Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How to Nail the Second Interview

As a seasoned Spark News reader, you should know by now that the job search and hiring process is just that, a process. It can take weeks for a company to decide what candidate they want to go with and in the mean time you have to sit back and wait. It’s not all sitting and waiting though, of course. You are obviously working very hard to do whatever you can to secure this position for yourself. Whether you are standing out with a video resume or wowing them with the phone interview, you need to make yourself seen. So what do you do when you’ve had the first nerve-wrecking interview and are called in for the second? Sit back and read because Spark News is here to walk you through how to nail that second interview.

First off, congratulations! This company has called you back in for another interview because they see something in you. They noticed your skills and are likely considering you for the position they have. On the same token, there’s likely another candidate they feel the same about, so you really need to bring your ‘A’ game to this second interview. You really need to leave an impression on them and in order to do that, you need to be fully prepared. The second interview is usually a good time to discuss salary as well as a time for you and the employer to really get down to the nitty gritty on what this job entails.

That’s why the first thing you should do before the second interview is research the salary ranges for this position. There are a number of different sites you can go to in order to get a good idea of where this position’s range lies. In order to close in on a specific range for yourself, you need to consider your experience, your skill level and what you can bring to the table for this company. If you are younger and not as experienced in this position, that’s OK. However, you may want to shoot for a lower range on the scale. If you have great experience with a good company already though, then know your worth. In the interview, ask the employer what their range is for this position and discuss yours. Give them good reason as to why you feel you deserve this range and talk it out.

After the salary discussion is out of the way, make sure you have plenty of questions to ask the employer. You may have covered a lot in the first interview, but it’s likely you still have questions concerning the position, as you should. Write them down ahead of time and make sure you know what you want answered. The interviewer is likely expecting you to have a lot of questions, so be prepared. A good area to inquire about is the company’s culture or working atmosphere. Is it laid-back where everyone talks with one another or does everyone pretty much keep to themselves? What is the company planning for the future? Are there opportunities for advancement in this role? These are all great questions to ask in the second interview.

Remember that the second interview is also a chance for you to see if this is really the company for. It’s not all about them! If the company culture is weak and you know you would really dislike it, then now is the time to test it out. Often times, we get so caught up in the idea that we just want a job no matter what. However, if you aren’t going to be happy here then you are going to have to go through this all over again. Take your time and get your questions answered. Good luck!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Bygone Bureau

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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