Second stage interviews – your chance to shine!

You’ve got through the first stages of securing a new role; your CV has been shortlisted, you’ve impressed your initial interviewers and received positive feedback. It’s now time to seal the deal!

Second stage interviews are becoming increasingly more common, as businesses leaders want to make sure they are welcoming the best talent into their organisations to allow them to grow their business.

First of all, it’s important to remember you’ve clearly made a great impression at the initial interview. You will have likely met basic competencies, criteria, discussed your career history and match the culture of the business well. This next stage is likely to be digging a little deeper and giving other members of their organisation an opportunity to assess your suitability before making final decisions.


So what’re the top 10 ‘need to knows’ about second interviews that can help you nail it?

  1. Make sure you get feedback; the good, bad and ugly form your first interview so you can identify any weaknesses they may have picked up on. Hiring managers will most likely question you on this area again.
  2. Expect to be challenged. The second interview can often feel more intense than the first round as they delve deeper into your skills and your compatibility for their organisation. Think about what specific abilities and experiences you have that will allow you to succeed in this particular role, including clear examples that illustrate them.
  3. Ensure that you research the business further and show that you have a strong understanding of their operational goals and how the department you hope to be working with fits into it. Look into individual team members so you can show how much of the business you understand, the people working there and judge how you would best fit in and add value to the current state.
  4. Ask if you can meet with other members of the organisation including those who you will potentially be working closely with. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about how they feel about the business and why they like working there.
  5. You may have been asked to prepare a presentation which is another opportunity to really showcase your ideas and abilities. Practice this presentation with a friend, family member or your recruiter beforehand to gain constructive feedback and hone your ideas.
  6. Think about your long term career goals, as well as the short term aims. Businesses are most likely looking for a team member that is in it for the long run. Make sure you include detail and show that you have thought about your future. Be sure to ask questions about your career progression and opportunities for personal and professional learning.
  7. Think about the job role itself and what you find exciting. You may have been asked why you want the role in your first interview, however this is where you would need to discuss your motivation for joining this particular business and how you will go on the journey with them.
  8. Why should they choose you over everyone else? This is where you can summarise your interview into one final statement. Make sure you articulate why you’re the right person for this role and what you can uniquely bring to the role that nobody else can. If you want the job – be sure to tell the, why!
  9. Ask a ballsy question – From what I’ve told you today is there any reason that you wouldn’t offer me the role?/Do you have any reservations from what I’ve told you? Get those cards on the table! There’s nothing more frustrating than getting feedback from an unsuccessful interview and you thinking ‘But that’s not the case’ or ‘Yes, I do have experience in that area’. This is your opportunity to counteract any of their reservations or concerns.
  10. Finally – leave positively. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time and for seeing you again and establish the next steps. Suggest that you would love to receive any specific feedback from them to help you shape your approach.


Best of luck in your career search!