Congratulations, you’ve passed your first interview! Now all that stands between you and your dream engineering job is a second interview. How do you approach it? How does it differ from the first interview?
A first interview is all about digging into your CV and finding out whether your personality is a good match for the company. It is a way for an employer to put a name to a face and test how accurate your initial application might have been. In contrast, a second interview focuses more on separating you from the other candidates in the running. An employer will aim to find out more about you by elaborating on specific elements of your capabilities or covering things that haven’t been already discussed.
There are a few things you should expect. You will meet a HR representative, who will probably give you a tour of the company (and if not, ask for one if time permits) before you then have interviews with various members of staff. Finally, you will discuss salary, benefits and employment guidelines, as is relevant. Read our article on how to negotiate your salary here.
As you may have gathered, or already knew, a second interview is a hectic affair. Preparation is extremely necessary to make sure that you can effectively deal with the trials and tribulations of the day. This includes:
Prior to the second interview, make sure you extensively research the company and role you have applied for – aiming to find out things you didn’t already know from the first interview. To do this, it would help to review any notes you took during your first interview. You may not meet with the same people as previously, so try to find out what you can about who you will be speaking with this time.
Prepare for new questions
Normally, the questions in this interview will be based more around your reactions to certain situations, what makes you different to the other candidates and how you will fit into the company on a personal level. Whilst these are harder questions to prepare for, you can put some model answers together to suit something that you are asked. Highlight the main areas that were evaluated during your previous experience and reveal anything else the employer might not yet be aware of, but that could benefit them upon you being hired.
On top of this, make sure that you have suitable questions to ask the employer that are different to any asked in the first interview! Find some potential questions you could ask here.
Maintain your approach
A professional and personable approach should help you during a second interview. The fact that you got one is proof that you are in the running for the job, so should give you the confidence to believe in yourself and your abilities. This second interview aims to reaffirm to the employer everything that is good about you and why you should be hired.
If you continue as you did before, with these extra bits of advice you should be a shoo-in. Good luck!