5 Things needed for a Successful Second Interview

Congratulations! Getting called back for a second interview is not easy at all. To this point in your quest for a new job, you stood out from a large number of people just to get the first interview. You nailed the first interview and they are asking you back to the “Second Interview”. Let’s look at this from an example perspective. Say 100 people applied for the job and they chose 5 (you included) for a second interview.  Be happy! So far you beat out 95 people. Now you only have to beat out 4 others to get the job. Odds seem better. So enjoy your success for a moment. You deserve it! Be proud of yourself for coming this far. Your confidence should be high, high enough to drive you through the next round.  

You know that you need to nail this interview and you also know that the competition is tougher. You are 1 of 5 of the crème of the crop. It’s important to know your purpose going into this interview. How is the second interview different than your first? Nancy Range Anderson, author, career coach and founder of Blackbird Learning Associates LLC explains:

“During the first interview, the interviewer as questions to determine three areas; can you do the job, do you fit into the company culture and do you really want this job. It’s a good bet that in the second interview you will have a panel of people who more than likely will be more senior conducting your interview and while they may ask similar questions that were asked in the first interview, they are looking at you differently that the people in the first interview looked at you. In the second interview they want to compare you and your skills with the other candidate. It is a check box situation. Who has more skills, which one is better?  Always remember, this isn’t a popularity contest. The employer is looking to hire the best qualified candidate. If you want the job, you need to be that candidate. Here is how!

You need an ice-breaker

You need to connect with the interviewers. How do you do that, with enthusiasm? The definition of enthusiasm according to the Merriam Webster dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enthusiasm is a “strong excitement or feeling”.  I am assuming that you are excited about this position. If so, share it with the interviewers. Let them know. Enthusiasm is contagious. Tell them what excited you during the first interview.

Sharing your genuine enthusiasm with the interviewers lets you to tap into their enthusiasm and created mutual enthusiasm and passion which will make you stand out.

Remember, look the interviewers in the eye. Keep eye contact with the interviewer. Bring up something someone said in the first interview that stood out to you.  

What is your unique Angle?

This is the opportunity for you to sell your skillset. Tell them how your experience positions you for the open position.  

This is the time to detail your accomplishments and how your accomplishments would benefit them as an employer. Anderson explains: “The interviewer at this stage wants to know, ‘What’s in it for me/us?’ and ‘What can this candidate do to help us accomplish our goals that the other candidates can’t do?’”.

Identify your angle. Then let them know how your unique professional experience makes you the only candidate left for this job, and that they “must have” you for their team.

You Need to Prepare

The “job description” is the employer’s list for his/her ideal candidate. As the candidate, you must study the job description. It is your guide to your second interview preparation.

Anderson recommends: “To prepare the candidate needs to focus on the responsibilities, skills and requirements of the open position and come up with specific behavioral stories detailing his or her actions and results.”

Anderson supports a direct approach: “I suggest that the candidate draw a two-column chart. In the left column, list the hard and soft skills, tasks and job responsibilities required of the position and in the right hand column write out examples of work-related accomplishments that support these. Above all, the candidate should focus on his or her role in these accomplishments and use words such as “I” rather than “We”.

Employers like to hear that a candidate is a team player and for sure you need to emphasize that you know how to function well on a team. However, you need to highlight your individual accomplishments and successes that set you apart.  

Salary prep a must

You need to do your research and know what you are worth. Do not under or overestimate your worth. Search sites such as www.Glassdoor.com as part of your research. Anderson advises: “The candidate should be prepared to discuss salary at any time during the interview process.”

Anderson explains: “Salary discussions usually come up towards the end of the interviewing cycle and most likely will be initiated by the interviewer. This can be a positive sign.”

If you have special skills or special experiences that brings more to the employer than they are looking for pay attention to their enthusiasm about these skills or experiences. You may be able to negotiate a higher salary because of them. It is up to you to read that situation though. If you are unsure, do not try.

Asking questions

Please remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. DO NOT waste your opportunity to ask questions. Employers want you to ask questions. It is another way for you to impress the interviewers. Study the company and the industry that the company is in. Understand where the company is in relation to its competitors.

These are some questions Anderson recommends:  

How would you describe the company culture?

What are the challenges your team is facing right now? How can the person stepping into this role help?

What kinds of people really grow here?

What are the long and short term goals of the department?

Remember, being invited to a second interview is a big deal. You wouldn’t get this far if you were not a good candidate. Be confident and by all means go into the interview prepared. Good luck!


disABLEDperson, Inc.

Anonymous Author



Disability,being Disabled can be a real Pain

This is one of those weeks where my mobility disability has decided to take it up a notch. For those of you who are disabled by mobility issues, you know what I'm talking about.

You are going through your life and you have accepted the limitations that your disability has placed on you. Also, you have become somewhat tolerant to the constant level of pain that you are in. You know what I mean. You figured out how to get through the day. You take your meds, rest, jump on a TENS unit or whatever. You go through the day and laugh at good jokes, smile when appropriate and engage in life.

Then for reasons not known to you, your disability decides to decrease your mobility and increase your pain. You try to figure it out. What did I do different? Maybe it was the hot sauce I ate last night? Maybe it was that new pillow? I did buy new shoes! At the end of the day after racking your brain you cannot come up with any reason why you are feeling worse. 

In response to your up tick in pain and decrease in mobility, you increase your medications (of course by advice of your Dr.), run your TENS unit all day, stay in bed, etc. You hope that this is only a one day deal. You hope that tomorrow you will wake up and you will be back at your regular disability level. How many of you have been there? Instead of feeling like a hot burning knife is stabbing you that you will fee just the knife in you. Some of you know what I am talking about. You live your life with a pain level of 6 or 7 out of 10 but when you get like this your pain increases to a 9 or 10. You long for the days gone by.

During this time, your mind runs away from you. Fear sets in with the following question, "What if this level of pain is my new reality"? You start to assure yourself that you have been through this before and this exacerbation will subside, you hope anyway.

Why am I writing this in the blog to you all today? Honestly because I really don't feel like writing anything technical. Also, all people with disabilities an exacerbation now and then. It is something we all have to deal with. I just keep telling myself and I will tell you. Like other things in life, we will get through this.

Thanks for letting me lament. Back at you next week.

disABLEDperson, Inc.

Anonymous Author



"Ours is simply to serve"

Interview Question: How did you find out about this job opening?

Let’s take a look at this question. Why would an employer ask you where you heard about a job that they are looking to fill? I believe they do so for multiple reasons. These reasons may include:

  1. They are paying for a recruiting service to fill their position.
  2. They are paying the social media team to blast their position out to their Social Network.
  3. They are paying a job board or multiple job boards to advertise their opening.
  4. They are curious to see if any of their employees are recommending working at their company.

So why would you care as a potential employee.  I know you are probably saying that this question doesn’t help you at all. It is strictly for the employer’s benefit. Hold on there, you can answer this question is a way that will showcase you, your savvy and more. So let’s explore the options above on how they may benefit you.

The first thing you must understand is that the employer more than likely is utilizing all of the options listed above.  Many employers simply want to know where you came from. How you found them though says something about you. Also with today’s technology, they probably know the answer already.

If you found them by working with a recruiter, what does that say about you? That says that you have taken your job search extremely seriously, that you were willing to consult an expert to find work, that you were willing to look at your faults and have someone critique them to make you a better candidate and that you trusted the process. Also, you were already vetted by a professional. The process speaks volumes to a potential employer.

If you found the job on Social Media, that tells employers that you are OK putting yourself out there, that you are somewhat personable and open to multiple ideas and enjoy communicating with others? Which Social Media site you found the job also says something about you. If you found the job on LinkedIn  it may suggest that you think of yourself in a professional manner. If you found a position on Twitter it may suggest that you are a more direct person, it is what is it person. Finally, if you found a position through Facebook, it may suggest that you are a more relaxed very personable person.

If you found the job on a job board that tells employers that you do things the traditional way? That also says that you will follow traditional values and traditional protocol in my opinion. What job board you found the position on also says something. If you found the position on www.Indeed.com or www.Careerbuilder.com then you are identifying yourself as a person in the general population. If you found the job on a niche job board that says that you identify yourself with a specific group which speaks volumes about who you are. As an example, if you found a position on our site: www.disABLEDperson.com, you are identifying yourself as a person with a disability. If you found the position on our other site: Job Opportunities for Disabled Veterans, www.JOFDAV.com you are telling the employer that you are a veteran with a disability.

If you found the position through an employee referral what does that tell the employer? That tells the employer that you already aware of the company culture.  You understand what it takes to work there and you are OK with it. If the employee who referred you is a trusted employee then the employer will have a sense of trust in you already in my opinion.

So you see, that question is not a simple one. Every question asked to you during an interview has meaning and how you answer each question regardless of how insignificant it seems  has importance.

I hope this helps you in some way.

See you next week.

disABLEDperson, Inc.

Anonymous Author



“Ours is simply to serve”


Interview Question: “Would you prefer popularity or respect from your Co-Workers?”

You applied for a position. Your resume was good enough to get through the maze of resumes that the hiring manager had to go through.  You were chosen for an interview.  During the interview, you are asked the following question: “Would you prefer popularity or respect from your Co-Workers?”

OK! How do you answer that? Does it matter how you answer that? Of course it does. Why would you be asked that question if it didn’t matter.

The truth is most of us would like to be both. We would like respect from everyone we meet and we also would like to be the most popular person on the planet, right? Sounds good, but before you answer please take into consideration what kind of job you are interviewing for.

If you are applying for a managerial or an executive position where you will be managing a number of people, a “Team”, I believe the best answer to this question is respect. The definition of respect is: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Because of your ability and qualities and achievement you were given the position.

If on the other hand you are interviewing for a position that requires “teamwork” I would say the best answer would be popularity. In this case you would want your Co-Workers to like you so your “Team” can work together towards the goals put forth by your manager or executive who by the way you all “respect.”

Of course, having both respect and popularity is a good thing to have in both instances. However, in my opinion as an executive or manager respect is much more important than being popular. 

I hope this helps you in some way.

I’ll be back next week!

disABLEDperson, Inc.

Anonymous Author,



I’m on Social Security Disability (SSDI) and I’m thinking of going back to Work: Part 4-Record Keeping

The decisions have been made. You are going back to work. You will be making greater than $840 in 2017. What happens next? The Social Security Administration (SSA) will send you a form to determine what you can do. On this form, my advice is to be as detailed as possible. Do Not Lie on this form. Also make sure that you get it back to the SSA by the date requested.

Please pay attention to what I am about to write? Any correspondence you have with the SSA regarding your return to work, you must do one of these two things. 1) Bring the document to your local SSA office and get a receipt or 2) Mail the document to SSA registered return receipt. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT simply drop it in the mail.

Create a folder for yourself and label it SSDI Return to Work. Any document that you send to SSA I urge you will make a copy of and place the copy into this folder. I cannot stress to you how important this is. The SSA is a massive organization.  Assume that everything you send to them will get lost or misplaced.  If that happens and it does often it is on you that you sent SSA the appropriate information at the appropriate time. That is why record keeping is so important. If you take to document to the local SSA again make sure you get a receipt. Take that receipt and staple it to the copy of the document you made and put that document with the receipt into the folder.  If you mail the document to them, take the receipt from the post office and staple that to the copy at home and place it in your folder. When you receive the green signature card back from the postal service, staple that green card to the copy and the receipt. Please say you understand?

When working either through the Trial Work Period or the Ticket to Work Program, you must send your monthly pay stubs to the SSA. That is right! Every month you need to send your pay stubs. This is important because it lets the SSA know when your benefits will stop. Your pay stub is a document and you need to make copies and follow the procedure I outlined above. IMPORTANT!

I know at this point you must be thinking to yourself that I’m going overboard. The answer to that is yes, even for those whose transition back to work and off of SSDI goes well there are glitches.

Why do you have to send in all of this information, because it is the law? SSA uses this information to determine when your benefits will stop. The SSA does not want to overpay you. The converse is also true. You do not want to be overpaid with disability benefits. Why, because if you are overpaid disability benefits you will need to repay the SSA.

It is not uncommon for the SSA like I stated above to make mistakes. As a matter of fact, it happened to someone close to me. This person did what I outlined above. The SSA stated they were missing documents. This person factually told the SSA that all the required documents and pay stubs were submitted to them at the appropriate time. They spoke factually because they had copies of every document and pay stub they sent to the SSA and they had receipts of when they sent them and signatures of the people who signed for them. Replacing for the SSA the documents they said they never received wasn’t enough. The SSA informed this person that they were overpaid and needed to return near $2000 to the SSA for disability benefit overpayment. To correct the issue and convince the SSA that there was no over payment, all of the documents were sent along with a timeline highlighting dates sent, receipts and signatures. Only then did the SSA agree that there was no over payment of disability benefits.

I hope this blog helps you? I’ll blog to you next week.

disABLEDperson, Inc.

Anonymous Author



“Ours simply is to serve