How to Prepare for a Second Interview – 7 Tips

Alright, so you got a call back from the first interview. You are feeling pretty good about yourself. You may even think this job is all but yours. What you don’t know, can hurt you. Preparing for second interviews is critically important. What I have found is that most job seekers spend more time in preparation on the first interview over the second.

What you must understand is that the questioning can be more advanced in the second interview. You very well might end up talking to someone in a higher position. You might be confronted with a panel interview. The bottom line is you need to spend some time preparing if you want to nail the interview.

How to Prepare for a Second Interview – 7 Simple Tips

  1. How to Prepare for a second interviewShow some enthusiasm for the job. Many job seekers forget about the need for this. If they brought you back that is a good indication that they think you can do the work. What they want to know now is if you want to do the work.
  2. Be careful of getting too personal. It is easy to let your guard down on the second interview. You are feeling good about the process. You believe they like you. You may even feel more relaxed. Saying more than you need to say can be damaging for you. Remember, there are still other choices besides you.
  3. Be careful of becoming too honest. This may sound a lot like the last point, but let me explain. You can run the risk of being too honest as the process goes along. Maybe you open up a bit more about how bad your past employer was to you. Maybe you share too much info on your salary history than you should. This process is just like dating. You don’t dump the whole cart out on your first few dates.
  4. Show them you are a team player. One of the big reasons employers bring candidates back is to determine how good of a culture fit they might be. This is why oftentimes you get a chance to meet the team on a second interview. Make sure you show them you are a team player.
  5. Be prepared for behavioral interview questions. As an interview process moves along so do the questions. You need to be ready for behavioral type interview questions. I wrote an entire post on how to handle behavioral interview questions.
  6. Expect more intense questioning. As mentioned earlier, you will more than likely be moving up the food chain when it comes to who you interview with on the second interview. Sometimes the higher the position, the more intense the questioning can become. Not always. You should still prepare for it.
  7. Ask for a meeting agenda. Second interviews can also take longer. You will more than likely be meeting with more people. Do not schedule any other appointments on the day of your second interview. Leave your calendar as open as possible. Ask human resources if they can email you a meeting agenda ahead of time so you can have a better idea of what to expect.

The most important thing to remember out of everything I have said is that you need to spend as much time preparing for a second interview as you would a first interview. 2nd interviews can be exciting, but they should never be taken for granted. Keep the above tips in mind and you will do just fine.

Question: What advice do you have for preparing for second interviews? Answer in the comments below. 

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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    2 thoughts on “How to Prepare for a Second Interview – 7 Tips

    1. Thank you for great tips. For me, I am always more nervous for the second interview. I did make the mistake of scheduling another interview on the same day as my second interview. Also, i feel like during the second interview I am telling more stories about me and about my past experience.
      I would also say, know more about the company, especially about their financial situation and culture. Also, if you know someone who works for the company, talk to them. It gives you the advantage to know about the company from employee’s prospective.

      • Great suggestions! I totally agree. So many job seekers never prepare for the 2nd interview…only the first.