What to Expect & How to Ace Your Second Job Interview
Second Interview Questions
Congrats! You passed the first interview, now what?
If you’re like most applicants, preparing for second interview questions should be at the top of your list.
Here’s how to do that!
Second and sometimes even third interviews for the same position typically involve more detailed questions that are specific to the applicant, their qualifications, and ability to produce results for the company.
While you can’t plan for every possible variation of the questions coming your way, preparing for the overall interview itself is a great way to get ahead.
Here’s what to expect and how to prepare for second interview questions.
Ask for the Agenda
Ask the manager or recruiter that sets up the interview if there is an itinerary, and who you'll be meeting with. Knowing the itinerary and what to expect will keep you prepared.
Plan some questions that you'll have ready to ask based on who you're meeting with. For example, if you'll be meeting with HR, you can ask them questions about leave policies or any accessibility needs.
Answer Similar Questions
Many of the same questions asked in your first interview will be brought up again in the second interview, especially if you'll be meeting with different people.
Be prepared to reiterate why you’re interested in the role, your skills, knowledge, and the personal qualities that will help you be successful.
Note: Second Interview Questions and Answer Examples
“Why do you want this job?”
Response: “I want this job because it emphasizes (your work passion) which is one of my greatest skill sets. In my previous role, I (accomplishment at your previous company). I know I could bring my experience of (your skill set) to this company, and help you continue to grow”.
“How can you contribute to the company?”
Response: “My previous work experience includes (your skill), including strategies for (skill the employer needs). I can not only bring my ideas from previous roles to the table, but my general passion for (skill the employer needs) to your organization as well.”
“What do you know about the company?”
Response: “From my research and discussions with others in the community, I know that (company name) is a (describe what they do) that focuses on (what sets them apart). The values your company strives for match up with mine, which is why I’m excited for this opportunity. I’ve also read about a (upcoming projects or new line of business) that sounds like a great news for the business.”
Provide Proof Of Your Qualifications
They will ask for proof of your skills based on work in your past jobs.
Answer with specific examples of how you have utilized your strengths to tackle challenges and achieve success in the past.
Be sure to focus on tasks that are similar to those that would be required of you in this role.
Adding numbers and metrics is a great way to show off the amazing things you have done in previous positions.
Plan on how you will talk about the best examples of your work so that you're ready when they ask these questions.
Group Interviews And Activities
Employers will often use these second interviews to assess your ability to work in groups and see whether you stand out among the rest.
Treat the group interview as a one-on-one but continue to showcase your leadership skills and ability to work in team settings to succeed in these scenarios.
This isn’t the time to be shy!
If you get the chance to talk with others who are in a similar role to the one you're interviewing for, be sure to ask what they enjoy about their job.
Ask the interviewer or your direct supervisor what the biggest daily challenges in the role tend to be, and what you can do to succeed in the role if you're selected.
Be sure to stay engaged throughout the interview. This shows everyone that you're interested in the company and the role. The interviewers are definitely looking for people who will ask questions and stay engaged. It's an easy way to get a leg up on the competition.
Hopefully you did this after the initial interview already, but even if you didn't, be sure to send a follow up thank you letter (or email) to the decision makers you spoke with immediately after the second interview.
It doesn't have to be long or extensive. Just thank them and reiterate your interest in the role.
If you've met anyone else during your interview process that you made a connection with, send them a note as well letting them know that you enjoyed the chat.
People making hiring decisions often talk to team members to get their impressions, so it's worth it to reach out.
They’ll see you’re making an extra effort, which can go a long way!
Let Them Know You Are Interested
When wrapping up with all the second interview questions, make sure it’s clear that you really want the job and that the company would be an excellent fit for your skill-set (if you are actually interested).
If they get the sense that you aren’t interested, it could hinder your chances of being selected. Be straight forward and weigh your options before making any drastic choices!
Additional Second Interview Tips
Put your phone away (I’d suggest even leaving it in the car)
Review notes from your previous interviews
Research the company and interviewer
Be confident and curious
Follow up with any questions or things you should have mentioned
Bring up and discuss next steps
What’s the difference between first and second interview questions?
Prior to the first interview, recruiters or hiring managers weed through a countless number of applicants. After a few are selected, the first interviews take place which provides recruiters/hiring managers the opportunity to learn more about the candidates (personality, general work ethic, basic skills).
While similar to the first interview, the second interview focuses more on specific skills, personality traits, and overall match for the company (with many questions repeated from the initial interview). They will also heavily compare you to the remaining applicants in hopes of selecting the best option.
The follow up interview may be conducted by the same person but they will typically bring in additional members of the team to get other opinions and points of view.
Final Thoughts: How to Prepare for a Second Interview
What are your chances of getting a job offer after the second interview? There are many variables in play (other applicants, how it went, how many openings there are, etc.) but knowing the first interview went well and you’re confident about the second, things might be looking up (you can also just ask the employer)!
It never hurts to prepare. These tips should help with that and better explain the overall second interview process itself. Bring your best self and act almost as if you already have the job. Bringing recommendations, questions, and ideas to better your hopeful employer!
After your conversation with the employer, decide if the job is truly a good fit. If there’s a voice in your head questioning the opportunity, you don't have to turn it down immediately. Instead, ask additional follow up questions to help clarify any concerns on your end.
If you are interested and decide to continue pursuing the job, maintain occasional communication with your prospective employer until a decision is made. Keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers are typically swamped with applicants, so give it some time before reaching out with follow-up emails. You can also ask when you can expect to hear back as your interview is wrapping up.
Was there a tip or second interview tactic you’ve used in the past to win over the job? Let us know in the comments below.
Best of luck out there!