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The Second Job Interview: What To Expect and How To Prepare

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So close, but so far away – That’s probably the best way I’ve ever heard the second job interview summed-up: At this point, you’ve made your way past dozens, perhaps thousands of candidates to the next (maybe even final!) round of assessments for an hourly-wage job, a clinical role, or a high-responsibility executive job at a hospital, clinic, or health-related company.

What To Expect During a Second Job Interview

When preparing for and participating in the second interview, there are three things you should focus on as you prepare.

  • Answers to expected questions interviewers have for you.
  • Questions you’ll ask in parts of the interview you’ll take the lead in.
  • Your outlook on how you’ll fit in at this particular medical institution.

When preparing your answers, you’ll need to research yourself and map-out answers with specific examples that show past success on questions like:

  • What can you do for us if we bring you on board (and how might that be above and beyond any other candidates)?
  • How will you help add to the bottom line?
  • Why do you actually want to work here (or, in the case of the second interview, especially if you’ve been introduced to other staff beyond the interviewing committee “do you still want to work here, and why?”
  • Be prepared for more behavioral and situational questions.

In all of these answers, be ready to continue (as you presumably did in the first interview) to sell yourself as the product the interviewers want to buy. To be truly ready here you should highlight (or-reframe for the second interview – you can use these examples multiple times) at least two solid, measurable contributions you made at each of your last few employers.

A second interview is a time for interviewers to move past generic questions and into specifics. It’s a time for them to throw you into hypothetical situations and real-life interactions with some of the people you’ll be working with if you get the job.

During this process, it’s important to have a rock-solid vision for how you’d fit into this workplace (stop thinking generic answers you can apply to multiple job interviews – at this stage you should be focussed on how you’ll bring all your past experience and talent to bear on this job, in this workplace, with these people.

You should also have an easy-to-articulate 60-90-day plan for what you will do to prove your effectiveness as the ideal candidate – In other words, a “hit the ground running” plan that will set you vastly above all other candidates that interviewed for the job.

 Questions To Ask On a Second Job Interview

Questions you ask should be based on the research you’ve done on the employer, any other thoughts that come up in the second interview, or any questions you didn’t get to ask in the first interview. For example, if you’re interviewing at a hospital, look into its financial stability, and research its prospects for future growth. How is it regarded in the community?

Do you know anyone who works there or can you ‘network your way’ to someone who works there? Talk to them about their experience working there and their thoughts on the institution/company, its culture, and any relevant practices you should know about.

Other basic questions that are good to ask during your interview as a healthcare provider are:

  • What is the target provider to patient ratio?
  • Is there a training period?
  • What EHR system would I be working in?
  • Will I be required to ever work on call, and if so, how frequently?

 Does a Second Interview Mean I Got The Job? 

Getting called back for a second interview means you’re also potentially teetering on a knife’s edge. Rather than crossing your fingers and assuming this call-back is a “just a formality,” you should realize that interviewers have likely called you back for one of three reasons:

  • The hiring committee has whittled their list of interviewees down to a shortlist of several finalists including you.
  • The hiring committee is mostly convinced you’re the right person for the job and want to double-check by speaking to and seeing you react more to specific areas.
  • The hiring committee actually is totally convinced and is just running you by HR as a formality.

In many ways, the second interview is vastly more important to get right than the first, so make sure you put equal preparation into all subsequent interviews.

Send a Thank You Letter

As with any interview, first, second, third, or otherwise, be sure to thank the interviewers both at the end of the interview and in a follow-up letter or email soon afterward. Below is an example of an email that would be appropriate to send after:

Hi [Interviewer Name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I enjoyed learning more about the opportunity and the team I would be working with. The thought of joining [Company Name] as a [Position Title] is very exciting.

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps and let me know if there’s anything else you need from me to move forward with the hiring process.

Thank you,
[Your Name]

If there’s a third interview or a call-back of any other sort, make sure you’re available. Finally, if you get the job, remember what you said and did during the interview process: This can be an invaluable roadmap for starting and succeeding at your new job and to prove to your new employer that you can do at work what you said you’d do in the interview.

Now that you are ready for the interview process, search through our job’s page to find your next healthcare or school opportunity. Follow the button below!

Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!