Second Interview Questions and Answers

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You've made it through your first job interview with flying colors, and you have been invited to a second-round interview. What will you be asked during a second interview? Some of the interview questions may be the same as the questions you were asked at the first interview, but others will be very different.

How to Handle a Second Interview

To make it through the next round, you'll need to be comfortable with both the standard interview questions and the curve-balls, while paying special attention to topics that are most likely to come up in this phase of the interview process.

Match Your Credentials to the Job

Before the interview is the right time to match your credentials to the employer’s job requirements. Even if you did this prior to the first interview, do it again using the information you learned from the hiring manager.

  • Review the job posting you applied for, as well as other company job listings. You will get a good idea of what the company wants from the people they hire by reviewing the job descriptions.
  • Reflect on what you learned about the job and company during your first interview.
  • Make a list of your qualifications that match what the employer is seeking in the perfect candidate.
  • Prepare some examples of how you've used the attributes that are the best match at work.

Your goal is to convince the company that you are the candidate who can help them reach their goals. If you provide actionable information in your responses, you'll be well-positioned.

Think of some examples of how you handled situations that are similar to what you would be doing if you were to be hired for this job.

Review Sample Second Interview Questions and Answers

During a second interview, you will also be asked more specific interview questions about the job, the company, your ability to perform in the role, and how your skills and abilities translate into what the company is seeking in the candidate they are going to hire.

Company and Job-Specific Interview Questions

Depending on the type of position you're interviewing for, you'll be asked questions that will require detailed responses.

For example, if you are interviewing for a sales job, you'll be asked interview questions about your sales achievements. Be clear about how you can help the company and how you will grow sales and market share. For these types of questions, you'll need to tailor your responses to reflect the company's products, services, and goals.

The best way to prepare to answer questions about how you will perform is to learn as much as you can about the job and the company.

Review job-specific interview questions. The more you know, the easier it will be to relate your skills to the company's needs. Also, review examples of the questions interviewers ask candidates for specific types of positions, so you're ready to respond.

Talk to your connections. If you have connections at the company, talk to them to get as much insider information as possible. You want to know both how the company wants to be seen and what they might prefer not to advertise (although, of course, you'll concentrate on the former during your interview).

Review what you learned in the first interview. Think back to the information that was shared with you during the first interview, and use it as a starting point to prepare for the second. Check out the company's website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram, and LinkedIn page. Check Google News for the latest information about the company.

Share an example of what you've learned. Here’s an example of a response to a question about what you are most looking forward to about the position:

I am excited by the opportunity to play such a critical role in helping your organization achieve its goal of providing excellent customer service. I know your company prioritizes customer satisfaction across all departments, and that is something I have been passionate about in my ten years in retail management. I would love to bring my experience in managing retail staff to your organization.

Be Prepared to Share More Information

If you have a portfolio or other work samples, it's important to bring them with you to this round of interviews, even if you showed them in your first meeting. During the second interview, it's not uncommon for companies to bring in other people, such as prospective team members or other employees who might work with you on a day-to-day basis.

Some of these people might be fairly spontaneous additions to the interview process, so you'll want to be prepared to give your elevator speech and demonstrate your skills and abilities effectively and efficiently in order to catch them up on who you are.

It's important to sell yourself to everyone you meet, because each person you talk with may have input into the hiring decision.

For example, if you are taking part in a panel interview and are asked about your previous experience, you can use this as a chance to show the entire group your portfolio:

I have five years of experience working on marketing campaigns in the healthcare sector. I’ve brought along the three samples from my most recent marketing campaigns, which I showed Mr. XYZ the last time we met. However, I also have materials from another campaign I worked on, for which I was personally commended by the director of the organization.

Give Consistent Responses

Remember to be consistent. Your interviewers are going to compare notes, so it is important that what you tell one interviewer matches what you tell the others. Review your resume ahead of time and take notes after your first interview. This way, you'll remember what you said the first time around.

When asked a question similar to one you were asked in your first interview, you might even refer back to your previous answer, as follows:

Yes, I am very confident using a number of content management systems, including WordPress and SharePoint. As I mentioned when we met in April, I am currently taking an online course to learn how to use Django. I have one week left in the course, and now feel very confident with this system as well.

Second Interview Questions to Ask the Employer

It's important to have questions ready to ask the interviewer. Since you don't want to repeat what you asked in the first interview, have a different set of interview questions ready to ask during your second interview.

Here are some examples of questions to ask the employer during a second job interview.

  • "What is one thing you love about the company culture here?"
  • "How do you think an employee in this department can best impact the company?"
  • "How do you measure job performance in this role (department)?"

Tips for Acing the Interview

Just because you've been invited for a second interview doesn’t mean you will get a job offer. In this competitive job market, most employers conduct second interviews and sometimes even third and fourth interviews.

Be prepared for your interviewer to either remember everything you said in the prior interview, or to need the occasional refresher about your details. Don't take it personally if he or she seems to draw a blank momentarily; the interview process is long and involved for hiring managers as well as applicants. Even the most meticulous note-takers can lose a detail or two.

Most importantly, don't assume that because you've made it this far, it's a done deal. Prepare carefully for each and every interview to enhance your prospects of turning your interview into a job offer.

Key Takeaways

BUILD YOUR MOMENTUM: Review the information you learned during your first interview to predict key talking-points for your second interview. The interviewers’ emphasis will probably change during this second-round meeting to focus more strongly upon the organization’s needs and how you might be the best person for the job. The more you know about the company, the better prepared you’ll be to emphasize what you can offer.

REHEARSE YOUR “PITCH”: Because you may be introduced to other decision-makers or team members during this interview, be ready to briefly (yet persuasively) outline your qualifications to them, just as you did for your original interviewers.

BRING YOUR OWN QUESTIONS: Write down a new, original set of questions to ask the interviewing committee, based upon what you’ve learned throughout the interviewing process. These questions should be designed to demonstrate your continuing enthusiasm for the employer and your excitement about the possibility of working for them.