Second Round Interviews: What to Expect and How to Succeed

By Paulina Jankovic

Peers for Careers/SCDC Correspondent

(As originally published in The Ticker –

You wait a whole week wondering and obsessively checking your phone to see if you got the offer after a recent job interview. Finally, that company contacts you and your heart leaps. Although they do not offer you the job just yet, you are confirmed for a second round interview. You think to yourself, “another interview? What more could they want to know about me?”

If you made it to a second round interview, pat yourself on the back, because the company liked you enough to want to know you more. But before you go to the second interview, you will have to know how it will differ from the first interview, what to expect, and some tips to succeed.

The first round interview is relatively general; it assesses your overall personality, basic skills, and experience. It acts to simply screen out applicants. The second round interview focuses on more in-depth questions and getting to know if you are the right fit for the company. In this further round, your performance and what you convey is crucial. Every detail counts because there is a very fine line between you and the other interviewees.

Second round interviews come in a few different formats. In one instance, you might have to meet with various managers or team members of an office. If given a list of people you’ll meet before hand, it is recommended that you do a little bit of research on them, to help with small talk points and questions. Also, make sure you get all their respective contact information, so you can properly thank each of them later on. In another instance, you might have to “shadow” a day on the job. This means you will spend a few hours or even up to an entire workday in the office. If possible, you should ask what the day would entail so you know what to expect. In cases such as these, it is typical that you will engage in business dining, where the interviewer might take you to lunch. Though the atmosphere might become a bit less formal in this case, you should make sure not to let your demeanor and conversation get too informal or inappropriate. In a third instance, you might participate in a group interview or even a group project. It is important to show that you can work well with others and accomplish things collaboratively.

In a second round interview, there are a few things you want to be sure to communicate to the interviewers. The interviewer is trying to make a final decision on who would fit the company best and be the biggest asset. In order to hit this point, you should prepare stories of your successes, accomplishments, and projects from your previous jobs or academics. You know what you want to express and be aggressive in doing so. Do not be shy to talk about what you have done and can do. Also, be mindful to assess the company’s culture and its values; make sure that your answers convey that you are in line with its corporate culture. Lastly, make sure to conduct adequate research on the company beforehand and prepare some well thought out questions.

Second round interviews can seem daunting. However, with the enough preparation, information, and confidence, you can ace them! For more information on second interviews, you can attend Mastering the Job Interview- Advanced on Tuesday, October 30th at 12:30pm. For information on first round interviews, sign up for the Interviewing Techniques Workshops on Tuesday, October 23rd at 12:30pm. Finally, to prepare for lunch interviews and business dining, sign up for the Dining Etiquette Workshop on Tuesday, December 4th at 12:30pm. To reserve a spot and confirm the location of these and other workshops, please go to the Starr Career Development Center website at, log on to Starr Search, click on “Events” and RSVP.

One thought on “Second Round Interviews: What to Expect and How to Succeed

  1. I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

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