In the ideal scenario, when you are pleased with how the first interview went, you have some excellent opportunities to review and provide more detailed information. But what if you get called back for a second interview after an interview that you don’t think went very well – or with a poor interviewer. Then what? Some of the advice is the same – but it definitely starts with some very different steps. The first step here is to thoroughly review the first interview. Why do you think it did not go well?
- Did you leave the interview thinking there’s no way I’m getting this job – because the interviewer was strongly challenging your qualifications?
- Was the interview short and unfocused – or maybe just a superficial review of your resume?
- Was the interview more of a “sales pitch” by the company – with very few questions even directed at you? Did the interviewer take up the overwhelming majority of the time?
- Were you asked really “bad” questions, like your favorite soup?
- “I wish I would have answered that question about ___ differently.”
- “I wish I would have used my accomplishment at ___ instead of…”
- “Why didn’t they ask me about my work at… ?
Take ChargeIf your first interview was poor because the interviewer talked too much or asked what you think were really poor, maybe even inappropriate questions, this second interview is the time to be more assertive and take greater control of the interview. Think about the following scenario: if you only had once chance to present your case, your accomplishment that best represents your abilities for this job, what would it be? Seize a moment, right at the beginning of the interview to seriously present this. With a “storyteller” interviewer, it could be your only choice: Thank you for asking me back for this second interview. I was thinking about an accomplishment from just the last six months. I was charged with… If the first interview was more of a sales pitch to you, perhaps based on the company’s assumption that you are clearly qualified for the job (so they don’t need to ask you anything), now it’s your turn to ask critical questions about the job and the company. Look for the early opportunity to ask key questions:
- If I were offered this position, and was very successful accomplishing the most important objectives in the first year (or first six months), what would I accomplish?
- If, after just a few months in this position, I was seen as a very effective contributor to the team, what would be the important leadership (or team) characteristics being shown?