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Carrington College Blog

What to Expect in a Second Interview

June 22, 2015

Applicant during job interviewBy the time you graduate and leave Carrington, you should have done a fair amount of interview prep, either on your own initiative, with the Careers Services team, or both. There’s always a lot of focus on getting the invaluable first job interview, but what happens when you nail that meeting and get invited back?

What should you expect, and how should you prepare? You covered everything…what else could they possibly want from you?

Dress Sharp. Feel Sharp.

The likelihood, depending on the company and the role, is that you’ll meet a different set of people so don’t worry if you have to wear the same suit. The important thing is to look good. If you look good, you’ll feel good about yourself. The first interview was probably with the hiring manager or somebody in HR, while the second could be with senior-level employees, owners, potential peers, or even a mix.

“You’re Going to Vegas”

The good news is you’ve cleared the first hurdle. You impressed the first interviewer enough to make it to the second stage. The first interview focuses on whether you (and your skills) are right for the company and the role, while the second establishes if you are the absolute best available candidate for the job. If this was a TV talent show, the judge would say “congratulations, you’re going to Vegas!”

Making it this far shows that the first interviewer believed you’ve got the necessary skills and experience to compete for the job, and that you may be a good “fit”. That’s why, in a second interview, your personality needs to shine through. The next panel has to be able to judge whether you’ll fit in with your peers and the company culture.

The bad news is that you’ve made it through to a smaller, equally qualified pool of candidates. The field has narrowed considerably, so you’ll have to up your game to outshine tough competition. Health care has a competitive job market, so you will have to sell yourself…so aim to be your best self at the meeting.

“What would you do if…?”

Typically second interviews aren’t so much about your past experience or skills. But as you’re likely to be meeting different people, it’s probable that you’ll get some of the same questions. But this time around, many of the questions may be more specific to the job and its complexities, designed to establish how you’d handle certain scenarios, “what would you do if…?”

What to expect in a second interviewRemember that this is also your opportunity to interview them. Take confidence from the fact that you’ve got to this stage; they see something in you, so make sure you ask questions you want answered. A successful job is a lot like a relationship; both sides need to be happy if it’s going to last.

Have five or six questions in mind. If you’re talking with senior-level people ask them questions such as, “What does it take to succeed here?” or “What do I have to do to be sitting in your chair in 10 years?” If you’re meeting with potential peers, ask things about the day to day nuances of the job, “What’s the best thing about working for this company?”

Listen intently when they are talking, and don’t be afraid to take notes. You may find that the best questions come from things they say…and notes will help you remember what to ask. Make sure you prove that you’re a great match.