How To Overcome 2nd Interview Nerves

5th April 2023
How To Overcome 2nd Interview Nerves


Information is often circulated to help you overcome those first interview nerves, and whilst these techniques are transferrable across all the stages of the recruitment process, the 2nd interview is rarely discussed in detail in terms of finding those key pieces of advice that will help you get that final job offer.



You’ve jumped that first hurdle by getting through the initial interview stage, so you recognise you must have impressed the interviewer to gain a second chance to prove yourself, so what next? From this stage your mindset may change as you start to realise how much this job could mean to you. So the pressure can start to pile up instantly in terms of how to prepare yourself for your next opportunity to impress.


Here’s where self-doubt can start creeping in; do I have what it takes? Am I actually capable of doing this job? Am I ready to challenge myself and take on something new? Am I the right fit for this company?  Can I stand out from my competition? Is there something more appropriate out there?

Remember all of these thoughts and feelings are all reasonable, you should ask yourself all these questions because no matter how much we want a new role, or how much we enjoyed the first interview, we still need to ensure it is the right move at the right time, and that we will benefit from it in the long run. We also know that how we come across in this interview can positively or negatively affect the final outcome, so being sure as to whether we want the job needs more consideration second time around.We can often be faced with additional interviewers at the second interview stage, and this too can heighten the pressure a second meeting puts on you, so it is important to reduce those nerves so you can function well and focus on presenting yourself in the best way possible to all parties.


Remember You Are an Excellent Candidate


Whilst a first interview call back can fill you with confidence, don’t go into this phase being overconfident.  It’s still good to have some nerves and feel apprehensive. However, it's important not to doubt yourself or your abilities and demonstrate to the recruiter that you'd be a great addition to their team.  Here’s some tips to help you prepare well.

 Find Out What Is Expected of You in A Second Interview

Second interviews can feel more intense as you start wondering what more you can say to convince the interviewer to give you the job.  If you can find out what is expected of you then you can prepare yourself in advance.  Questions you may consider asking:

  • Who will be interviewing me?
  • Will I be expected to do any tests or exercises?
  • Is it going to be a strength-based interview or competency based?
  • Can you give me any indications on the topics that maybe covered?

It’s also good to remind yourself of any key questions you felt you didn’t answer well in the first interview, that you would like to expand on in your second interview to strengthen your response.  What areas weren’t covered in the first interview that you would like a better understanding of?


Researching the role and company further, as well as practicing potential answers will help you with your confidence.  By gaining additional knowledge about the company and their values during the time between first and second interviews, the more you can highlight your personal and professional alignment to the company, as well as bring any additional questions to the table that will enable you to make the right choice, should a job offer come your way.

As with any interview stage, prepare the day before what you need to bring, what you need to wear and how you are going to get there.  Last minute travel delays will put you in a tailspin and that’s not going to help with your stress levels.

Lack of preparation increases your natural apprehension and makes it harder to overcome nerves, so it is especially important to be as prepared as you can and when answering questions, you are confident in your answers and consistent with your response’s vs your initial interview.


First interviews are often to gauge whether you have the experience and capabilities to do the role. Whilst second interviews are more often about personality and work ethic, as well as finding out whether you are a good fit for the team you’ll be working with.

In order to calm interview nerves, try replacing your anxiety with enthusiasm and energy, remind yourself why you want this role and what it will give you on a personal level.  The recruiter needs to see that you are keen and motivated throughout each step of the hiring process. Upbeat and positive responses will indicate that you are still attracted to the role and your eagerness hasn’t faltered since the initial meeting.

?Instead of feeling stressed at having another hurdle to clear try to focus on the positive and on the fact that you've clearly impressed the employer to get this far, basically remind yourself you have a great chance of getting the job if it’s right for you. A second interview gives you another chance to show why you should be selected above any other candidate, so it’s time to engage and deliver a first-class presentation of yourself and your capabilities.


Remind yourself that it is a two-way process, a second interview maybe daunting because you are looking to influence the decision makers, but remember it’s also a chance for you as an individual to make a really considered decision as to whether the job, company and environment are right for you, make sure you still feel the same vs your first impressions.

It’s also a good idea to think of one or two questions to ask at the end of a second interview.  For instance, ask for more details on the team dynamic, culture and future growth plans of the company, how do they celebrate success etc.  Asking questions like these will indicate you are seriously considering the role and are keen to know all the facts prior to joining the organisation.


Second interview tips

  • Remember first interviews give you a good oversight of the company, role, and culture. As well as showing your capabilities to the potential employer.  Second interviews are your opportunity to delve deeper, re-engage and show your enthusiasm for the role and your personality
  • Stay positive and remember you have already made a good impression as you’ve been invited back for a second interview
  • Never assume the job is already yours, be professional at all times and respond with strong and assertive answers
  • Build a good rapport with all the interviewers if there are more than one, make good eye contact and keep a good posture throughout.
  • Make your responses and your questions as specific and detailed as possible.
  • Second interviews sometimes include a tour of the workplace: be friendly and ask questions without distracting potential future colleagues (they too will form an opinion).
  • It’s a two-way conversation, you can learn more about the organisation and the organisation can learn more about you.
  • Remind yourself why you applied in the first place and be confident in your experience, personality, and reasons why you should get the job vs other applicants.
  • Do your research and just do your best, overthinking, and negative thoughts will distract you from the goal of gaining employment

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