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10 ways to take the stress out of the second stage interview

Tips for the second interview

The odds are in your favour, the field's been narrowed, and the final hurdle is in sight. Now’s the time to rise above your remaining competitors and bag your dream job. 

By making it this far you’ve already demonstrated you have the right experience, skills and fit to be the right person for the job, but the second stage can be a battle field like to no other with you having to deliver detailed presentations, panel interviews and assessments under pressure. 

You’re close, so keep your enthusiasm, attentiveness and interest levels high.  Flourish or fizzle. It’s over to you.

Here’s 10 ways ace your second interview panel

1.    Review and reflect on your performance from your first interview
You’ve obviously met the mark. But think back through any questions where you could improve or give a more relevant and detailed response. Was there any major achievement or milestone which showcases your particular expertise that you could include in your responses?

2.    Have a plan
Go into the interview  room knowing exactly who’s on the panel and what is expected of you. Research the individuals and continue to sell your achievements and experience in more detail than you did at the first stage. 

3.    Keep rehearsing your answers  
Taking timeout to run through your responses could be the deal clincher. Being clear, articulate and to the point in your responses shows you can think on your feet whilst communicating effectively under pressure.

4.    Keep your answers fresh and think of new examples based on your first interview
It’s ok to go over old ground. But at second interview, your Manager will be on the panel so offer a mix of old and new answers and examples to show your breadth of experience and expertise. 

5.    Be prepared for some tricky questions
This is essentially the last stop before being offered the job, so don’t expect an easy ride. New people may be on the interview panel and they will want to see how you respond to pressure. Keep your answers clear, concise and relevant. 

6.    Ask the right questions and lots of them
It’s likely you’ll have more opportunity during the second interview to ask questions. Ask about the team, company strategy and the expectations around your role. If you don’t receive an offer immediately, ask about when decisions will be made and how they will let you know.  

7.    Check the company’s social media channels for fresh insights and news updates
A good way of showing your keen and up to date is to discuss the news your company release via their social media channels. Check their website, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds to start speaking  their language. 

8.    Are you right for the cultural fit?
This is the time when the employer will see if you’re the right cultural  fit for them and how you’ll interact with the existing team members. It’s also your time to make the same call so take in the office surroundings and the language they use. Is it really right for you?
9.    Stay in selling mode
You’re not there yet so make sure you showcase your strengths and back up everything you say with an example. Hitting or overachieving targets, and any statistical examples of how you’ve worked individually or as part of a team are a great way of showing you can make a real difference to a company. 

10.    Get the facts and find out what happens next
At the end of the interview keep keen and express your continued interest in the company. Stay positive and good luck!

For more general interview tips click here.

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