Tips to Prepare for and Perform Well in a Second Interview

by | Published on Jul 30, 2019 | Interview Transcription

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Multiple stage interviews have become commonplace in the recruitment scenario, driving the demand for job interview transcription services. Most companies conduct at least two interviews before they decide to hire a candidate. Employers use the initial interview to narrow down the candidate pool and find the people who are most qualified for the job. If you succeed in this screening interview, which may be on the phone, you sail on to the next stage – the second interview.

Perform Well in a Second Interview

Conducted by more senior level staff, the second round is where you are really vetted for the job. This means you need to prove that you have the specific skills they are looking for, including soft skills and cultural fit. The key to succeeding in the second interview is preparing well. Here are some expert tips on how to prepare and succeed in the second round.

  • Research the company: Doing research on the company is important from the start, but even more crucial for the second interview. According to East Coast Executives President Kenneth Johnson, you should use this opportunity to make a connection to those who make the hiring decision by conveying that you are “knowledgeable, committed and fit their workplace culture” (
  • Revisit your first interview: Review your notes from the first interview and see if you could have answered any question better. You can readdress inadequately answered questions in the second round. Re-evaluate the job requirements and understand the employer’s specific expectations. Forbes cites Barbara Safani of Career Solvers as saying that you should review what was said about the skills needed for the role, so that you prepare to fine-tune your message of value to be relatable to that person’s needs. Prepare for an even more in-depth discussion than the initial interview and be ready to ask the interviewer informed questions.
  •  Be prepared for a task: It is becoming common for candidates to perform a task at second-round interviews. This could be a presentation or take-home task. For instance, a developer may be asked to solve a problem on a whiteboard with the goal to assess knowledge of data structures, sorting algorithms, etc. An interview for the position of marketing manager might include developing a brief campaign to meet a specific marketing objective. Make sure that you are ready to do tasks related to the position you are being interviewed for.
  • Be prepared for situational and behavioral interview questions: Behavioral interview questions would be focused on how you handled a specific situation in the past in order to gauge how you will behave in a similar situations if you are faced with them again (such as if you are working for this employer). For instance, you may be asked how you helped resolve a major challenge for your company. Your interviewers would want to know how you reacted under pressure to a problem or an actual work situation. So be ready with real-life examples of such situations and provide evidence to back up your claim. Use this opportunity to sell your skill-set. The STAR approach is an effective way of presenting your experience. Examples of behavioral questions include: how do you deal with failure, what is your biggest limitation, how do you deal with conflicts, and, what would you do differently.
  • Prepare the right questions: Acing a second interview could also depend on asking the right questions. Prepare to ask questions that show you have taken time to think about the company as well as the position and how you might the right person for it. Ask about immediate challenges that the person hired will face, including the biggest hurdles in the way of these challenges. Discussing the major pain points will give you the chance to tell your interviewers how you can bring about changes in these areas.
  • Be ready to answer questions about salary expectations: A discussion about your salary expectations can come up at any time during the interview. This could be a positive sign. Do your research to get an idea about the latest salary ranges and know your worth. If you are prepared and have realistic expectations about your compensation, you will be able to negotiate a salary package that feels fair to both you and the employer.
  • Be confident: Now that you are face to face with your interviewers, they will be judging you by your body language. Show confidence by maintaining eye contact and proper posture. Strong, impressive body language that matches what you are saying can make a difference. A keen, interested look and a pleasant face will convey a positive attitude. Smile when appropriate. Make sure your handshake is not too feeble or too hard.

When you get to the second round interview job interview, you should know that it’s now all about finding out if you are a good fit for the job and a good team player. Your answers to the questions as well as the questions you ask should reflect your experience and also convey that are motivated to learn and develop. Archegos Founder Billy Williams offers some unique advice. He says, “During that second interview, don’t focus on having all of the right answers. Focus more on listening, and asking questions that help you better understand the role, the needs of the company, and whether you can help them meet those needs” (

Interviewers take notes while participants respond to questions or record the interviews and later send them to an audio transcription service provider for transcription. The transcripts are reviewed to make the hiring decision. So how you respond is critical.

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