Second Interview Checklist: 10 Tips for Success


This helpful second interview checklist will help ensure that you’re prepared.

Congratulations on being invited back for a second interview with a potential employer! At this point in the process, you most likely know how important it is to arrive completely prepared and ready for a variety of questions. When you’re caught up with rehearsing confident interview answers and preparing your impressive S-T-A-R responses, it can be easy to overlook the second interview checklist. This checklist includes the finer details of interview preparation. Remember: neglecting the details can cause significant stress on the day of your interview, while preparation makes perfect!

1. Do a few practice runs. It’s easy to forget your interview answers on the day of their interview but practicing these responses will help you keep them straight. No matter how many times you have rehearsed questions and answers throughout the week, do a few additional run-throughs right before you leave for your interview to solidify your responses in your mind.

2. Take care of your hygiene. Never underestimate the importance of good personal hygiene during an interview. You’ll likely be in an enclosed room with the hiring manager so make sure you brush your teeth beforehand and bring mints along with you if your breath is questionable. It is best to shower the day of your interview, but if that is not possible, shower the evening before and freshen up with deodorant before you leave the house. Keep your cologne or perfume to a minimum. Some people are sensitive to scents. Besides, putting on cologne or perfume isn’t substitute for a good old fashioned shower.

Build My Resume3. Prepare your outfit. Waiting until the day of your interview to decide what to wear could be a recipe for disaster. The night before, lay out every piece of clothing you plan to wear. This will give you enough time to launder, iron or sew on a missing button if needed.

4. Grab a pack of mints. Chewing gum during an interview is never appropriate, but smelling someone else’s bad breath isn’t pleasant either. Ensure minty fresh breath by picking up a pack of mints. Choose small mints that dissolve quickly and can be popped into your mouth moments before your interview begins.

5. Pack a wardrobe emergency kit. Wardrobe malfunctions tend to strike at the worst possible moments, so be prepared by packing an emergency kit in your car or bag. The kit should include basic clothing repair supplies such as a needle and thread that matches your outfit, an extra pair of tights, spare buttons and stain sticks. Hopefully, you won’t need to use any of the items, but it will give you peace of mind to know you are prepared for a worst-case scenario.

6. Figure out where you’re going. The evening before the big day, make sure you know exactly how to get to the interview location. Print out a map or simply input the address into your phone or GPS before you go.

7. Leave early. Always leave a little earlier than you think you need to. Leaving early gives you a buffer that will come in handy if you run into unexpected traffic, public transportation delays or foul weather on the way to your interview. If you arrive too early, simply wait in your car until a few minutes before your scheduled meeting.

8. Ditch the cigarettes. If you manage stress by smoking cigarettes, find another way on the day of your interview. The scent of cigarette smoke lingers and will likely even more pungent when you are in a closed room with your interviewer.

9. Know the name of the interviewer. It’s amazing how quickly your brain can forget names when you’re nervous or flustered. In order to avoid the embarrassment of forgetting your interviewers’ names or, even worse, calling them by the wrong name, write a list of everyone you are meeting with on a piece of paper and look at it right before you arrive for your interview.

10. Bring a pen and paper for notes. Bring a pen and notepad with you to take notes during your interview. Doing so will not only help you remember important details that you might otherwise forget, but it will also give the impression that you are a prepared, detail-oriented professional.