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10 ways to take the stress out of the second stage interview

10 Tips to Excel at Second Round Interviews
The odds are in your favour and
the final hurdle is in sight.

The odds are in your favour, the field has been narrowed and the final hurdle is in sight. Now is the time to rise above your remaining competitors and win your dream job for 2015.

By making it this far you’ve already demonstrated you have the right experience, skills and fit to be a serious contender for the job, but the second stage can be a battlefield like no other – with possible presentations, panel interviews and assessments to deliver in dazzling style.

You’re close, so keep your enthusiasm, attentiveness and interest levels high. It’s time to shine.

Here are 10 ways to excel at your second interview panel:

1. Review and reflect on your performance from your first interview

You’ve obviously hit the mark if they’ve called you back in. But think back to any questions where you could improve or give a more relevant and detailed response. Was there any major achievement or milestone which showcases your particular expertise that you could now include in your responses?

2. Have a plan and know your interviewers

Go into the interview room knowing exactly who’s on the panel and what is expected of you. Research the individuals and continue to sell your achievements and experience in more detail than you did at the first stage.

3. Keep rehearsing your answers

Taking time out to run through your responses could be the deal clincher. Being clear, articulate and to-the-point in your responses shows you can think on your feet while communicating effectively under pressure.

4. Keep your answers fresh and think of new examples based on your first interview

It’s ok to go over old ground. But at the second interview, your manager will be on the panel so offer a mix of old and new answers and examples to show your breadth of experience and expertise.

5. Be prepared for some tricky questions

This is essentially the last stop before being offered the job, so don’t expect an easy ride. New people may be on the interview panel and they will want to see how you respond to pressure. Keep your answers clear, concise and relevant.

6. Ask the right questions and lots of them

It’s likely you’ll have more opportunity during the second interview to ask questions. Ask about the team, company strategy and the expectations around your role. Before you leave, ask about when decisions will be made and how they will let you know.

7. Check the company’s social media channels for fresh insights and news updates

A good way of showing you’re keen and up to date is to discuss the news the company releases via their social media channels. Check their website, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds to get in the loop and start speaking their language.

8. Are you the right cultural fit?

This is when the employer will make a final assessment about whether you’re the right cultural fit for them and how you’ll interact with the existing team members. It’s also your time to make the same judgment about the company – so take in the office surroundings and observe the interactions and language they use. Is it really right for you?

9. Stay in selling mode

You’re not ‘in’ yet so make sure you showcase your strengths and back up everything you say with an example. Hitting or overachieving targets, and any statistical examples of how you’ve contributed individually or as part of a team, are a great way of showing you can make a real difference to a company.

10. Leave on a positive note

At the end of the interview show you’re keen and express your continued interest in the company. Stay positive and good luck!



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Hudson is a talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and assessment tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across APAC, we deliver a range of recruitment and talent management solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.