Making it through first round interviews and getting an invitation for a second interview is a huge accomplishment considering employers have become ultra selective in their hiring practices.
Once you make the ‘short list’ an employer may want to bring you back to speak with senior managers for final approval or to meet with other members of the team. And of course, with so much competition these days you may be asked to return because the company is trying to decide between you and a couple of other strong candidates.
To prepare yourself for that all important second interview be sure to do the following:
1. Capture learning points from first interview. What information did you learn about the job, department and or industry during your first interview? What problems or challenges is the company facing? Use this information to craft compelling accomplishment statements to address some of their pain points. For instance, suppose the company has lost market share to a key competitor. Give an example of how you boosted sales at your last job when competition was fierce.
2. Research your interviewers. Most HR departments will provide a list of people you will be interviewing with as well as their job titles. If they don’t, ask for it. Look them up on LinkedIn. Find out where they attended school and which companies they worked for previously. See if you can find something in common to break the ice when you meet. A sure fire way to impress your potential next employer is to ‘do your homework’.
3. Prove your ROI. Companies hire people who can demonstrate a strong ROI (Return on Investment). Imagine you are a consultant presenting a proposal to a key client. Discuss what you will deliver in the first three months on the job. Perhaps you discovered during the first interview the desk you are inheriting has been vacant for over a month. Discuss what you will do to get up to speed quickly and what results you will deliver in the first three months. Remember the interview is all about ‘them’, not you. Address how you will save or make money or improve efficiencies. If you will be taking on a management role address how you will assimilate your new team and integrate with other members of the management team.
4. Close with professionalism. After you role out your 90 – day plan it’s time to zero in on why you want the job. Perhaps there is a facet of the job that really intrigues you. Talk about it and how you can’t wait to get started if offered the job. Next, respectfully gain agreement from the employer that you fulfill all of their requirements. Then express your desire for the position – ask for the job. Last, ask for a timeframe when the company will be making their hiring decision or any next steps required prior to the offer.