Second Interview Invitation: What to Expect

While You Might Be Excited, It's Common to Get the Jitters.

Man and woman talking in office
Tetra Images/Getty Images

Job searching can be a harrowing process. After applying, waiting for potentially months and hoping for a response, you were invited to a first interview. If you did well, you likely will get invited back for a second interview.

This can be incredibly exciting, but also nerve-wracking. Typically, because they have already drastically narrowed the field of potential hires, your wait time for the call back will be much shorter.

Remember that depending on the size of the company and the scope of the job, your second interview may just be a next step. There may be a third interview as well.  

Invitation to a Second Interview Example

The following is an example of an email letter advising an applicant that he or she has been selected for a second interview.

Subject: Invitation to Second Interview

Dear Lucy Miranda,

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us to discuss your interest in and qualifications for the position of assistant gallery manager at the Oakland Photography Institute.

We are pleased to inform you that you have passed the first round of interviews. We would like to invite you to return to the gallery for a second interview. Please let me know when you have availability over the next week; please plan week, planning for the interview to last for approximately two hours.

Your second interview will be with Isabella Stewart, Gallery Manager.

Let me know what time works best for you.

We are looking forward to meeting with you again.


Jason Turner

What to Expect at a Second Interview

Getting the email invitation is a great next step, but it does not mean the job is yours. At this point, they have likely narrowed down the applicant pool, from the hundreds or even thousands who applied to just a handful who successfully made it through the first interview.

You will be up against the most highly qualified candidates, so it's important to remain focused and not get too confident going into the second interview.

Many people mistakenly think a second interview is more casual than a first; this is not the case unless specifically stated by the hiring manager or human resources contact in the invitation.

Expect to dress just as you did for the first meeting, such as wearing a suit or sharp dress unless it's a casual work environment. Plan your outfit to be professional to demonstrate your poise and confidence. Keep your accessories to a minimum, and make sure your ensemble is clean and well pressed.

Your second interview will likely differ from your first in a couple of ways. With some companies, you will meet with different people than you did in the first interview. At others, you will meet with the same group, but the focus of the interview will be different. Instead of questions on your work experience and performance, they may focus instead on culture and personality to see how you will fit into the office.

There are a number of different interview types, and it is possible that after your initial interview, the potential employer will use a different type to see how you handle different interview situations.

If your first interview was a one-on-one, your second may be a group interview, which can be either a group of colleagues interviewing you, or a group of interviewees being interviewed together. Either way, the hiring team will be looking for how you interact with a group, so practice your listening skills and body language as well.   

Remember, this is very much a two-way conversation. While they are interviewing you, you should also be evaluating them as a potential employer. A second interview is a great opportunity to get more insight into what your coworkers are like, what the corporate culture is, and how your potential boss operates.

By now, you should have a pretty strong working knowledge about the company and how it is presented and perceived in the media. The conversation during a second interview is likely to include more detailed questions and discussion about what your role will entail should you be hired.

You will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas, how you have been successful previously, and how you intend to bring success to this position.

Be prepared to ask questions about not only your role, but your future team and the company as a whole. While giving you valuable insight, it also demonstrates your interest and passion for the work.