You’ve reached the second stage of the interview process – it feels like your new job is within touching distance. At this stage, the competition has been narrowed and you can hopefully visualise yourself in this role.
By making it this far you’ve already demonstrated you have the right experience, skills and fit to be the right person for the job, however, the second stage is still just as, if not more, important. By nature, this stage is designed to press down further on areas which you may have only briefly covered at first interview or discuss in more detail the most important parts of the role description and your experience in these areas.
Besides keeping your enthusiasm and focus, here are my ‘top tips’ to help you prepare for this all important second stage interview:
Review and reflect on your performance from your first interview
You’ve obviously met the mark - interviewers do not waste their time bringing back candidates that they cannot visualise in their organisation. But think back through any questions where you could improve or give a more relevant and detailed response. Was there any major achievement or milestone which showcases your particular expertise that you could include in your responses this time round? If it’s possible to gain feedback from your first stage, use this as preparation for second round.
Keep in touch with your recruiter
Things aren’t over the line yet – keep in touch with your recruitment consultant who will help and advise you through this next stage of the process. They will be able to prepare you as thoroughly as they did for the first stage and may have extra information that could help your candidacy.
Have a plan
Go into the interview knowing exactly who will be interviewing you and what is expected of you. Ask the recruiter you are dealing with to provide as much information as possible on who you are meeting and what they expect to gain from this interview. Research the individuals and continue to sell your achievements and experience in more detail than you did at the first stage.
Keep your answers fresh
It’s okay to go over old ground, especially as you are often meeting with different people at this stage. However, interview notes from both stages may be compared so using more than one example could go in your favour. In addition, your line manager to be is often in a second stage interview, so it is beneficial to offer a mix of old and new answers to really show off the breadth of your experience.
Be prepared for some tricky questions
The second stage interview often feels tougher than the first stage. It is completely normal for candidates to leave this interview feeling less excited than they did at first stage. It is important to remember this is essentially the last stop before being offered the job, so don’t expect an easy ride. Difficult questions may be asked and they will be looking to see how you cope under pressure.
Ask the right questions
It’s likely you’ll have more opportunity during the second interview to ask questions and this should definitely be used. It is important that the interview process feels like a two-way street and the company feel that you are interested to see if they are right for you also. Ask about the team, company strategy and the expectations around your role. It is also advisable to ask when they expect decisions to made and what the process will look like from this stage onwards.
Check social media channels
A good way of showing you are keen and up to date is to discuss the news your company release via their social media channels. Check their website, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds again before second stage to demonstrate that you are interested and up to date in the happenings of the organisation.
Are you the right cultural fit?
This is the time when the employer will see if you’re the right cultural fit for them and how you’ll interact with the existing team members. It’s also your time to make the same call so take in the office surroundings and the language they use. Is it really right for you?
Stay in selling mode
You’re not there yet so make sure you showcase your strengths and back up everything you say with an example. Hitting or overachieving targets, and any specific examples of how you’ve worked individually or as part of a team are a great way of showing you can make a real difference to a company.
If you would like to speak to me about moving jobs within the Business Services market, you can get in touch by clicking here to drop me an email.