Congratulations. You have aced the first interview and were invited to a second interview. Second interview questions are different than your first interview. During the first interview, your skills and knowledge are examined. You were asked questions about your experiences and goals. The second interview invitation implies that the answers you provided were sufficient for the job opening.
The second interview is about assessing your fit within the company. Employers will try to understand your work habits and workplace personality. They may take a second look at your experiences, but are also likely to show you around the office and watch how you interact with others.
Second Interview Questions Expectations
Second interviews may also cover topics that were addressed in the first interview. There are questions that you should expect based upon your performance in the first interview. You may also be asked questions that you were asked once before.
- Expect interviewers to re-ask questions that you could not answer in the first interview.
- Expect interviewers to ask you about specific situations that you mentioned.
- Expect interviewers to ask behavioral questions, such as “What would you do if…”
Second interview questions are designed to learn more about the specifics of the broader information you gave during your first interview. This is why you need to know how to thoroughly prepare for the second interview.
Three Sample Second Interview Questions and Answers:
1. Have You Thought of Any Questions Since the Last Interview?
How to answer:
It is not uncommon for second interviews to start by asking if you have formulated questions about the position since the first interview. It is always a good idea to have two questions prepared. You do not want to start the interview with an answer of “Nope, I’m good.” If you cannot come up with any good questions, one that always goes over well is “What do you consider the overall philosophy of the department?”
2. Describe a Situation Where You … What Did You Do To… ?
How to answer:
Situational questions are common in second interviews. Employers want to judge both your decision making skills and your ability to confidently answer these questions. You may be asked to describe how you handled a bad situation or how you shared your opinion. Be honest. Practice answers that will show employers that you have a professional attitude.
Avoid answering any question that reflects negatively on a previous workplace or coworker. If you are asked to describe how you handled disagreement with a supervisor, have a prepared answer ready which focuses on what you learned from the situation rather than what went wrong.
3. What is Your Sense of Our Corporate Environment?
How to answer:
This is a tough question to answer. You want to give a substantive comment, rather than a basic “I can see that you are very dedicated.” See if you can bring in knowledge that you learned about the company during your first interview. Also, consider rephrasing the mission statement using specific product examples. For example, if the mission statement is “to develop innovative B2B solutions,” then your answer “I can see that you and your staff are dedicated to producing technologically advanced tools such as product X and product Y in order to meet the needs of modern and future businesses. After meeting Person Z and Person Q, I can tell that the entire department is organized to help meet those goals, and it appears to me that this is an environment with a clear path ahead of it.”
Additional Second Interview Questions
One of the main challenges in determining which questions you will be asked at your second interview is that many of them are more technical in nature to the job, or may be based on questions they asked at the first interview. That said, consider the following list of some of the more common second interview questions:
- What are your salary requirements?
- How do you feel about working in a fast paced environment?
- Tell me about a time you had to manage multiple deadlines. What did you do?
- One of the reasons we wanted to get to know you further was because you said XYZ. Can you elaborate?
- We’re looking at 2 other candidates. What do think makes you a better choice?
Again, remember that you are likely to be asked questions of a more technical nature, because the interviewer will want to compare your knowledge to that of the remaining candidates. They also tend to be more personal, as we’ll describe below. First interviews have many common questions, but second interviews are more likely to be specific to the needs of the role, so review the job description as best you can and imagine questions to be better prepared.
Second interviews are more personal than initial interviews. You will be introduced to other staff members. You will meet and interview with executives. You will be asked about your feelings towards the company and its employees. The focus of the interview will be to see if you are NOT a good fit for the job, because the initial interview showed the company that you have at minimum the skills and experience necessary to succeed.
The best way to be ready for second interview questions is:
- Come prepared with questions to ask everyone that interviews you.
- Remember facts about the company that are not readily available.
- Use names when providing answers, for example “John Smith mentioned that …”
- Pay attention throughout the interview.
- Be ready to provide specific examples from your work history.
If you can prepare all of the above information, you will be able to ace your second interview.