'2nd' interview advice please.

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  • '2nd' interview advice please.
  • I had a bit of a random interview just before Xmas. I was sent a rejection by email the next day before they interviewed other people. That was fine – I wasn’t expecting to get the job.

    Today I got a call from them asking me to come back for another interview as they ‘may have a vacancy’ due to ‘timewasters, basically’. I’m intending to go whatever happens, as it’s good practice. (I’m flattered, and a little bit pleased to be asked.)

    Now, unless the job has changed, I’m not entirely sure why they want to see me again. If I was the wrong candidate before, why reconsider me?. Do I go in and grill them on why they want to see me again?


    Maybe they had a shortlist and you were just outside that originally. Now, from the sounds of things, one or two people have left the interview process so you’ve got a second chance.


    2 interviews is pretty standard – 1st interview is about you as a person and how you present yourself, whether you d fit in and so on – the second interview is more about whether you have the skills and capacity to do the job. Not always, I only had one interview for this job and for one of the other jobs as I was going for, they explicitly said “this will be the only interview”

    Premier Icon njee20

    Don’t **** up. 🙂

    Prezet’s scenario is pretty likely – it’s well publicised how many people often apply for single vacancies, they’re not going to give everyone a second interview, perhaps you were number 3, and 1 and 2 have dropped out. I wouldn’t even bring it up myself, let alone ‘grill them’ on it!


    As you rightly say your second best, and now because their preffered candidate has pulled out they are unfortunately reliant on you wanting the job or they will have to go through all the costs of advertising again.


    It’s the bit where they said – ‘we’re interviewing people later this week’, and then rejecting me before interviewing them. That suggests to me that I wasn’t the person for the job, rather than, I am in a shortlist of people who we’d employ…?

    Make sure your flies are done up.

    Other than that, I’d be trying to focus on getting some real detail on what the job, and the company environment, is like from them. They obviously think you can do the job (or they wouldn’t be wasting time interviewing you!), so that’s a good start. Try and have a bank of about 5 questionds ready for the “So, any questions for us?” bit.

    Such as;

    “What’s your staff retention like?” – Shows you want a longer term position.
    “Beyond the normal pay and benefits, what’s it like to be an employee here?” – trying to find more about the social/personal side of things.
    Will try and think of a few more for you.


    It’s the bit where they said – ‘we’re interviewing people later this week’, and then rejecting me before interviewing them.

    Maybe it was a position they were planning to fill internally. But by law have to advertise it to the public. Whoever was eyeing up the job may have changed they mind – so now they’re having to interview the public applicants.

    Lots of possible reasons. Don’t worry about why – just focus on giving it your best shot. Good luck.


    It might also be that they’ve changed their mind as to the exact role/how much money they can offer (and the others wanted too much, or had unreasonable expectations). Might be worth asking if it’s the same post as before, or they’ve changed it? Depends on the vibe you get from them I guess.

    I’d not worry about the why of it, just be sure to do a good interview 🙂 As said above, they know you a bit and still want to interview you, it’s a good sign!


    Honestly reflect on aspects that you felt didn’t go as well as they could have in the first interview and work to improve them.

    Express gratitude to the interviewers for allowing you a second opportunity to demonstrate why you’re the right person for the position.


    Odds are the first thing they will do is explain why they have brought you back in. It will probably be one of the reasons above. You were close last time, people have dropped out, more positions available.

    Go in with confidence and work on where you think you came up short last time. Try and get across what you would bring to job not ‘how you fit in’.

    Thanks for the advice all! It’s going to be an interesting experience whatever happens – especially as I am flying back from the US the day before 😀


    One of the best hires I ever made was a guy we rejected quite quickly at the first interview. We liked him but he was all wrong for the particular role we were trying to fill. As soon as he left the room we agreed if a more suitable vacancy arose we should give him a call – but with no plans for that we just said “no thanks”.

    Three months later someone handed in his notice and the rejected candidate got a call. We didn’t even interview anyone else for that post and he got more money than he would have in the post he originally applied for!

    If he had turned up the second time with a “why didn’t I get the original job attitude” he might not have got the second one. It will probably seem a bit odd to them so they will explain. How much of what they tell you is the absolute truth you may never know.

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