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13 Key Tips for a Successful Second Interview


With study and practice, you can ace your second interview and make a lasting impression. These 13 key second interview tips will help you prepare.

The second interview is your chance to really shine and showcase your qualifications in greater detail. The information you convey during this interview will help the hiring manager determine whether or not you are the right person for the job. Your interviewer will likely use this opportunity to delve more deeply into your experience, and to ask more pointed questions about your professional goals, personality and abilities.

If your first interview is an introduction to your skills and work history, the second interview is where the hiring manager really gets to you you and your accomplishments. Preparing to answer difficult questions with confidence and honesty is one of the most important things you can do to stand out during your second interview. To help you make the best possible impression, study these 13 key second interview tips and learn how to shine.

1. Review your first interview performance. Taking a look at what worked and what didn’t during first interview can help you identify key areas where you can improve during your second interview. Even if you feel like you aced your first interview, you should still be able to identify one or two areas that could use some improvement. Did you flub a question? Or forget to mention a project or accomplishment that might be relevant to this role? If so, the second interview is the perfect time to rectify those mistakes.

Build My Resume2. Get sufficient sleep. As your second interview approaches, you may feel the urge to relieve your stress by enjoying a night on the town or indulging in a late-night movie marathon. However, your body and mind need adequate rest to function at peak levels. If you are anxious and unable to sleep, try taking a warm bath or sipping some chamomile tea before bed.

3. Do a practice run. If the second interview is not being held in the same location as the first, or if your first interview was by phone or video, make sure you drive to the interview location in advance. Doing so will reduce your chances of getting lost on the day of your interview and will give you an idea of how long it takes to get there.

4. Spit out your gum. Some people like to chew gum when they’re nervous, but few things are more distracting and unattractive during an interview. If you’re worried about bad breath, pop a mint in your mouth a few minutes before your interview, but leave the chewing gum at home or in the car.

5. Dress Appropriately. Your second interview attire should be just as professional as your first interview attire. Remember, you are still dressing to impress.

6. Be prepared to speak to multiple people. Second interviews are sometimes composed of several meetings with various individuals or groups of people. You may even be given a tour of the workplace or be invited to meet over lunch. While some interviewers are great about communicating details like this to potential hires, others are not. It’s a good idea to ask in advance but if the information isn’t forthcoming, prepare for any scenario by blocking several hours out your schedule on the day of your interview. You’ll be more relaxed and you won’t have to excuse yourself before the process is officially over.

7. Brush up on dining etiquette. In the event you are invited to lunch, brushing up on dining etiquette is very important. Being familiar with proper etiquette will help you remain calm and professional in a formal dining setting.

8. Prepare for behavioral questions. Many hiring managers take the opportunity to find out as much as they can about a candidate’s personality and behaviors during the second interview. To accomplish this, they will often ask behavioral questions. One easy way to formulate answers to behavioral questions is by utilizing the S-T-A-R method. This three-step process requires you to first identify a specific Situation, Task or problem, then recount the Actions you took to resolve the problem. The final step is to relate the positive Results of your actions.

9. Don’t get too comfortable. You may think that you are in the clear because you passed your first interview, but you should never make the mistake of getting too comfortable during your second interview. While it is important to come across as relaxed and confident, you should never talk informally to the interviewer or otherwise try to create a casual atmosphere. It’s ok to let your sense of humor show but keep jokes to a minimum and be sure that you are sticking to safe subjects. Never discuss politics, sex or religion during an interview unless those topics are directly related to the position you are interviewing for.

10. Maintain eye contact. No matter how nervous you may be, resist the urge to look away during your interview. Not making eye contact can be misconstrued as nervousness, evasiveness, or dishonesty. Make sure you comfortably maintain eye contact with the interviewers throughout your interview.

11. Be ready to negotiate salary and benefits. Hiring managers often like to work out salary and benefit arrangements during the second interview. Know what you want in advance and be prepared to negotiate in a friendly manner so that you can come to a fair arrangement.

12. Practice interviewing with friends or family. Practicing a wide range of interview questions with friends and family will help you feel more prepared and confident on interview day.

13. Prepare to ask questions. Remember to prepare a list of questions to ask at the end of your second interview. This is a great time to request more details about the work environment, corporate goals, benefits package and other details that weren’t addressed in your first interview.