The first interview went great and it’s time for the second. Now comes the hard part.
The first interview is about proving competence and experience for the given position. But for the second interview, “You have to up your game and really persuade them that you’re the best candidate out there,” says Rosa Elizabeth Vargas, a nationally certified resume writer from Orlando, Fla.
With more candidates vying for fewer openings, Vargas and other career coaches say they often prep clients for return visits with the same hiring managers. It’s always a good idea to be as prepared as possible and not rehash the same qualifications. Come up with fresh information to become the ideal candidate.
Vargas advises coming up with a proposal for what you would do in that position and how you would fulfill specific goals. Some people call this the “60-day plan.”
“That’s a way to show your initiative, dedication and creative thinking,” she adds.
Some other tips for success in the second interview:
Ask the right questions the first time. As the first interview wraps up, be sure to ask the hiring manager what the ideal candidate looks like That should help inform the direction of the second interview. Listen attentively to their needs and become the solution to their problem.
Address any perceived weakness: Vargas suggests opening the second interview by creating an opportunity to discuss the areas that fell short the first time around. Do it cautiously but with confidence, reinforcing all personal and professional strengths.
Learn more about the interviews. It’s common to receive a schedule with the names of the managers at some point during an interview. Take the time to research those individuals, their professional careers and their accomplishments to not only break the ice but also engage in conversation about other topics.
Engage them with interesting conversation. The most memorable candidates are curious, polite and interesting. They show that they can listen, evaluate, ask questions and provide insightful and unscripted answers. This is crucial in the second round of interviews, when some managers want to go beyond the resume.
Send a thank you note and follow up in other ways. The thank you note should go out immediately to everyone involved in the interview. Try connecting with them on LinkedIn, but make sure to customize the invitation.
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