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Slam - Dunk at Each Interview Stage

Updated: Mar 19

You nailed your interview. You answered “tell me about yourself” perfectly, discussed your relevant experience with ease, and established a great rapport with the hiring manager.

You hear you made it to the next round of the process. But after all of the excitement, you start to wonder what on earth you have left to talk about. Should you just repeat what you’ve already said? Or, is the hiring manager looking for something new?

Well, as the rounds of interviews continue, you’ll do some repackaging of old stories and introduce some new information. But the secret is not to go overboard either way. Here’s how to find the balance that’s just right.

Don’t Give All New Information

You might be thinking that the interviewer has already heard everything you said once, so none of it’s worth repeating and you should come up with all new information. That’s not really the case.

More often than not, you’ll be meeting with new or additional team members who weren’t present in the first round. They’ve never heard your pitch, and while they may have seen your resume or heard a quick overview from the interviewer, the best person to sell you is, well, you.

Not only that, but odds are the person you spoke with only remembers the highlights of your talk. He/She might have had meetings or only taken notes on the discussion. So, if you don’t repeat anything the interviewer may not remember the really relevant skills you shared in your last meeting.

But rather than quoting yourself exactly, make sure to connect any new information back to what you said last time. That way you’ll know you’re not skipping over any of the big selling points of your candidacy. If you’re asked (again) to “Tell me why you’re drawn to this role?” you can say, “Last time, we discussed the strong management component, which is still something I’m very enthusiastic about. Additionally, the information you shared about the collaborative nature of the team is very appealing to me.”

This way you added something new, but you still led with your most relevant skill.

Don’t Share Too Much of the Same Information

Of course, some people mistakenly assume that you must ensure your share the same information without any distortion. While fabricating stories could get you caught, and definitely not encouraged, it’s nice to share additional examples and connect with each interviewer so the overall feedback during the review is positive with everyone.

Moreover, if someone asks you back it’s because he still wants to learn more. This is the time to dive deeper into your skills and experience.

So, if you catch your answers mirroring what you said before, try a transition like this: “As I shared previously with [name of the first interviewer], my current role is very sales-heavy. Another example of my work in client-facing roles would be my first job, where I learned…”

By peppering in some new and different stores, you’re reinforcing the idea that you’ll bring even more than what you shared on your resume.

Give Consistent Answers With New Examples

Well, before you even start the interview process, you should give yourself a slogan that describes yourself as a candidate. What would you want the hiring manager to remember about you.

Let’s say your focus is on how you love (and excel at) working with people and that you’re creative. What you’ll keep the same in all rounds of interviews is that theme: You’ll want to make sure that some of your answers tie back to those qualities. Now what you’ll change are the specific examples.

So, maybe in the first interview, you list working with others as your greatest strength and give an example from your current job. The second time, you might mention working with the company’s demographic as something you’re excited about. Similarly, in the first interview, you might talk about a time you had to be creative to solve a problem in your side gig, and in the next round, you might discuss how creative thinking is a key attribute of someone who inspires you.

Keeping your slogan in mind will help guide you as far as if you should answer a question similarly or differently than you did the time before.

It can be daunting to have to make a good impression—yet again, but remember, being called back for an additional interview is often a strong sign that you’re moving forward in the hiring process. Use the tips above to keep selling your strengths and make your answers fresh and interesting.

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