Getting a second interview means you’re perceived as having the right skills, but the company wants to get to know you better. They want to dig a little deeper into your background and also assess if you’d be a good fit culturally.
But this is also a perfect time for you to get to know them better as a potential employer and determine if they are the right fit for you.
How can you best prepare? Below, nine members of Forbes Coaches Council offer their professional advice:
From left to right: Virginia Franco, Michelle Tillis Lederman, Jada Willis, Sally Fox, Julie Kantor, Michelle Braden, Tanya Ezekiel, Anu Pandapati, Wendi Weiner. All photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Have More Detail To Add
Just because this is your second interview doesn’t mean it will be with the same people as round No. 1. This means you must keep the key points that have gotten you this far front and center — but add additional detail in the form of specifics and stories that bring these talents to life for your audience. – Virginia Franco, Virginia Franco Resumes
2. Know The Players
The first round is about technical ability: Can you do the job? Round 2 is about fit: Do you want to do the job and do they want to work with you? Find out in advance who you will be interviewing with. Connect on LinkedIn LNKD +0.05%; see who and what you have in common. Seek to build rapport and have a conversation beyond the job. Ask about their experiences at the company. Show them you will fit right in. – Michelle Tillis Lederman, Executive Essentials
3. Prepare For A Panel Interview
The first interview is typically the “sniff” test and a further review of your resume. Now, be ready for behavioral-based questions from more than one person. Panel interviews are becoming increasingly popular, as it saves a great deal of time when all of the decision-makers are in one room. Write out specific scenarios, print multiple copies of your resume, and research “panel interview etiquette.” – Jada Willis, Willis Professional Services
4. Treat It Like A Performance — And Have Great Stories
Let’s assume you’ve done your research and prepared answers to possible questions. Now get ready to perform! Rehearse by yourself and with others. Have short, clear, compelling stories that illustrate what you’re talking about and link directly to what your employer needs. Be interested in your audience. And before you go on, relax, breathe and prepare to have fun. – Sally Fox, Engaging Presence
5. Assess Them To See If They’re A Match For You
Prepare to determine if you want to “hire” them. Consider what you want out of the job, your work style, needs, etc. Ask questions to assess if their needs complement your needs and talents, which will also demonstrate you are a mature, reliable employee. It’s best to not accept a job for a boss that likes to be “very involved” (micromanage) if you like to work independently. – Julie Kantor, PhD, JP Kantor Consulting
6. Create A Strong Foundation
A successful second interview builds on the foundation of a strong first one. Remember to ask meaningful questions about the role and abilities necessary as well as the culture and personalities of the team. Learn what has worked and what has not worked in the first interview. This will give you the opportunity to build on this foundation and share how you will enrich the team with your skills and adaptability. – Michelle Braden, MSBCoach, LLC
7. Build A Greater Understanding Of What They Are Looking For
It’s not an audition. You’ve convinced them you can do the job; now show them you can create connections. Be curious. Deconstruct the questions that were asked in the first interview to find hidden messages about who they are looking for. With greater understanding of the role, do more in-depth research on current trends that will inform how you can take the role to the next level. – Tanya Ezekiel, CareerCoach.com
8. Help The Interviewers Visualize You In The Role
Research the company, team and role by requesting information from the recruiter, hiring manager and LinkedIn connections. Ask about the strengths and challenges of the team, the team culture, and three big areas that should be a focus for this position. Then, in your interview, communicate your 90-day plan to leverage strengths, tackle opportunities for growth, and how you will achieve the team’s goals. – Anu Mandapati, IMPACT Leadership for Women
9. Plan With Knowledge And Interest
A second-round job interview usually entails meeting with multiple people and possibly executive partners. Prepare by adequately learning who the interviewers are, garnering knowledge about the work they do, the projects they have led, and having a list of at least two questions to ask each interviewer. You want to be engaging and knowledgeable about the company to impart your keen interest. – Wendi Weiner, JD, NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCM, The Writing Guru