I'm getting a lot of interviews and they are going well. When I get to the second interview it gets tricky. I've left many second interviews feeling a bit discouraged. What are some tips to get through the second interview and get the job?
Thank you for your service. In my career, I have interviewed many people and was always impressed by the person who knew something about our company, was professional in appearance and looked at me when speaking. This sounds like simple requests but you would be surprised how many applicants do not do this. If you have been called back for the second interview, the company obviously has some interest. Be prepared with questions that you have for them. Someone else commented to always tell the truth about your skill set. I agree with that statement. You can convey that you might not have a certain skill but you would be very willing to learn and be part of the team. In that second interview, show enthusiasm and confidence. I am a firm believer in a old school, hand-written thank you note. I believe that goes a long way. I wish you much success in your job search.
I have read through the comments of the advisors and they are all obviously successful people. But how do you give advice on how to interview for a job when you don't know what the skills or the type of job that is being interviewed for? As ex-military I'm sure that you have skills and a will to work and actually I've found that to be most important. Working in electronics in Silicon Valley I can't even remember all of the companies I worked for. My original resume was 14 pages long and that was lost a long time ago. Companies came and went and I moved on to the next project. I certainly didn't take it personally except in one case in which I was thwarted by a personnel office that only showed me the resume's of people they thought I should be allowed to hire. So effectively they killed a company with a bright future. If you intend to work in a technical field I would suggest you get a degree, I never got one and despite designing and programming so many medical devices that it is impossible to be treated in an emergency room without them using one of my designs or later improvements, I am completely unemployable now. This is utter foolishness but I can retire and you're just beginning. So getting a degree in your field now would certainly help your future life. At the moment small companies are going out of business fast. But large companies don't know how to innovate. Even Tesla interviewed me and the engineer hung up on me for suggesting that they would have great legal problems simply by using the name "self driving feature" rather than cruise control as indeed they have. So given the correct business atmosphere companies will spring again from the ashes and the economy will come back blazing and it might be well for you to be ready then instead of now. I took many lesser jobs over the years to tied me over the economic downturns. But America is very resilient and there is always a place for people ready to work. It is natural to be nervous about being interviewed. Some of the hardest interviews I had were for positions very far below my abilities. Imagine taking a job as a technician for the rapid transit system when I had designed a board used on the International Space Station? But I will admit that job paid better than 90% of my other jobs and if I had stayed with them rather than taking a more "important" job I would be a great deal better off in retirement. So perhaps the one thing you are presently lacking is faith in yourself. You're military and a better candidate than 90% of the others. People that cannot recognize that are beneath you.
I can help you. I have trained 28 people to become "Killer Interviewers and everyone either got the job or if they were applying to graduate school got accepted. If you would like a free one hour consultation just let me know.
Try to ask at least one question you figure they probably haven't heard before.
"Were there any gaps or struggles experienced by the employees who held this position in the past?"
"Do you have any concerns about my ability to learn this job?"
"What might be a potential barrier to my learning this job's duties?"
Under our present government we can expect a sharp rise in unemployment. This means that you should get ANY job in your area or expertise that you can find. Barring this, there are so many companies looking for ANYONE that will actually work, you should be able to discover a position that will tied you over and get you in the commercial world of employment. There are many job sites that can help but for people just entering the job market it may be a little sparse at least until after the November election. Ex-military make excellent employees because they obey orders and work hard. I worked 3 years of the Vietnam Airlift recovering commercial aircraft electronics before I found a real job in electronics and worked my way into an engineering position. So your horizons are endless and never let some personnel department hiring idiot tell you different.
The second interview is a time to ask more in-depth questions about the topics that are important to you. Most likely, you will be talking to a supervisor. Think about the topics that were a problem in the company that you worked for before. Even in the military. Communication issues, discipline, who will you be reporting to, what type of support system do they have in place to allow you to be successful. Please reach out to me with more questions on this topic. We can even do a mock interview if you like. All the best, Anne
The second interviewer is usually with a supervisor or senior person who will be in your chain of command if you get hired. Do your homework about the employing organization to ensure that the answers you provide fit their culture and answer their needs. Be specific as to your job qualifications for the position and be honest - if you don't have experience in certain areas, admit to such. Be positive in that you provide sound answers that don't shed a negative light on anyone or anything in your past. If you get hit with the infamous question on weaknesses, flip it into a positive thing, such as not wanting to say no to someone who requests assistance. Above all, be real - tell me why I want to hire you as a person and not just as a potential employee. It's OK to be nervous, but look directly at the interviewer during the questions, don't fidgit, take your time when answering, and make sure you answer the question that was asked.
Be patient, as it will come in time. Best wishes!
I am happy to jump on a call with you. Without knowing the questions they asked and hearing your responses it’s tough to definitively direct you to any resources. I can give you several area to look into but would prefer to better understand the jobs, companies, and questions to help you prepare for the next one.
Good morning Chena,
Thank you for your worthwhile question about recruiting.
In addition to all of the previous great advice and resources, I encourage you to do a brief "interview audit" about recent second interviews that you felt didn't go well. Ask yourself a few questions: 1) where did you get stuck? 2) what challenging questions were you not prepared for? 3) what could you have done better/been more prepared for? 4) what story examples did you use? Were they compelling and/or relevant for the role? While every round of interviews is unique, I encourage you to think of them as one building on the other. What did you learn from the first round? Taking a little time to review where you've been and what you learned can set you up for a better outcome in future interviews. Please reach me at email@example.com if I can be of further help. Good luck and thank you for your service! -Mary
I am happy to jump on a call to discuss. The one piece of advice is to prepare. Most oftentimes, as shared in the thread, we have a good idea of what questions the interviewer will ask. Be prepared to respond to those and speak about anything on your resume!
I teach people how to become "Killer Interviewers". If you want to set up a free one hour consultation just send me an email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two quick thoughts for your 2nd interview:
1. Focus (again) on just why your TALENTS fit the requirements of the job - and describe with an example.
2. Make sure that you tell your interviewer something like. "Please know that if you offer me the job I will accept it."
Chena, I'd be happy to do a mock interview with you over the phone, and provide feedback. If you're interested, send me an email at email@example.com and let me know some times that work for you.
This could also be of assistance: "Nathan, an account executive from Altimeter Solutions shares some great advice and drops an interview bombshell tactic to utilize. He flips the script for the interview process but he waits until the end to deploy his tactical weapon."
Do not become discouraged. It is difficult to comment on what is happening during the 2nd interview with very little information shared. I want to share a few tips:
1. Research the company.
2. Know who you are interviewing with and research on LinkedIn.
3. Understand why you want to be a part of the team and a member of the company.
4. Understand the culture.
5. Understand the mutual benefit for you and the company.
6. Ask questions.
7. State or reiterate your interest in joining the team.
8. Ask if there are any questions you can answer regarding your skill set.
9. Thank all parties for their time.
10. Follow up with an email.
Good luck; your job is waiting for you!
Thank you for your service and your question!
I have compiled a list of resources that would be perfect for you to reference for upcoming interviews (and acing the second interview):
I hope these resources are helpful for your upcoming interviews!
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