Making it to a second-round interview is good news! Since I have talked with many job seekers who have scored first round interviews with HR and then never advanced to the second round of interviews, I know that second round interviews are a cause for rejoicing. But you may be wondering, “What are employers looking for?” After all, you already answered questions about your skill set. Now what?
Often first round interviews are very cursory. They are nothing more than screening interviews to determine whether or not you live up to how you come across on paper. The second interview is usually more in-depth, and there are certain characteristics that employers are looking for that you need to be aware of:
1) Cultural Fit. This is number one because it is usually the most important. It’s not just a matter of whether or not you can do the job. It is also whether or not you fit into the organization’s culture. Is there a good match between you and the company? That is what employers want to know.
2) Competence. Can you do the job? Do you have the right skill set that the organization needs to fill this position? You may have been asked questions to determine this during the first level of interviews, but you will probably be asked questions that assess your competence during the second interview as well.
3) Match with the requirements. The more exact a match you are for the requirements outlined on the job posting, the better your chances are of landing the position. So even though you probably already discussed your qualifications in the first interview, make sure that you reiterate how well qualified for the job you are in the second interview.
4) Teachableness. If there is a requirement or two that you don’t have yet, can you demonstrate that you learn quickly and that you are teachable? Showing how you have come up to speed quickly in other positions is the best way that you can show that learning something new is something that you excel at.
5) Likeability. This is very important. Even if you are highly qualified and exact match for what the organization needs, if you come across as brash, abrasive, or arrogant, you probably won’t get the job. So turn on the charm, but don’t overdo it.
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