Second Interview Questions to Ask the Employer

Job interview meeting
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Your phone rings or you get an email letting you know that you've been selected for a second interview. Congratulations! You've made it over a big hurdle. However, getting through the first round of interview questions also likely means that you've already exhausted your list of interview questions to ask the employer.

Here are tips for what to ask the interviewer during a second interview, examples of the best questions to ask, and advice on how to ace the interview.

Tips for Asking Questions at Second Job Interview

Since you don't want to repeat what has already been asked and answered, it's important to have a different set of interview questions ready for your second interview. It's especially important if your second interview is happening with the same person as the first interview. 

Your inquiries of interviewers during this conversation may be a bit more specific than your questions in the first interview.

Since you don't want to repeat what has already been asked and answered, it's important to have a different set of interview questions ready for your second interview

This second interview, just like the first, is a two-way street: As your interviewers are attempting to figure out whether you're a good fit for the position, your goal is to determine if the company is right for your personality and career goals. 

During a second interview, it's appropriate and reasonable to ask questions about salary, culture, and opportunities available to employees. You can also ask about day-to-day work and company goals.

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Watch Now: 4 Essential Tips for Asking Second Interview Questions

Second Interview Questions to Ask

Here are examples of questions you can ask during a second job interview:

  • What can I tell you about my qualifications for the position?
  • What are the top three qualities are you looking for in the person you will hire?
  • What is the most challenging part of this job?
  • How would you describe the culture here? 
  • How many people are in this department, and what's its organizational structure? 
  • What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the first six months?
  • If I were to be hired for the job, how would you complete this sentence: "Whatever you do, ______________"
  • How do you think an employee in this position could best impact the company?
  • What sort of management style would you say you have?
  • What do you like most about working for the company?
  • Can I provide you with additional references?
  • What is the next step in the hiring process?
  • When can I expect your hiring decision?
  • If I were to be offered the job, when would you like me to start?

How to Ace a Second Interview

Having a second interview is a sure sign that the company has a serious interest in you as a candidate. But you don't have the job yet! Here are tips that will help you perform well during a second interview.

Prepare for the Interview

Be ready with a list of questions (such as those above) to ask the interviewers. You'll also want to be ready to answer some of the common questions asked during second interviews

When you get the call or email to schedule your second interview, inquire about who will be interviewing you. Then look up interviewers on LinkedIn or the company website: knowing a bit about their backgrounds can help you brainstorm specific questions to ask them.

During the Interview

Be consistent in your responses: It's possible you'll be speaking to several new people during your second interview. While you do want to frame your answers subtly to appeal to your audience, always make sure to be consistent about your job history, experience, and talents. After your interview, all your interviewers will meet to compare notes, so you don't want to appear inconsistent. Consider asking all your interviewers similar questions too, and comparing their responses. That can help you get a full picture of the company. 

Sell yourself: In the first interview, you demonstrated that you were capable and a reasonable fit for the position. In this second interview, you want to go beyond and show that you are the best possible candidate for the position. Since you've learned a lot from the first interview about the responsibilities you'll handle in the position, and the company's overall needs, use that information to prepare. You'll want to have examples and stories at the ready that demonstrate your abilities. 

Research the company and be prepared to ask and answer company-specific interview questions: In a second interview, it's more important than ever to show that you're knowledgeable about the organization. Learn everything you can about the company and prepare a few questions directly related to the job you are interviewing for.

For example, if the company's expansion plans are in the news, you could ask whether the expansion would impact your role in the company if you were hired. If the company is releasing a new product or service, ask whether the new release would have any impact on your position if you were to be hired. 

When you ask these types of questions, you're showing you've done your homework and you're engaged with what's happening at the organization.

Follow up with a thank-you note. Keep in mind that you should send a thank-you note after your second interview, just as you did after the first.

Key Takeaways

  • Prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewer, and make sure they're different from the questions you asked during the first interview. 
  • Asking more detailed and specific questions is appropriate at this phase—that means you can inquire about work culture, big company projects in the works, and opportunities for employees. 
  • It's a good sign you were asked to a second-round interview, so take the opportunity seriously: prepare beforehand and send a thank-you note afterward.