First round and second round interviews are used for very different reasons. If you expect to find yourself in either situation, then there are some things that you need to be aware of and consider in order for you to help them prepare.

1) Purpose

The purpose of the first interview is to get a chance to see you as a real individual after reviewing your resume. Up to this point, you may have only spoken to the interviewer on the phone, or corresponded via email. This is essentially the first time that you are being seen as a person, along with the details, functions, job titles, and experiences shown on your resume. It is important to make sure that you have all your applicant facts straight and clear.

The second interview is where the interviewer is attempting to gauge how your skills and competencies are able to be utilized at their organization. Do research beforehand. Ask questions about the company’s needs. Emphasize how work structures, programs, or policies you are familiar with exist in this environment. Highlight your strengths and skills that distinguish you from other candidates.

2) People

The first interview mainly involves the hiring manager who is clearly aware of the job position and its description. This is when the hiring manager gets to better know the candidate and ensure that the match is right.

While the second interview would generally involves team manager or senior supervisor to ensure that the candidate has sufficient experiences and is qualified for the job. This is when you have the chance to prove you have the qualifications. Sell your complete package: persona, skill, and experience.

3) Questions

Of course, there is also a huge difference in the types of question asked during the first and second interview. The first interview would mainly focus on objective question that most unprepared candidates dread. “Why did you apply here?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “What did you dislike about your old job? Why did you leave?” Run through a list of questions and always be prepared.

Once you are invited to the second interview, you know that you have done something right. However, don’t assume anything, as you may still be one of many people competing for one position. The type of question expected during second interview will be more technical which typically requires candidate to give deeper insight towards the job performance. Take the time between the first and second interview to think about how you will highlight the duties of this new position with what you have learned through work, school, etc.

4) Strategy

In the first interview, applicant should focus if his experience qualify for the job. The approach to this is to share his/her experience distinctively. Conversely, the second interview is focusing towards the applicant’s personality and the candidate’s fit with the corporate culture. Hence, be prepared for more situation questions in the second interview. Find the company’s mission statement and think about how that relates to the products or services that the company provides. Check the latest articles for news related to the company. In addition, instead of only answering questions about what you know and how you know it, the questions in this phase will include interpersonal work experiences as well.

With the vast amount of researched and preparation done, the most common and basic mindset to achieve an overall positive interview experience is to be confident and comfortable with the environment. With the said mindset and preparation, you are absolutely ready for any further round of interviews.


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