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How To Ace Your Second-Round Job Interview
Do these three crucial things.
You have made it through a first round of interviews, and you get a call from the employer asking you to come in for a second round. You think, "I guess this is good news, but I already spoke with five people and thought it went well enough to get an offer. What more can they want to know?"
Being asked to come in for a second round of interviews is definitely good news, and there are a number of reasons employers make the request. They may need you to speak with their managers for final approval before they make an offer. They may want you to speak with other members of the team to get a sense of whether you will work well with them. Or it may be down to just several candidates, and they're trying to decide which of you will be the best fit for the job.
Review your first round of interviews. Some of the points you made during your first-round interviews must have encouraged the employer to invite you in for the second round. Your first job in preparing now is to analyze the points you made about your skills and experience during the first round and identify as best you can what your interviewers found impressive, as well as what they found questionable. The foundation of your strategy for attacking the second round with confidence will be giving them more of what they like and providing stronger answers for any questions you might have struggled with.
Know your interviewers. Before the interviews you will most likely be e-mailed a schedule that identifies who you'll be talking to. Conduct some research on each of your interviewers, so you know who they are. You want to know how long they have been with the company, what titles they have held, what companies they worked for previously and what schools they attended. If you have anything in common with one of them, you can mention it to break the ice. People are always impressed when you've taken the time to research their background.
Have a 60-day plan: You most likely established during your first-round interviews that you have the basic skills to do the job. During the second round you want to establish that you're the best candidate. One of the most effective ways to do this is by providing the employer with a 60-day plan. You'll want to keep it simple by explaining how you will get up to speed quickly and provide results for the company within two months. If it comes down to you vs. a couple of other strong candidates, the employer will have a hard time not making you an offer if you've shown them you have a plan for providing results fast.
As the second round of interviews moves to a close, you want to close the deal by asking for an offer. This needs to be done tactfully and with confidence. We coach our clients on the exact words to say to ensure that they leave the second round of interviews with an oral commitment from the employer.
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