I’ve written a lot about first interviews, particularly about how to prepare for them. But what about the second interview?

When you’ve passed your first interview with flying colors, you might wonder what the second interview will be like. My advice is that you need to be equally prepared and fully understand the purpose of this follow-up interview.

There are 4 specific ways to think about the second interview:

1) You need to know who will actually be approving the hire.

When I was a recruiter, working to fill a job such as Payroll Manager, there was one of two possibilities.

Maybe the Controller was authorized to be the decision-maker, but the Chief Financial Officer needed to bless it. Or perhaps the Controller was screening candidates, and the CFO was the person to make the final decision. This is a very important distinction.

2) They want more time to get to know you because they’re interested in you.

Whoever was involved with your first interview is not going to waste everyone’s time, so you can lighten up a little. They are already want to know more about you to see if you’d be the best fit for the job.

Job vs Career workbook

3) How long was the second interview?

This can be a real measure of how interested they are in you and what you bring to the job. If you expected a 30-minute interview, but it turns out to be an hour, that is an excellent good sign. But it is not necessarily a bad sign if the conversation is the length you anticipated. Maybe there had to be time constraints to accommodate the schedules of multiple people.

4) In addition to confirming that you are qualified for the job, are you the person who will make the strongest contribution?

If they called you back, they already believe that you can do it. Now they are thinking about other considerations, such as how you will work with your team.

So, with all of this in mind, be sure to get ready for your second interview. Don’t become nonchalant about it! You must go into the interview with a solid understanding of how this one is different from your first. That’s how you will make a great second impression. But if you’re still feeling uncertain about your second interview, I would be thrilled to help.

As a career and interview coach, I offer free consultations! Simply head to my website to book yours. You’re close to landing the job, so let’s build the confidence you need to impress your interviewers and seal the deal!