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If you're in the job market right now, it's always exciting and satisfying to be invited by a potential employer to participate in a second interview.
You have another opportunity to shine and show why you’re the right person for the role — out of what may be a crowded field of very qualified candidates.
"The first interview is a way for employers to make sure a candidate can do the job," Julia Lyons-Ryle, a human resources performance specialist with Insperity, based in Austin, Texas, told FOX Business.
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"The second interview is primarily about the employer determining if the candidate is a good cultural fit," she also said.
The second interview is a time to really shine in front of potential colleagues and direct reports, said a Texas-based HR performance specialist. (iStock / iStock)
Here is more insight on this important career topic.
Are you a good ‘cultural fit’?
"A company’s culture is something that should be protected," Lyons-Ryle continued.
"Finding the right people to boost business and meld well with the company/team culture is paramount," she also said.
The second interview is a candidate’s time to leave a lasting impression, since potential colleagues and direct reports will likely take part in the interview process, Lyons-Ryle explained.
“If a candidate does not show their true personality, they may win the job but ultimately may not fit with the team or the company.”
It is important to show your true personality, share your working style and ask potential colleagues about the ideal traits for the job you're seeking, Lyons-Ryle said.
"It’s good to know [your] personal strengths and be prepared to answer questions so that they are highlighted," she said.
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"Being aware of strong suits allows candidates to ask questions about the role that aligns with them," she noted.
Being yourself is always the best strategy as you make your way through the interview process, said a human resources professional based in Austin. (iStock / iStock)
"Insightful questions about the company and team dynamics show curiosity regarding the inner workings of the company, and interest in being a team player."
What follows are some powerful strategies to make sure you stand out during your second interview.
Whether it’s the first or second round of interviewing, being yourself is the best strategy for any interview, Lyons-Ryle stressed.
"Candidates sometimes fail to realize they are interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing them," she explained.
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"If a candidate does not show their true personality, they may win the job but ultimately may not fit with the team or the company."
It’s very typical for job candidates to be extremely prepared for initial interviews.
The second interview should be given just as much diligence, hiring experts say.
Come into the second interview knowing what is happening in your industry, now and in the future, said one HR professional. (iStock / iStock)
"The second interview requires a deeper dive," Lyons-Ryle said.
Job candidates should develop insightful questions and conduct further research into the department, current projects and team members who may potentially be part of the interview process, she said.
"Also, know what is happening in the industry — now and in the future — to help formulate thoughtful follow-up questions on the spot," she also said.
Know the company’s core mission and values
To ensure a culture fit, Lyons-Ryle suggested that candidates research the company’s unique corporate culture and background.
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"If these cannot be found online, come prepared to ask the interviewer to share," she explained.
One of the most genuine ways to allow your personality to come through is to share a personal example or story appropriate to the conversation, said an HR professional. (iStock / iStock)
Job candidates should also "know their own personal values" and share "an example highlighting how personal values supported" past work they have done, she said.
"It is important to decide if working at the company is worth jumping organizations, especially if the candidate suspects they may have to job hunt again in a few months, due to a cultural mismatch," she noted.
Share stories during the interview
One of the most genuine ways to allow your personality to come through is to share a personal example or story appropriate to the conversation, said Lyons-Ryle.
Don’t just say you’re a great problem-solver — be sure to support your strengths and achievements with examples.
"The story could be about how you collaborated with teams on a specific project or your passion for the charity the company supports," she said.
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"A personal story is a window into the personality you will bring to the office daily."
Ask thoughtful questions
The interview is about both parties interviewing each other, according to Sarah Doody, an employment expert in Salt Lake City, Utah, and founder of the Career Strategy Lab.
A question such as, “You said you’ve been at the company for four years — what made you stay?” can help determine if a company is right for you. (iStock / iStock)
"Use this as a chance to ask questions that will help clarify anything you might not be clear on regarding the company culture," she said.
Doody said simple questions such as, "You said you’ve been at the company for four years — what made you stay?" can help provide information that will let you determine if a company is right for you.
"Expressing genuine interest and curiosity in other people goes a long way," she also said.
Back up everything with examples
Don’t just say you’re a great problem-solver, said Doody. Be sure to support your strengths and achievements.
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"Tell the interviewer a story about a problem you solved," she said.
"That’s more compelling than just rattling off a verbal bullet list of skills."
She added, Communicate your skills and experience through examples."
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