Difference between 1st & 2nd job interviews?

first and second job interviews

After you’ve had your first interview, some companies require a second interview to be carried out. It can be tempting to think that you have the job in the bag but that’s not always the case. There is still a lot of work to do.  Make sure you think about what makes them want to consider you for the role. We consider what the difference is between first and second job interviews.

The first interview is usually used to test your personality and abilities; but what the employer wants to know now is what separates you from the other candidates that have been interviewed for the same role, as well as your technical abilities and the logistics involved when it comes to an offer.

The second interview can also be an opportunity for other key staff members to meet and question the shortlisted candidates.

Here are six questions that could come up at your second interview so it’s worth thinking over these prior to attending:

  1. What are the main attributes you think are needed for this role?

This really means – SELL YOURSELF!

Although this is always the case in an interview; you need to make sure you stand out above the other candidates who have been interviewed and show you are the one who deserves the job.

The best way to prepare for this question is to make sure you read the job description! It will usually state the essential skills required for the role, therefore your job is to indicate why you feel they could be important and give an example on how you could demonstrate them.

  1. Why don’t you want this job?

This question turns the typical interview question around, making you work harder to sell yourself whilst testing how much you want the job.

By the second interview, it is normal to have some reservations about the role. Therefore this question gives you the perfect opportunity to ask the interviewer anything you need clarified. This could be anything from asking about the salary to asking about opportunities for career progression. Any questions you have after your first interview can be asked.

  1. What would you change about the company?

This question is a particular favourite for the more technical or design based roles but it does have the potential to come up in other positions.

If this question is asked in your interview it is the best way to show off the research you’ve done on the company. Your answer could include that you don’t think a part of their website is completely user friendly, or a display in their window isn’t adding much to the store – it’s always a good idea to prepare an answer for this in case you are asked – and make sure you have a reason to back up your idea and what value you feel this change could bring to their business.

  1. What are your career goals?

This question could also be asked as “where do you see yourself in 5 years” – regardless of how it’s asked; the employer wants to know that you have thought about your future and whether or not you would be with the company for the long haul.

The best way to approach this question is to demonstrate your passion for the industry, show your ambition and play to your strength. The worst mistake you could make is to suggest that this job is a stop-gap for you – increasing the chances of another candidate securing the job, whilst reducing your chances!

  1. What salary are you looking for?

If this wasn’t covered in your first interview, it most likely will be in your second.

Make sure to be honest. Indicate a salary you would be happy with but that is also realistic to the role and its responsibilities. Try to justify the fact that you deserve the salary you have indicated through your previous experience and explain how you reached your previous salary.

The worst thing you can do is to undervalue yourself and state a salary that is too low for what you’re worth. Make sure to find out what other people at the same level as you earn and give a figure you can give an explanation for.

  1. What is your notice period?

At this stage, the interviewer is trying to find out the logistics involved should you be offered the role. In order to answer this question you need to ensure you know how much notice you need to give your current employer. Also, any holidays you have booked or other impediments should be disclosed at this point.

These are only a few examples of questions that could come up in your second interview. Different industries and companies prefer to ask different questions and obtain different information.

Therefore, you need to ensure you are prepared for every eventuality and for as many questions as you can.  This way you won’t feel on the spot when you’re asked a question but be prepared and confident in answering it.

The interviewer in your first interview may change or come across differently in your second interview – more specific questions could be asked with examples needed.  Remember to keep calm and maintain your confidence.

TOP TIP: always remember to have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview and if the interviewer gives you a means of direct contact for any further questions etc., always take this opportunity and make sure to be in contact!

Difference between first and second interviews.

Source: reed.co.uk

Image credit:
Women in tech 83,  2015
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Explore more from our blog here...