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Not getting that second interview? Here are some tips for solving that

Posted on: 14 Jun

The art of acing job interviews is a tricky one. With 33% of interviewers making their decision about whether to hire a candidate- or whether to progress them to the next round- in ninety seconds, and companies often asking for up to three rounds of interviews in order to assess the candidate that they think is right for them, the task of finding a job can be gruelling.

For people who want to work within the Pharmaceutical industry, this can be even more of a pressing issue: with the industry growing and developing at a staggering rate, competition for the best jobs is rife. Sometimes, even the best of us will fail to make it to the second stage in the interview process. But if this has happened one too many times, then perhaps it’s time to take a look at the way you approach your application process. 

From interviews to phone screening, here’s why you might not be getting your dream job, and what you can do about it.

Are you prepared?

One of the most common mistakes you can make in a job interview is having little to no knowledge of the company in question that you might be interviewing for. Though you may have cruised through your first interview, it pays to have a plan in place for the second: these people now have a good idea of who you are and what you’re capable of, so you need to wow them with a strategy that will show off your achievements, knowledge and skillset to the best possible angle. 

Alongside brushing up on your knowledge of the company, projects that they have worked on in the past, and even the people who will be interviewing you, you need to project confidence in your interviews: and knowing exactly what to say and where to say it will give you a huge boost. And given that a second interview if often much more intense than the first, especially for technical positions or qualified jobs, it’s worth knowing how to sell yourself, and brushing up on all of the relevant scientific knowledge you’ll need to know too. Just think of it as an exam.

Can you deliver?

Are you somebody who never gets past telephone screening- or the dreaded first interview? Then chances are it’s your communication skills that are putting off employers. Your CV is impressive enough to give you an ‘in’ with a company: now you need to work on how to sell yourself to your interviewers with conviction. 

During the interview process, you’ll likely meet with a whole host of different people, as they try to assess how good a fit you’ll be for the role at hand. By speaking slowly and clearly, making sure to shake hands, and making eye contact with the interviewer- especially as 67% of bosses say that failing to make eye contact is a common mistake- you’ll make a much better impression in your first interview, and will be much more likely to be called back for a second. 

Are you curious?

Failing to ask for the job is one of the top ten most common mistakes that candidates make at a job interview. When you visit a potential employer, they want to see that you’re enthusiastic about what you can contribute to the company- and being shy or reluctant to expand on that could be one reason that you’re not being asked back. Conveying your enthusiasm for, and explaining how you can make a difference to, the role, can go a long way to making you stand out from amongst your fellow competitors. It should also motivate you to ask your interviewers about the role, your responsibilities and life at the company: not only will this establish a rapport between you, but it will confirm to them that you’re somebody who is engaged and passionate about the role.

Can you think on your feet?

You may have done everything you can to prepare for your first interview. However, you will also inevitably be asked some questions that you haven’t prepared for- be it a quick test of your skills or an unexpected inquiry- and your inability to think flexibly might be what’s costing you a second chance with employers. Whilst making up answers that aren’t true is a surefire way to put off potential employers, it’s worth taking the time to practice, and make sure that you’re comfortable enough with unexpected or ‘curveball’ questions not to freeze up when you’re asked them in the real thing.  

Are you somebody others want to work with?

One of the main aims of any interview is to assess whether you’ll work well with the team that you’ll be joining. As a result, it’s important to pay attention to the way you behave in your first interview: it could be the reason that you’re not getting called back for the second.

Given that 93% of employers consider it a deal-breaker if somebody arrives late to an interview, it pays to be polite: make time to ask the interviewer about themselves, as well as make conversation, don’t cancel last-minute, and dress the part. Don’t show off too much, either: after all, your interviewers want to know whether or not they think they’ll be able to work with you, so the interview is almost as much a personality test as it is a test of your capabilities and skills. 

Keep trying

Though it can seem disheartening at times, your perfect job is just an application away: all you need are the right tools to impress your interviewers. At IQVIA, we’re passionate about connecting the right people to the best opportunities across the Pharmaceutical industry: find your next opportunity here