4 Keys to Acing a Follow-up Job Interview

Sitting for a job interview is always an unnerving experience. However, the follow-up interview can be even tougher. At this point, your job interviewer has narrowed the candidate pool down to a select few and you’ve made the cut. But how do you show that you’re the one they’ve been looking for? Here are some tips for wowing the hiring team the second time around.

1. Don’t relax

Relaxed business man putting feet on desk.

Relaxed man | Source: iStock

Just because you’re halfway there doesn’t mean you can relax. Do everything — and more — you did to get the first interview. Dress for the second interview just as if you were meeting the hiring team for the first time. Your color choice and outfit will depend on the industry, but you should always look polished. Career expert Mike Simpson says job candidates should remember they are still in the running. You haven’t gotten the job yet, so don’t let all of the second-interview buzz make you feel like you’ve arrived; you haven’t. “… This isn’t a guarantee of employment. This isn’t the time to get cocky and let everything you’ve worked so hard on slide … It is, however, another opportunity for you to really show them that you’re the best person for the job,” Simpson said.

2. Review your performance

Think about any questions you had trouble answering and practice your revised answers to those questions. It’s possible you’ll get similar queries during your follow-up interview. Career expert Katharine Hansen also recommends thinking about any achievements you forgot to mention the first time around. “Derive confidence from knowing that if you hadn’t performed well in the first interview, you wouldn’t have landed the second. Think about what made you shine in the first interview, and plan to do more of the same. Further, brainstorm new information you can bring into the second interview — new accomplishments, new examples, and new evidence of how much you know about the employer,” said Hansen.

3. Be prepared for more focused questions

Man talking during a job interview.

Man in a job interview | Source: iStock

Your interviewer will be taking a final look at all the top candidates and deciding if you are really what they want. Consequently, the questions will be more focused on what you have to offer and less on what you’ve done in past jobs. It’s down to the wire and you’ll have to help clear up any doubts. Career expert Taunee Besson said some questions you can expect are: What about this job interests you? If you get this job, what would you do in the first year to establish yourself? What do you want from your career? How do you deal with difficult people or situations?

4. Ask the right questions

Don’t forget you’re also interviewing your future employer. Make sure this job is right for you and that you get some sense of what you’ll be getting yourself into if you choose to accept the offer. Job interview expert Don Goodman said you’ll want to ask questions about what will be expected of you and the challenges you’ll face going forward. Some questions you’ll want to ask: What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the first six months? What are the biggest obstacles I would face meeting this challenge? How is job performance in this role measured?

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