It is my pleasure to welcome my well respected Canadian colleague Jay Remer, also known as “Etiquette Guy.”  Jay offices in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. Today, Jay shares his thoughts with us on tips for Second Interviews:

Jay suit fountain

Preparing for a first interview for employment, college placement, or a position on a board of directors can be daunting. For those of us who make it through to the next round, it is time to bring matters even more clearly into focus. A call back interview is an opportunity to fine-tune the assets we will bring to the position.

The current economic climate makes this a buyer’s market for hiring. Competition has never been keener. The same holds true for entering certain colleges. Because so many candidates have similar skill sets, decisions may come down to social skills. Proper social skills offer poise and comfort that lead to confidence during an interview. Without knowledge of proper business and social etiquette at these critical moments, self-doubt and angst can overtake our confidence.

During a second interview, expect to answer a fresh round of questions. Anticipating these questions can put you at an advantage. Additional preparation tips follow:

  1. Get plenty of sleep the night before, and watch what you eat and drink – water being first and foremost. How you feel greatly influences how well you communicate.
  2. Be impeccably clean, taking great care to have perfect nails and hair.
  3. Dress immaculately, allowing your personality to show in a positive light.
  4. Smile radiantly during introductions, exuding confidence and a comfortable, yet focused attitude. Walk in standing tall.
  5. Allow the interviewer to extend his or her hand before offering yours.
  6. Prepare a list of questions that delve further into the position than those prepared for the initial meeting.
  7. Listen carefully to the questions asked, allowing time to understand a question before answering. Thoughtfulness is recognized and appreciated.
  8. Before walking into this second interview, give careful consideration to the goal of connecting with the interviewer. This single ‘tip’ may well be what tips the scale in your favor.

Rarely do we know how many other people are competing for the same position. This second interview may not be the final one, either.

If there are any lingering questions that concern you about the position’s requirements, be honest. If there are areas where you feel you may need to improve, express a willingness to do so. This admission will show your determination.

One of the most important qualities to exhibit is comfortable preparedness. Show that you are serious and completely invested in the interview process. Connecting with the interviewer will set you apart, as this can be awkward for many of us. If you can put the interviewer at ease, his or her comfort level will register in your favor.

All things being equal, walking in as though you already have the position (without acting cocky about it) will often lead to exactly that end result.