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Conducting a 2nd Interview

    • Help & Advice
Conducting a 2nd Interview
Sam Wilson, The 19th of August, 2014

Interviews | Jobsgopublic
So you’ve done your first round of interviews, and 1 candidate hugely stood out from the crowd and you’re now ready to make your offer and start preparing to welcome your new colleague.

Unfortunately life isn’t always that easy, and you may well have found that you are still struggling to choose between 2 or 3 candidates. Never fear, this is a common result of the 1st round as having to conduct a larger volume of interviews doesn’t always allow you to go into enough detail to distinguish between your strongest candidates and therefore a 2nd round is required.

In order to get the information you need you will need to approach these interviews differently. You need to get a better idea of the candidates’ personalities, attitude and approach so you can decide who will fit in best with your existing team.


You may want to change the format of the interviews this time around, there are a number of reasons for this.

Changing the format is a good way of judging how candidates cope in different situations, they might perform well in a one-to-one situation however might lose confidence in a group. Alternatively they might be able to talk about work confidently however not perform once presented with a work based task. Think about what it is that you want to achieve or different ways in which a task or situation might help you distinguish between the individuals.

Having a 2nd or 3rd person in the interview can help provide extra opinions on candidate suitability, it can also be incredibly helpful to have someone focusing on taking detailed notes so that you can concentrate on asking questions and judging candidate reactions but still have something to look back on afterwards.

If there are particular members of your team that the successful candidate will be working closely with then it might be worth having them in the interview so you can get an idea of how well they might get on. It may also be worthwhile having someone more senior in the interview or schedule a meeting with a senior manager in order to judge how they interact with more senior people in the organisation.

Your questions
Questions | Jobsgopublic

Take some time to look back on your 1st interviews and then specifically tailor your questions based on things you might not have touched on or want to delve into further. If you have any particular concerns make sure that you find a way to address them by asking questions that revisit that topic.

During your 1st round of interviews it is normal to ask all candidates the same questions, primarily because in most cases this will be the first time you have met them. In a 2nd interview you have the luxury of a previous meeting that you can use to guide your questions and get a better idea of a candidate’s capabilities and personality.

Personality is an extremely important factor in a 2nd interview. More often than not you will need to make a final decision after this stage and it’s likely that a candidate that has made it this far has the experience and qualifications you are looking for. What you really need to get an idea of is whether their personality fits. Ask them about themselves, their interests and hobbies, this will give you an idea of how they might fit in with their prospective colleagues. Remember you can up skill people, but you can’t change their personality.

Also try and get an idea of their ambitions and future plans, will they be content with this position for the foreseeable future or are they going to be looking for a promotion or a new role sooner than you’d like? As you know, recruitment is expensive and time consuming so it’s important that you recruit someone who is willing to stick around longer than a year!

Their questions

When you’re taking this extra time in the recruitment process you want things to be able to move quickly afterwards, it is therefore important to leave a decent amount of time for candidates to ask questions of their own. Not only does this allow them to get the information that they need but you can also judge how much they understand about the job.

The ideal outcome of this is that once you have made your decision, the successful candidate will immediately accept and you can move forward, so make sure that any questions are welcomed and answered in good detail.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that by this point the candidates have invested not only a lot of time but also emotion so be sure to keep them informed and updated about the ongoing process. Once you have made your decision then move quickly, it would be a crying shame to go to all this effort and then have your preferred candidate accept a job elsewhere because you waited too long.

A 2nd interview can be conducted any way that you believe will be most helpful for you in terms of making your final decision. These steps are just guidelines to help you ensure that you get the information you need to make that final difficult decision.

How can we help?

Let us know how best to contact you and one of our recruitment experts will be in touch.

If you are a candidate having trouble applying for a vacancy or require any other kind of technical support, please contact our Support team via support@jobsgopublic.com