Article by the US partner of InterSearch Worldwide, Charles Aris.
So, you aced the first-round interview – congratulations! Now it’s time to move on to the second round, which involves more people and moves you even closer to landing a formal offer. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you enter the second phase of interviewing for a new opportunity:
Be consistent: Landing a second-round interview means a trusted member of the hiring team already determined your eligibility to move on in the process. This means you’re ready to meet with more senior leaders in the organization. It’s important to be your authentic self during this round so that your new interviewer leaves with the same positive impression as the first one. Carry the confidence you gained from acing that first interview into the next one and lean into the same charm and talking points to be as consistent as possible. This shows that you’re thoroughly prepared and comfortable meeting new people.
Leverage key takeaways: After speaking directly to a member of the hiring organization in your first interview, there’s a good chance you learned a thing or two about the company. We recommend taking one to three of these topics and doing independent research ahead of your second-round interview. Whether you check the company’s LinkedIn, scan for new press releases or browse the company website, having up-to-date knowledge on the organization you’re interviewing with will show you’re engaged with the opportunity. Hiring authorities want to know if you’re interested in their organization specifically. Bringing this knowledge to the table is a great way to show your engagement.
Prepare for a more formal conversation: First interviews can feel more informational and even casual. Don’t let this throw you off going into the second interview. There’s a good chance the second round will be more intense than the first, so be prepared for a more specific and in-depth discussion as opposed to more surface-level questions about your background. Being able to reference specific companies, projects and metrics from your past experiences is a good way to match the hiring authorities’ seriousness in the second-round interview.
Lean into your enthusiasm: Every interviewer wants to know why you’re interested in their organization. Being prepared to answer this question in an informed and enthusiastic manner allows you to engage with the interviewer as a future colleague, and this will boost your status as a candidate. Also, your new interviewer is likely working in a different function than your first interviewer. The second round is a great chance to ask more in-depth questions about the organization and hear from someone who’s likely in a more senior-level position. Asking detailed questions that show your interest in the specifics of this organization will contribute to the hiring authority’s image of you as an enthusiastic and motivated individual.
The takeaway: A second-round interview is a pivotal moment in the hiring process. Key decision-makers are chosen to evaluate you, and it’s your chance to impress them. Being authentically engaged with the opportunity is the most important thing you can do as a candidate to show you’re ready to take on a transformative new role.
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