How to Prepare for the Crucial Second Interview

Making it to the second round of a job interview is worthy of celebration. It means all your hard work paid off, and you’re still in the running for a great position. However, after you pat yourself on the back, it’s time to refocus and prepare so you can knock round two out of the park.

Ask for an Agenda

Second interviews are often half or full-day affairs where you will meet a host of new people and you may be expected to whiteboard problems or perform tasks.  To properly prepare, ask the scheduler for a copy of the itinerary so you know what to expect, how much time to take off work, whether to pack a lunch, and how to research and prepare for the day.

Practice, Practice, Practice

It is important to be confident and poised during a second interview, so your natural personality has a chance to shine through. The best way to build your confidence is to practice. Look online to see if you can get a feel for the types of questions you’ll be asked in round two and the types of problems you may be asked to solve. Then, get to work.

Partner with a colleague or recruiter to practice answering interview questions using concise, effective anecdotes. Practice the types of problems you may be asked to solve. You may want to also practice working through problems out loud. Interviewers are often more interested in your methodology and approach than your speed, and they appreciate candidates who share their approach.

Ask Great Questions

The second interview is all about measuring your fit for the company and for the role. Remember, this is a two-way street and you should use the opportunity to get your questions answered, as well. First, ask any lingering questions you may have had after your first interview. Then, take the time to focus on important factors that will impact your decision if offered the job. Ask about:

  • culture;
  • management style of your boss;
  • the dynamics of the current team;
  • the current challenges facing the team;
  • project-specific questions (if the interviewers shared specific projects);
  • the onboarding process; and
  • training and career development opportunities.

Finally, remember to ask about the next steps. It can be easy to skip this step, but it is critical. Asking about next steps shows your continued interest in the job and gives you an idea of the ongoing timeline.

Make sure to take note of the names of every person you met with and send them a personalized, handwritten letter of thanks and once again, reinforce your excitement about the opportunity.

Looking for More IT Career Advice?

If you are a tech pro looking to jumpstart your search, contact the expert tech recruiters at Talon today. Together, we can find opportunities where you will use your skills, make an impact and achieve your career goals.


Find a Great New Career


Similar Posts