Preparation is key for a first interview with a prospective employer, and that need by no means goes away with a second interview. You should expect new questions and new information in this round, which means you need new material.
We spoke with Lela Reynolds, a senior career consultant at Resume Strategists, for tips on how to prepare for a second interview.
Knowing the job description of the position you are applying for is critical throughout the hiring process, and many people fail to be fully familiar with this information, Reynolds says. Restudying the job description lets you “t
Remember that the interview is for you to learn about the employer, as well, and that asking the right questions about the job description will help you decide whether the position is right for you.
Your preparation for the first interview probably included at least basic research on the organization. For the second interview, dig a little deeper, based on what you learned in your first interview.
Reach out to your network and speak with people who work for or used to work for the company to seek inside knowledge about its culture, industry and positions, she advises. “Additional research at this point prepares you to have an informed conversation with the interviewer about the company and industry, and shows your continued interest in the opportunity.”
At this stage, it’s also more likely that salary expectations will come up, and that means you definitely need to have done your homework on that front by now. Before the second interview, Reynolds says, you should “do a thorough online search of salaries for comparable jobs, taking into account the job level, geography, industry and the company as well as its competitors.”
The first interview is often a screening to ensure that potential hires are competent and an appropriate fit with the company culture. A second interview is likely to push past the basics and dig into the details of your work experiences and capabilities. “Anything on the résumé is fair game, even if it doesn’t seem directly applicable to the job for which you are interviewing,” Reynolds says.
The job description and company goals should give you a good idea of what the interviewer is looking for, but if the company plans to develop a role in the future, you might get questions about things on your résumé that you didn’t expect this employer to care about. Reynolds suggests “having detailed answers to all of the points of your résumé from beginning to end.”
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