First of all, if you got to a second interview. congratulations are in order! It is not an easy task to get called for a second interview, as the prospective employer has seen something in you that makes you one of the top candidates for the position.
Now, let’s get down to it. There is a good chance that you are not the only one who has made it to the second interview. In fact, at this level of interviews you will need to stand out amongst some of the other top candidates to bring home the job.
While the first interview and second interview may share some similarities with questions, the second will be different in that you will probably have more senior level staff or “higher ups” taking a look at you. You may have passed the first interview, but now you will be looked at from a different perspective. This is a good thing!
Here are some thoughts for your second interview:
Ice breakers are a good thing
It is important to connect with the interviewers. By this point, if you are meeting senior level staff or other staff that were not involved in the first interview, chances are they have heard something about you.
By having some sort of ice breaker, or coming in and making someone laugh you are showing you want to connect to the interviewer(s) on a personal level.
What separates you from the rest
Remember, to make it to the second round of interviews means that you were viewed highly by the interviewer in the first interview. It is likely that others have been viewed similarly, so now it is time to differentiate yourself.
You may have similar technical skills as the other candidates, but are you a better communicator? Do you have a positive energy and enthusiasm to bring to the table that the other candidates do not? Technical skills and fit matter, and you want to be prepared to show how you are not only the right fit from a skills point of view, but also from a point of view that you fit into the company culture.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
You may have spent time preparing for your first interview, and that is the same strategy you should take for your second. You did enough to convince the first interviewer that you were a good fit for the job, now it is a time to convince potentially the people who will have the final say. You may be asked similar questions, or new ones, but come prepared with answers to the questions that may be asked. For a refresher, check out our “Commonly asked interview questions” post.
Be ready to talk Salary
It is common for salary questions to come up toward the end of the interview during your second or third interview. Be prepared and do some research into what you should expect salary wise for the position. Having an understanding of the salary range for the position will help with the discussion. At the end of the day your skills, and fit with the culture of the organization will make an employer offer you a job, but dollars and cents determines if you take the job. There is always a bottom line. Do not sell yourself short, or take a low offer, but show you understand the role and the salary ranges associated with it and be prepared to discuss the specific salary.
Ask thoughtful questions
It is a really good thing to ask questions. When the interview is completed, or even during it, an interviewer may say “Do you have any questions for us?”
Can you imagine if you had no questions? That could easily be perceived as not taking in everything that was asked of you, or not caring enough to think through questions. Maybe you thought of a question after your first interview that you forgot to ask, or maybe something that will be said in the second interview will make you think of one. Either way, ask thoughtful questions.