Past Issues

October 07, 2013

How to 'Nail' Your Second Job Interview

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Diligent job seekers spend hours creating resumes & cover letters, searching through job postings, reviewing classifieds and networking -- all in order to get an interview. Yet most of them don't know what to do when they get one! When the job market was booming it took an average of 3 interviews to get 1 job offer. Now it takes 17. The key is have a great interview, where the interviewer actually pictures you doing the job.

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How to 'Nail' Your Second Job Interview

By Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new, Job Interview "Secret"

Being called for a second job interview makes you want to do the happy dance!

You've made a good impression. Something you said or did in the first interview has captured the hiring manager's attention. In fact, it probably means you're one of a handful of candidates being considered to fill the open position.

It also raises the stakes. The competition is stiffer the second time around and the questions you'll be asked may be more pointed and more intrusive. During the second stage of the interview process the employer will be focusing on who is the most qualified for the job. He or she will be looking at the fine points of your personality, your character traits, and your ability to communicate even in a crisis. In other words, your job skills and previous work experience, though important, will no longer be the focus. You, as a person, will be.

This will be an ideal time to really think about what you want, what you're suited for, and what expectations you have if you win the job. At this point in the interview process, it's essential that you tell yourself the truth. Is this the job for you? Are you committed to getting it? Are you eager to get started? Are you willing to meet the requirements? This will take some soul-searching and maybe a conversation with your spouse or a good friend who will help you get to the bottom before appearing in front of the interviewer. Once you have completed that process, you're ready to prepare for round two.

Here are 3 tips to help you nail your second interview:

1. Find out what is most important to the hiring manager.

This may take some networking, a bit of sleuthing and research. Hopefully, you've made contact with someone at the company, such as the HR representative who may have scheduled the interview, who can give you a point or two to focus on. For example, suppose you're being interviewed for a job as manager of a grocery store or supervisor of a construction crew. In both cases, the employer will likely focus on your people skills. Can you lead so employees will follow? Are you able to put out relationship fires? Act rationally when a conflict arises? When you are seated across from the interviewer you'll then be prepared for questions that give you an opportunity to show through an example from your life, rather than merely a list words, how you respond to such challenges.

2. Be consistent from one interview to the next in your approach and style.

Whatever you did and said the first time around won you a second interview, so obviously you did something right. Remember to keep the attention on how you can add to and enhance the success of the establishment you are targeting. Yes, you must talk about yourself -- but do so in a way that illustrates how you can invigorate the life of the company team based on the successes you achieved at your previous place of employment. It's a fine blend of the two. You'll want to sound confident but not cocky. You'll want to point out specific examples of problem solving but not inflate your ego.

3. Let the interviewer take the lead.

As your confidence grows you may be tempted to say too much or to take over the interview. Avoid this. Keep in mind that you are still on the 'hot seat,' so to speak. Your best bet is to allow the employer to stay in charge and to respectfully follow his or her lead. At this stage of the interview process you may be sitting in front of one of the company executives -- the very one who could have the final vote as to whether or not you are offered the job. Remain warm, friendly, and relaxed but alert. In other words, be at the ready -- without going too far.

Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new "Secret Career Document" job landing system. Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Tough Times Job Tips."

Visit our friends at Job Interview "Secret" and discover Jimmy Sweeney's breakthrough strategy that will have you standing out from the competition like a Harvard graduate at a local job fair... DURING your next job interview.

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