News & Blog

HR Second Interviews

  • February 08, 2016


The HR Operations team take a look at second interviews and the dangers of complacency.

Congratulations!  The first interview is over and you have been invited back for the next stage in the interview process.  The interview process generally takes a minimum of two stages before they choose the best HR candidate, however as your Human Resources career progresses, you may find this increases.

It is very easy at this stage to get over confident as the interviewer obviously thought you were a strong contender for the job, but a word of warning; don’t kick back at this stage.  It’s as if not more important that you remain on the ball during the second interview.


You should have previously spent time researching the company and your interviewers – don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is done with now. Use it to refresh your memory and review what you already know. 

You should also double check who your interviewers are this time around.  Whilst you might get the same interviewer again it’s highly likely that there will be at least one other who you haven’t met.

You will also need to revisit your strengths, weaknesses and your HR experience as simply going over the same examples you gave last time will not be enough.  The interviewers want to explore your skills and experience in further depth and scope than before.  It will help you to revisit your notes from the previous interview and ensure that you can expand on what you discussed previously.

Build on what you know

You should have gleaned a great deal of information from your interviewer’s answers during your previous visit.  Use this information to ask more probing questions of your interviewers and show that you have been thinking about the company and the role.

Jekyll and Hyde

Don’t be surprised if the demeanour of your previous interviewer changes drastically between interviews.  The first interview is often used as a getting to know you chat, whilst the second delves into greater depth and puts you under pressure.  Whilst you will inevitably respond to this change (unconsciously in some cases), remain calm and try not to totally change your approach.  They invited you back for the next stage because they think you can do the job and liked you first time around, be aware that they are testing you and don’t undermine the good work you have already done.

Office Tour

Further along the interview process, it is more likely you will have a tour of the offices or facility and perhaps meet the team.  Keep in mind that you are on display at all times and  your interaction with those you meet will be scrutinised.

The benefit to you in doing so is the opportunity to observe the working environment and company culture, which should help you in your decision as to whether you actually want to work for the company and would fit in.  
It’s sometimes easy to overlook the fact that this process is to decide if you want to work for the company as much as whether the interviewer wants to employ you.  There are so many different factors that impact on whether the role is correct, careful consideration must be given to what is right for your career both now and in the long term.