Exciting news! You’ve passed your initial interview with flying colours and now the prospective employer wants to meet you again for round two.

Take a moment to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back because this is truly an achievement worth celebrating.

What can you expect from a second interview?

A second interview can be more intense, as this is leading to the final decision. Be prepared to be probed further on questions you might already have answered in your first interview, or in areas which need further clarification or evidence for.

A second interview is a great indicator of your strong suitability for the role, it’s now up to you to prepare and show your best self.

Don’t forget, it’s also important to know that this is another chance for you to see if this is the role for you, as it’s a two-way process.

There are a few common reasons why a company may invite you for a second round, for example:

  • You left a lasting impression on the hiring committee. They face the tough decision of choosing between top candidates. In this case, anticipate more in-depth questions to help them make their choice.
  • Managers or directors want to delve deeper into specific areas, such as your current job position. Be prepared for new interviewers who were not present at the first round, who will have targeted questions that seek to gain more insight.

The hiring process may be divided into two parts. The first interview might focus on your skills and qualifications, while the second round could be a behavioural interview evaluating your approach to different scenarios. This will include your attitude and working preferences.

To excel in your second interview, be ready for a range of questions. Although it may vary depending on the company, they tend to be more specific in nature.

Remember, when you are supported by Ability Plus, we are fully informed of the interview format and structure for all the professional areas we work with including accounting, compliance, company and trust, marketing, bookkeeping and IT, so we can guide you every step of the way! This takes away a lot of the worry and stress, and gives you the best chance of success. We work with professionals from entry level all the way through to executive roles and will tailor support to your needs.

Preparation tips:

Reflect on your first interview

Don’t be surprised if a few questions from round one resurface. It’s an opportunity for clarification or further exploration of your answers. Look back at your notes so scenarios are on the tip of your tongue and you’ll be confident talking about how you approached each one.

Behavioural questions

The second interview is an opportunity for the company to gain deeper insights into your past performance and future potential. Use the STAR method to structure your answers (see below for explanation). You could list four or five examples that showcase a range of skills from your professional roles.

What is the STAR Technique?

This is a good way to structure your responses to questions when your interviewers ask for a specific example from your work experience. The STAR technique helps you showcase achievements from your current and previous roles effectively.

Situation: Start by briefly describing the context or situation you were in. Keep it concise and relevant.
Task: Share the task or challenge you faced. What were you required to do or achieve?
Action: Explain the specific action(s) you took to tackle the situation. Focus on what you did, rather than what others did.
Result: Finally, highlight the outcome of your actions. What positive impact did it have? Showcase your achievements or skills learned.

Place yourself into the role

Go one step further and help the interviewers imagine you are already in the role. You could ask the interviewers about the role and what challenges there has been. Then you can articulate why the company should hire you and offer some insights based on the information they have given. Show them that you envision yourself making a significant impact in this position.

Got a telephone or video interview approaching? Read our recent blog here for advice on how to achieve remote interview success.

Prepare additional questions

  • During the first interview, you undoubtedly had some questions lined up for the interviewer. This time round you should come up with more detailed, specific queries based on your increased knowledge of the company and the position.
  • You could ask about how you would fit into specific projects, or how the company is responding to any relevant industry changes, for example compliance, accounting, and trust and company sectors. This shows you are interested, in the know and ready to get stuck into the job at hand.
  • Crucially, failing to ask questions is listed as one of the top reasons why people fail at interviews, so make sure you are prepared and get them written down in a notebook and take with you to the interview if you need prompting.

Finally, before finishing the interview, ask about the next steps and estimated timeline for their decision-making process. This also shows you are fully committed and pro-active.

Remember, being invited for a second interview is a positive step forward. The hiring manager simply wants to get to know you better and assess your suitability.

Lean on the success you achieved in the first interview so you approach the second interview with confidence.

Answer each question honestly and provide as much detail as possible to show your best self so the interviewers can make the right decision.

Best of luck!

From the team at Ability Plus

Need help in finding your perfect role this summer? Contact the team on +44 1624 662165 or email employment@abilityplus.co.im.

P.S. Make sure to follow your preferred channels to hear about new roles and opportunities, advice and updates!

Anne Hanna ‐ August 7, 2023