1. What Is a Second Interview Usually For?
The second interview normally takes place once the initial pool of candidates has been whittled down. Not all roles will include this step as part of the hiring process, but if the advertised role has had many applicants or has a high degree of responsibility, an employer may choose to more closely compare the remaining people in terms of skills and experience.
While the first interview is largely to get a general feel for you as a candidate, the second interview will undoubtedly be more detailed and drill down into specific aspects of your CV that are of note. It may also see more senior management introduced to the process.
2. How to Ace a Second Interview
2.1 Prepare for the interview
Review your preparation for the first interview to refresh the key talking points in your mind. If you took any notes about how the previous interaction went, you may be able to identify what the hiring person seemed most interested in and what parts of your qualifications seemed to go down best.
2.2 Know what to expect
Is the second interview with higher management or is the second interview with the same person as before? Will you be required to take any tests or give a presentation? Is this just a fairly informal second interview to clarify a few points or an in-depth discussion? Review the second interview invitation carefully, so you know what to expect – and what will be expected of you.
2.3 Be consistent in your responses
The person from your first interview will undoubtedly have made notes as you were talking. You should expect parts of your responses to be quoted back to you, as the hiring person may wish you to expand further on certain points. Make sure your answers in the second interview are consistent with the first, so that you don’t appear unreliable or indecisive.
2.4 Sell yourself
Just as with the first interview, you must sell yourself and your experience by tailoring your talking points to the job description. Remember, the job isn’t yours yet, and you should still be expecting to be examined closely on what you can bring to the company.
2.5 Make sure the interviewer knows you are interested in the position
Even if you’re feeling a bit exhausted by the job application process, it’s important to convey continued excitement about the role to the hiring manager. The fact that you’ve made it to the second interview bodes well for your chances, so bring the same level of enthusiasm from your first interview to the next phase.
2.6 Research the company
You’ll probably already have some notes on the company from your first interview, but it’s worth going back to the company website and doing some new Google searches, digging a little deeper to see if there’s anything fresh that comes up. Doing so will also help you formulate some specific questions you may wish to ask the hiring person.
2.7 Follow up with a Thank You note
Make sure you don’t forget to send a thank you note after the second interview. As with the first interview, it’s common courtesy and is an opportunity to briefly restate your best selling points.
3. 15 Questions to Ask in a Second Interview
If you’re struggling to come up with questions to ask in a second interview, here are some ideas to get you started.
3.1 Can you tell me about your management style?
You will want to know a little bit about the kind of person you’ll be working under. Are they more authoritative or democratic? The question will also show the interviewer that you are keen to learn more about your future boss and already know about different management styles – just make sure you do some research on this beforehand. This is an essential addition to the list of questions to ask interviewer in second interview.
3.2 What is the most challenging part of this job?
This is one of the most common questions to ask in a second interview. It’s also one of the most useful, as you’ll learn what the hiring manager sees as the biggest challenge and, hopefully, be able to bring up the skills you possess to solve the issue. Your willingness to confront difficulties head on will also impress the interviewer.
3.3 How would you describe the company culture here?
Do the company’s ideals match up with yours? This always makes the list of questions to ask in your second interview. Learn more about any initiatives to foster a good work-life balance and what the policies are surrounding diversity and inclusion. This is a good way to initiate a positive discussion around ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals and, again, to highlight what you could bring to the business to help them achieve those goals.
3.4 What are your short, medium and long-term goals in terms of products and the business?
Asking this question helps you to visualize the company’s future plans and see how your career might progress going forwards. It will also suggest to the interviewer that you may be someone who will stay with the company longer term.
3.5 What do you like most about working for the company?
Giving the hiring person a chance to show off the best aspects of the company will be informative for you and shows that you are enthusiastic enough about the role to find out more about the company. Do remember to list this in the questions to ask in your second interview.
3.6 Do you need any further information as to my qualifications for this position?
This is a helpful question to ask to check if you’ve missed stating any key attribute you have that is appropriate for the job. If the interviewer has an answer, then you can quickly refer back to your list of qualifications to fill in the blank. It also demonstrates proactivity to the employer.
3.7 How many employees are in the department this position is assigned to?
A purely practical question that will give you an idea of how many people you’ll be interacting with. Whether you’re a social person or have a more introverted personality, learning the number of colleagues will give you the chance to mentally prepare – and the more you show the interviewer you want to learn, the better.
3.8 If I were to be hired, would I be working mostly as part of a team or on my own?
Similar to the last question, knowing whether you are working as part of a team or on your own is helpful for mental preparation, but it also gives you the opportunity to show off either your team working skills or your ability to deliver objectives individually.
3.9 What level of supervision is provided for this position?
Depending on the answer to this question, you’ll be able to push your self-starter mindset (if the level of supervision is minimal) or your ability to take direction (if the level of supervision is more significant). Either way, making this query demonstrates a desire to be fully prepared to the hiring person.
3.10 What expectations would you have for me during the first three months in this position?
The first three months are a crucial time, often when you will be under probation, so make sure you have the necessary information to hit the ground running. Exuding professionalism and confidence is a sure-fire way to win over an interviewer, and this question gives you the chance to do that.
3.11 What is the onboarding process like for this position?
A (not-so-subtle) hint to the hiring person that you’re raring to get going and willing to start ASAP. As mentioned above, continuing to show interest in a position will make a positive impression on the interviewer, so try and throw in at least one of the questions to ask in a second interview that allows you to do so.
3.12 Can you explain how my performance will be evaluated?
Attention to detail will be valuable to any employer, and this question shows an interviewer that you have just that. You can also take the opportunity to compare how you were assessed at previous companies with how you will be assessed at this one, and bring any past learnings into focus.
3.13 How would you describe your ideal employee?
As with many of the questions to ask in a second interview on this list, this one is a clever way to reiterate the many winning qualities you have as an applicant. If you ask this later on in the interview and have done a good job laying the groundwork for your candidacy, it will spotlight for the employer how good a fit you are.
3.14 What is a typical workday like in this position?
You won’t need all the questions to ask in a second interview listed here, but this is a universally useful one to explore how your working life at a new company will look.
3.15 What are the next steps after this interview?
A nice finishing question that brings clarity to when you will find out whether you’ve got the job or if there are any more steps you need to take. It ends the interview by once more showing your keenness to get started.
4.1 What is usually asked in second interviews?
If you’re being interviewed by a different person in the company, the second interview might closely resemble the first one. However, you should expect to talk a little less about your CV and past experience, and a little more about how you would navigate specific scenarios or challenges that come with a job.
4.2 What questions to ask in a second interview with the employer?
There aren’t many killer second interview questions and answers, but selecting a couple of smart queries when interviewing with higher management will impress your future bosses with your enthusiasm, attention to detail and desire to be fully prepared.
4.3 How to ask questions in a second interview as a fresher?
Many of the second interview questions entry-level candidates might wish to ask will be the same as for more experienced applicants. However, how you reconfigure the hiring person’s response to highlight your skills will necessarily lean more on your education than previous workplaces.