Mistakes To Avoid During Follow Up Interviews

By Zach Seybert
In February 6, 2019

It is no secret that the interview process can be an anxiety-inducing time for job seekers of all experience levels. In the past, we have provided interview tips to stand out in the hiring process and often forgotten interview tips, but these tips and tricks have been in relation to the first interview. However, the interview process usually consists of multiple interviews, each of which can be prepared for differently.

If you get invited back for a second-round interview, it is a good sign! The company is clearly interested in getting to know you more for the role and wants to continue the conversation. Although you clearly did well enough in the first-round interview, you begin your second-round interview with a clean slate.

Not only can you expect this conversation to be more difficult and in-depth, but since the stakes are higher (this could be the make or break for getting hired) your anxiety will follow suit. According to and 20-year recruiting industry veteran and Forbes contributor Caroline Ceniza-Levine, the callback or second interview is not the same as the earlier rounds. She has interviewed thousands of candidates who have aced the first interview only to see them falter in later rounds.

In order to continue your momentum after the first interview, she has a few mistakes to avoid in follow up interviews. Check out all of her tips in the full Forbes article here.

Getting Annoyed At Repeat Questions

If you’re getting called back for a second or third-round interview, etc., chances are you will be meeting with different decision makers at the company. As a result, you might get asked a few of the same questions from your previous conversations. While you might get annoyed at having to repeat yourself, it is important to remember that it is the first time you’re discussing the question with this interviewer. As Ceniza-Levine says, “You need to be as enthusiastic in explaining it the 100th time as you are the first time.”

Losing Steam

Interviews can be a long, drawn out process. Depending on the company’s interviewing preference and procedure, you may go through multiple rounds before ever getting an employment offer. As a result, you may start to lose steam and focus. Even if you’re drained, you have to try to not show it. The company knows that this process can be tiring, but they want candidates who will remain engaged and high energy even if they might not feel that way. When you lose energy, your excitement about the opportunity and engagement with the interviewer drops. So too do your chances at moving forward in the process.

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Forgetting Who You Met

If you’re speaking with multiple people per day, you might lose track of everyone you have met. It is important to remember who you have spoken with, especially before your follow up interview. It isn’t uncommon for interviewers to ask who you have already spoken to, so if you forget who you have already spoken with you might draw a blank in this conversation which will probably reflect poorly on you. Although some people are “terrible with names,” when you forget the name of someone you interviewed or had a conversation with, it portrays that you are not interested in them, the company or just forgetful. None of these qualities are really what an employer looks for in a candidate, so your chances of getting hired will likely dwindle.

Running Out Of Questions

Regardless of the stage you’re at in the interview process, it is important to do your research and prepare some questions to ask. Not only does this show that you take the interview seriously and are prepared, but it also shows that you are actually interested in the role. While some of your questions may get answered throughout the course of the conversation, you should definitely have others prepared. Not having any questions may be perceived as a lack of interest, even if that isn’t the case. Perception is reality, especially during interviews.

Wrap Up

Even the most experienced interviewers can experience some sense of pre-interview anxiety. While these feelings are usually quelled after the first interview, most companies have multiple rounds of interviews before making a hiring decision. As a result, many job seekers may become too relaxed and end up making mistakes during the second interview. If you have a second interview coming up, don’t make these mistakes!

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.