Breaking the Second-Round Interview Barrier

By  Dolores Daly

You’re succeeding in getting interviews – lots of them- but you’re not getting past that first round. What’s going on?  Why aren’t you advancing to the next round of interviews?

Often times when this happen, students think their resume isn’t strong enough, and they spend a lot of time re-working it.  But, you’re getting the interviews WITH that resume, so it’s likely your resume not the problem.

More likely, it’s your performance in the interview. If this situation is happening to you, where you’re getting lots of first round interviews, but none or few second round interviews, carefully review in your mind your performance in each interview and ask yourself the following questions:

Was your TMAY easy to follow and concise or rambling and too long?  

What about your SAR stories?  Were they clear, concise and approximately two minutes, or were they full of too much unnecessary information?

Did you ask questions?  Were they appropriate /strong questions?   

Did you close and ASK FOR THE JOB?

Did you make a connection with the interviewer? How did the interviewer respond to your answers? (Body language is a huge cue).  If you’re able to make a connection, usually through a memorable story, you’re more likely than not to get a second round interview.  

Other things to consider:

  • Were you dressed appropriately for the company/ position?
  • Jewelry check, too much or just right?
  • How about cologne or perfume?  Too much, or just about right?
  • Did you send a thank you to each person you interviewed with, within 24 hours?

If you have doubts about any of these questions, consider changing your interview strategy.

For the interview question section, please get feedback on your SAR stories and TMAY. Time your answers, including how long your spending on each section of your SAR stories. Also consider your personal brand, and check how your presenting yourself to the interviewer via our clothes, accessories and perfume / cologne. Your coach, Leadership Fellow and your peers are here to help you succeed!   

Please listen to some advice from Helen who will give you additional tips on how to have a successful first round interview as well as how to prepare for second rounds.

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