Take a look at our courses today!

Second interview Tips & Questions

You have been invited back for a second interview so you are in the running. Tips on how to secure that job offer.

Second interviews are common in accountancy. The same guidelines apply as for first interviews but now that you are close to securing that job offer, you will need to go the extra mile. You must prepare for a second interview as carefully as you did for your first. Consider the following:

· Will you be interviewed by the same person? If not, do your research. Try to find out who will be interviewing you and if possible check out their background on the firm’s website.

· Did you do enough research first time around? You may have known enough and had the right profile to merit a second interview but a second interview will be more in-depth. For example, your interviewer may want to see more evidence of your business knowledge and accountancy market awareness.

· Repeat yourself. This may sound like strange advice but there will be times when you will need to give the same answers and information. Don’t ever say “I told you about that at my first interview”! If you are meeting with your original interviewer or interviewers, they may have seen lots of people and may not specifically remember everything you said in your first interview. If you are meeting a new interviewer, you will need to convince them that you are the right person for the job.

· Don’t be complacent or over confident – even if you are down to the final two candidates, there is still only one job and you only have a 50% chance of being offered it.

Is the job right for you?

The second interview is also a chance to make sure that the position is right for you. Questions you may want to ask are:

· What is the salary package? It may have been premature to discuss salary in detail at the first interview but at second interview it is a reasonable question. The second interview is not the right time however to negotiate salary! Leave salary negotiations for when you have actually been offered the job.

· Ask questions about the opportunities within the firm. Be realistic - you are unlikely to be managing partner of the firm in the near future if you are a junior accountant right now! However details of career structure and opportunities will give you a better feel as to whether the firm is right for you.

· It may be appropriate to ask to speak to someone who already does the job you are applying for, for example if you are applying to train as an accountant the opportunity to speak to a current trainee could be useful.

· Ask more detailed questions about the work. What opportunities will you have to meet clients? Will you be involved in marketing and client development? Are there opportunities to work abroad?

Plan your questions in advance. Your interviewer will largely view a second interview as a chance to learn more about you and they will not want to feel that you are interviewing them too assertively! A few well chosen questions will confirm your keenness and interest in the vacancy.