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Preparing for a second job interview: how to increase your chances

Your first job interview went well and now the organization would like to invite you for a second job interview. Hurrah! That means they are really interested in you. There are probably only one or two other candidates left. Time to show again in the next interview that you are most suitable for the position. But how do you prepare for the second job interview? Do not panic! We will help you by giving you tips in this article.

What is the difference between a first and second job interview?

In many cases, your CV is the common thread during a first job interview. Your CV will be reviewed based on your work experience and education. Based on this, your knowledge, competencies and skills are discussed. In addition, they will assess your personality. If the interviewers think that you could be suitable for the position and enjoyed the conversation, they will invite you for a second job interview.

During a second job interview you will probably sit around the table with other interview partners. They will pay much less attention to your knowledge and education. After all, these are points that have already been checked off during the first job interview. They will delve deeper into complicated situations and how you deal with them. In addition, your conversation partners will see whether you fit into the team with colleagues. Any ambiguities from the first job interview will also be included in this conversation.

What can you expect from a second job interview?

In short: the interviewers from the first job interview have been in contact with the interviewers from the second job interview. They indicated which things were not completely clear and which they should ask questions about in the next conversation.

For example: The feedback from the first conversation is that it is not entirely clear how applicant X deals with resistance in the team. In the second conversation, further questions will be asked about this topic to form an impression.


In a second job interview, your interview partners will delve deeper into difficult and complicated situations. You will be more challenged. If necessary, use the STARR method to provide concrete and well-substantiated answers to these difficult questions.

You may also be asked to prepare a case or presentation in advance. This gives you a unique opportunity to demonstrate your competencies.

Tips to prepare for the second job interview

1. Check your invitation

We start with the invitation for the second job interview:

  • Who are your conversation partners?
  • Do you need to prepare something? A case? A presentation? A test?
  • Have there been any topics mentioned that they would like to talk about?

If your conversation partners are not known, it is good to ask in advance. You want to know in advance who you will be talking to. Even if the subject in the invitation is not completely clear, it is good to ask for an explanation in advance. After all, you want to be able to prepare well and it shows professionalism that you want to be prepared.

2. Think about your first job interview

Read over the notes from your first interview or, if you didn't take notes, mentally review the first interview. What did you discuss? Which competencies or experiences have not yet been addressed? And can therefore possibly be discussed now. What situations have you talked about? Do you have the feeling that some points did not come across well? If so? Then it is good to read more about this so that you can go into the conversation well prepared.

3. Research the organization and position

Yes, we know! You already did that before your first conversation. So it sounds a bit redundant. But that is not it. Sometimes there is quite a while between conversations and the information has faded away. In this second job interview you want to show even more that you have the information about the organization and position clearly in your mind.

In addition, it is of course entirely possible that news items about the organization have appeared in the meantime, which you would of course want to know.

4. Research your conversation partners

During the second job interview you will often have different conversation partners than the first job interview. It's good to know who you're dealing with. Is it a colleague you would work closely with? Is it the manager of your potential manager?

So find out what their positions are, how long they have been with this organization and what they did before this job. Also look at their leisure activities: do they volunteer at the animal shelter or food bank? Do you see a connection with your own activities or perhaps you have worked for the same employer in the past? Please mention this in your job interview.



5. Prepare a case/presentation/test well

If you receive an assignment in advance, it is a unique opportunity to really present yourself well. After all, you have time to prepare it properly and can properly incorporate the competencies and qualities that the organization is looking for.

For example: You receive a case about a project that is not going well. There are several departments involved and some people are in this project against their will. The question is how this project will run smoothly. You already know that the organization is looking for ownership and leadership, so you can incorporate this nicely into your approach for this case.

6. Think of answers to potential questions

Then it is now time to convert the research and preliminary work you have done into potential questions. Think about what questions you might be asked during the job interview.

You have also done this extensively for the first job interview (see the blog: How do you prepare for a job interview?). Go through these questions carefully again. What haven't you talked about yet and what questions were you not quite sure about?

Also think about what you would like to convey to your interview partners that has not yet been discussed during the first job interview? Perhaps you are very good at organizing things, but this has not yet been clearly discussed. Then think about how you can weave this into your answers.

7. Come up with your own questions

The organization did not only get an image of you during the first job interview. You have also gotten an idea of the organization. For you, a second job interview is also an additional assessment of whether you would like to work at the organization and with those team members or managers. After all, your feeling must also be good.

So take some time to formulate questions for yourself. What do you want to know more about? What is still unclear to you? Put these questions on paper and make sure you can ask them during the second job interview.

8. Think about the contract and salary conditions

In a second job interview, it is possible that at the end of the interview the topics of salary, hours and possible start date will be discussed.

So it is good to have a clear picture of this for yourself. So make sure you know how much salary you currently receive, what you would like to receive in a new job, how many hours you are available and what the notice period is with your current employer. A new employer would like to hear when you could start.

Just practice!

Just like with the first job interview, it is good to practice in advance. Ask a friend or family member to help you and practice.

In the case of a presentation, it is a good idea to practice in front of an audience a number of times. This way you can adjust things and you also know how long your presentation will last.


A case is also useful for practicing a number of times in advance. This way your practice partner can ask questions about the answers you give. This often provides surprising insights and raises questions that you would never have thought of.

When practicing, pay attention to the following points:

  1. Make sure your answers are not too long, but do answer the question.
  2. Adopt an active attitude.
  3. Smile.
  4. Make eye contact with your conversation partners.
  5. Speak clearly and not too quickly.


Peripheral matters

It is also good to prepare a number of peripheral issues for this conversation:

  • Check the route to make sure you are on time.
  • Dress professionally and make sure your clothes are clean and ironed.
  • Make sure you look neat (hair washed, shaved, etc.).
  • Try not to rush on the day of the interview, don't be stressed.

Conclusion and advice

Keep breathing and try to see the second job interview as a positive one. After all, you have already had the first conversation, so they are interested! With the above tips we are sure that you will get very far in the application procedure. Goodluck!


Article written by Reinier van der Galiën.


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