27 Best Tips for Acing a Second Interview

If you apply for a job and are asked back for a second interview, it is safe to assume you are a top candidate!  While the first round of interviews are often used to weed out candidates, the second round is typically focused on deciding which candidate is the best fit.  Below is a list of tips for acing your second interview, but many are good regardless of where you are in the interview process.

Don’t Be Arrogant

There is a big difference between arrogance and confidence, and most interviewers can smell it a mile away. Don’t operate under the assumption you already have the job.

Don’t Discuss Money

Compensation in the professional world is based on merit and responsibilities. Even an experienced  interviewer will not know how you stack up against other candidates until your worth has been formally evaluated by the company. Wait until you are offered the job to discuss compensation.

Dress for the Job

A familiar adage says to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Show your potential employer you will be a good fit. Dressing appropriately is one of the most important aspects of workplace professionalism.

Research the Company

Demonstrate you are serious about the job by researching the company before the interviews. Slip company facts into the conversation or ask questions during the interview that illustrate your knowledge of the company.

Know Your Interviewers

Along with researching the company itself, research the interviewers. Many large companies have public directories; learning about the people interviewing you illustrates your dedication. Be prepared to have thoughtful conversations that go beyond interviewer and interviewee.

Explain Your Interest in the Company

Most interviewers will ask why you are interested in working for them. Prepare an answer that shows your understanding of the unique aspects of the company. Showcase your interest in a career with the company specifically, as opposed to any random job in the field.

Don’t Discuss Other Jobs

Even though entry-level positions are often stepping-stones to other positions in the company, do not discuss other potential jobs in the interview. It is acceptable to inquire about career advancement, but do not show explicit interest in a job you are not interviewing for. Some employers will avoid hiring job candidates that are not focused on current openings.

Ask Questions

Every interviewer is an individual with their own opinions about their company.  Ask about their experiences to show you are interested in getting diverse perspectives about the company.

Don’t Recite Your Resume

Your interviewers will most certainly ask questions answered on your resume, but do not share the information exactly as it is presented. Instead, form a succinct answer that shares more information and detail than is available on your resume.

Turn off Your Cell Phone

You might be tempted to set your phone to vibrate instead of turning it off completely. However, this can still cause distractions. It is better to turn your phone off than force interviewers into a situation where they feel compelled to offer you time to answer a call.

Be Wary With Social Media

Facebook and Instagram are a big part of the social fabric of our society, but they can also be a pitfall. Potential employers can browse social media profiles to learn about a candidate’s personal life. Before you begin your job search, make sure your privacy settings are set to private and remove racy images and posts, including those that show you drinking or participating in illicit activities.

Don’t Share Info

If you are currently employed, the interviewer may ask questions about your current job. Do not share anything confidential or sensitive. Not only could it be illegal, but it also shows you will not protect the privacy of your employer.

No Name-Dropping

Sharing your connections in the company or boasting about knowing someone of perceived celebrity status might be tempting, but it can appear like you rely on name-dropping rather than your qualifications. Resist the urge to brag about anything and everything.

No Negativity

Interviewers don’t want to hire negative people, whether they are good at their jobs or not. Do not to speak negatively about past employers; exhibiting a positive attitude shows you are a team player.

Credit Others

You could not have acquired your current position without some help, and maintaining a sense of humility shows you are team player. Share how you contributed to work projects, but do not forget to share credit with coworkers. Interviewers like to see a candidate willing to work with others and share responsibilities and success.

Remain Succinct

Job interviewers typically ask the same questions and hear similar answers from job candidates, which may lead to a short attention span. Keep your answers concise, but do not skimp on content.

Pay Attention to Timing

Most interviews are allocated a specific period of time, so move through the questions quickly and efficiently. The ability to be mindful of the time and schedules of others will show you understand the value of promptness, organization, and teamwork.

No Personal Branding

Do not mention how working with a new company will increase exposure for your personal brand. Interviewers want to know you are committed to the agency and not to promoting yourself. It may be true that a new position will boost your personal exposure, but you should never draw attention to that fact in an interview.

Be Grateful

Be sure to thank the interviewers for their time and opportunity to meet. Of course, do not go overboard with thanks as it conveys a sense of desperation.

Do Not Interrupt

This is yet another common sense practice, yet it goes unfollowed more often than not. You might be nervous, but do not accidentally jump the gun and interject dialogue before the interviewer has finished speaking. No one likes to be interrupted, especially those looking for a new subordinate.

Reinforce Your First Interview

The second interview should act as an extension of the first job interview. If you noticed a particular topic the interviewers enjoyed discussing during the first interview, research and expand upon that topic when you meet again.

Pay Attention to Physical Cues

When being interviewed, pay close attention to the small movements the interviewer makes, including facial twitches and body position. You can learn how the interviewer responds to a topic based on these cues. For instance, if an interviewer leans forward and reduces their blinking, they are generally engaged in what you are saying. Expand on that topic during the second interview.

Don’t Repeat Yourself

Some questions asked during an interview may have similar answers, but do not give the same answer repeatedly. You need to prove you can think critically and form unique answers to the same types of questions. Your answers may have a similar theme, but be sure to include new information in each answer.

Engage the Interviewers

Interviewers are people. They enjoy conversation and probably dislike interviews as much as you do. It is okay to let the interviewer know you see them as more than someone asking questions. Don’t  be afraid to discuss topics that have nothing to do with the position you are applying for, but do not let it be your primary focus. Show you are a well-rounded, thoughtful individual.

Hold Eye Contact

Maintaining eye contact is one of the best ways to establish a personal connection with someone. When you hold eye contact with an interviewer, you show confidence.

Follow Up

Send a thank you note to the interviewer. This will help set you apart from the field. A thank you note also conveys the gratitude that many forget to offer following an interview.


Most people fail to realize the importance of positive personal interactions and demonstrating composure in job interviews. These factors can have a larger impact on your likelihood of getting hired than your ability to actually perform the job duties. However, if you keep the points mentioned above in mind, second interviews can be a breeze!

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