How To Get That Vital Second Interview Part II

New Graduate

What you really need to know

  • Take Control:

    It is ultimately you who takes control of the interview. Don’t leave the interviewer have to ask you one question after another for an hour. That’s when it going to feel like an interrogation. If you can’t fit in a follow up to an answer question like “was I clear on that?” or “did I give enough detail?” then don’t be afraid to ask generic questions like “how many employees are on this site?” or “will there be any further growth within this department in the coming months?” Even asking small things that aren’t directly related to the job like “does the sports and social club run many events throughout the year?” will add a bit more filling to any interview. Most interviews end with “have you any questions for us?” Make sure you do, but don’t ask about money or benefits at the first interview.

  • Be Prepared:

    In this highly technological era most companies will have a website or at least articles on their business published. Have something to say that will show you have an interest in this job and this sort of work. Even something as small as knowing that the sister company recently hired 50 new production staff, make the interviewer feel good about you and your capabilities and initiative and the rest will fall into place. A good tool is Google-News,( for checking up to date news on a company. The Sunday business papers will always have up to date facts on any of the big rollers. And the stock market can even tell you how well a company is doing.

  • Look And Feel Your Best:

    We have all worn that special something on a night out that made us feel great. Do the same at an interview but keep it professional. I would always recommend a suit and failing that at least long sleeves make you look more professional. If the budget is tight don’t be afraid to wear the 5-year-old suit they won’t have seen it before. All things are easily spruced up with a new top or even basic accessories. For longer hair if it is not tied back make sure it is looking well kept. Do not step out of the shower and tie up a wet ponytail either! Girls when it comes to make up stick with neutral colours that suit you best and neither guys nor girls should overdo it on the perfumery. You’re going to be shaking hands with this person or persons don’t have them get a mouthful of perfume and likewise they don’t want to smell smoke either. If you smoke before an interview, it surely will be noticed. Take this from experience always have a mint or bottle of water with you.

  • Feedback

    Regardless of the result, if you are called for a second interview or told no thanks ask for feedback! Whether it is with the recruitment agency representative or the company itself. If you hear something you don’t like then try to turn it into a positive, i.e next time you will know that this kind of job/company really wanted a team player so you will emphasis your involvement in the sports and social club in your last job etc.

    Not only does it help you for other interviews or jobs but it does allow the person giving the feedback a bit more insight into you. They will remember how professionally you took the let down or how disappointed you were or how open you were to suggestions and it will stand to you. Hiring a recruitment agency is an expensive undertaking and if they think you might be right for the job next time round you can be sure they will call you directly. Even when the interview is over and if the next time you see the person is in a social sense even just remember why they know you.

  • In Short

    Look good feel good. Approach with a smile, welcome all questions openly and know what you are talking about. The interview will be about you and who knows you better than yourself! Do not answer a question you don’t understand simply ask them to repeat it or just say “im afraid I don’t understand what you mean by ….”

    Make sure you make eye contact and ask the power questions that will make you stand out from other candidates. Do not give out too much information about your personal life, there will be plenty time for that later. Stay focused and listen. Mimic the interviewers’ style and approach. Use your hands while talking to draw they’re attention back if you start to waffle, then hush! Be enthusiastic!!!

Remember, whatever you do, do not sound desperate, even if you have been unemployed for months let them be impressed with you and not depressed by your demeanour.

And best of luck!!

Part I
© Maedhbh Hanley 2006