April 28

Dear Career Coach, I Can’t Get a Second Interview! Help!

Dear Career Coach,

I’ve been reading your advice on the job search and it’s been very helpful to me. I’m on LinkedIn, I’ve had some luck contacting hiring managers, and I’ve even gotten several interviews. But here’s the problem: I’m not getting called in for a second interview and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.


Puzzled in Peoria

Dear Puzzled,

That’s tough….it’s discouraging to feel so close to success and fall short. You’re doing a lot of things right, since you’re able to secure interviews. That’s a huge hurdle. It sounds like you only need some improvement on your interview style, and I have some great job interview tips you can try:

  • Bring a 30/60/90-day plan. You didn’t mention using this fantastic interview tool, but you absolutely should. The face-to-face interview is the ideal time to introduce to the hiring manager how you would attack the job in the first 90 days. It can be as simple as you want to make it, but it’s critical that you think about how you will be successful and write it down. It will result in a better interview conversation and make you stand out over other candidates.
  • Close for the offer. Essentially, that means asking for the job. As in, “Do you see any reason I wouldn’t be successful in this position?” Many, many candidates have a hard time with this, because it feels pushy to them. And it’s always difficult to ask a question if you might hear a negative answer. But it’s absolutely worth it—if the hiring manager has any doubts about hiring you, you can find out what they are and deal with them right there. Sometimes they’re legitimate issues (at least you won’t be in suspense) but sometimes they’re just misconceptions you can easily clear up so that you can move on.
  • Watch YouTube. I have a lot of videos on the Career Confidential YouTube Channel that will give you some great tips on answering interview questions—see if they help.
  • Seriously consider personalized interview coaching. You can get to the heart of what’s going wrong with your interviews in a flash with a one-on-one coaching session. Maybe it’s your presentation, maybe it’s how you answer interview questions—I’d love to role play an interview situation with you. Coaching is an investment in yourself that pays off quickly by helping you break through the barriers in your own particular situation. Find out more here.

Best of luck,

Peggy McKee

Career Coach


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