asking questions shows enthusiasm and interest in the role – so ensure you prepare any questions you want to ask. This interview is your opportunity to ask about the role, the team, the structure, training, career development opportunities, the company culture, their strategy, their expectations of the role etc. So have your final questions prepared and ready to go!

7. Your final pitch

This is your last chance to persuade them why they should give you the job, and why you’re a perfect fit and the best person for the role. Recap your unique selling proposition – what you can do that no one else can.

If you need any additional career advice or if you’re looking for your next career move, please feel free to contact Mason Alexander – we’re always here and happy to help with your job search!

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