Second Interview Questions to Expect and Why (Examples)
Congratulations, you made it to the second interview! Now’s the time to dive deeper into the role and figure out if this job is truly the right fit for you.
Going into a second interview is different than a first interview. You can feel more confident knowing that the company likes you and is seriously considering you for the role. However, you can’t coast on the knowledge that you’re a contender for the role. You’re probably not the only other candidate that’s got a second interview. So, just like you prepared for the first round interview questions, take some time to prep for the second round interview questions.
Prepare Yourself First
Before your second interview, make sure you take the time to do some thorough prep work. But, if you remember nothing else, do these two things to help yourself shine during the second interview.
You never know who is talking to whom at the company. But, it’s usually a safe bet that the first person you interviewed with will, at some point, talk to the second person you interview with. Whether it’s before or after your interview, they will compare notes.
Make sure you are giving consistent answers to both interviewers. They don’t have to be word for word the same answer. You just need to be consistent. Don’t tell interviewer A you love dealing with customers, then tell interviewer B you hate customer service.
Continue Selling Yourself
It’s fantastic that you made it to the second interview. Clearly, the company wants to take a closer look at your skills. But, you know you’re probably not the only second-round candidate, which means you’re still “competing.”
Don’t coast through the second interview. Continue to sell your skills and abilities. And don’t stop trying to prove that you’re the best candidate. Keep using the STAR method to demonstrate that you have problem-solving skills that can benefit the company.
Prepare for Second Round Interview Questions
There’s no way to know exactly what a second interviewer will ask. But, like a first interview, you can anticipate and prepare for certain questions.
During the first interview, you likely talked to someone in human resources. And, the questions they asked were probably “screening” questions that helped get an idea of who you are as a candidate. Things like “What are your strengths and weakness?” or “Tell me about yourself.”
During a second interview, you will still face screening questions, but they will likely be more in-depth and will require you to talk about your specific skills and abilities in more detail.
What Do You Love and What Do You Hate About Our Website?
The employer is asking about a few skills with this question. First, they’re trying to see if you’ve done your homework. Did you do more research about the company since the first interview? It’s easy for people to go to the home page and the About Us page on a website. You may have even checked out the staff page to learn more about your interviewers.
But did you take it further? Did you dig through the company history or stop after the first page of search results? Digging deeper into the website shows that you are truly interested in the company.
The employer is also trying to see if you’re willing to give negative feedback and how you present it. And, it’s not just about giving negative feedback, it’s about giving negative feedback to a superior in the company that’s about the company. There are times during your job when that might happen. Are you up to the challenge and do you handle it professionally?
And, if you truly believe the website is amazing, how do you present that without sounding like a kiss-up? Can you back your belief up by pointing out what specifically makes the website so great?
Describe Your Best and Worst Work Relationships
This question is asking about your relationships with team members (obviously). But, it’s not asking about your work bestie and what you guys do after hours. This question is trying to find out how you deal with coworkers. Do you only hang out with the ones you like? Or, do you still maintain a cordial and professional relationship with people you don’t get along with?
Sometimes team members don’t get along, and that’s OK. But, what isn’t OK is avoiding those team members. You still have to work together, and the interviewer is trying to figure out how you navigate those relationships.
What Role Do You Gravitate to When You’re on a Team?
Not everyone is a born leader. And, not everyone is given the opportunity to lead (which may be why you’re looking for a new job). But, if all you ever do is “get the snacks” or “take notes,” that might give the interviewer the impression you’re a passive employee. And that’s not the kind of employee that most companies want to hire.
Try to give examples of how you lead or contribute to the team in a positive and professional way. Yes, snacks are important, but they don’t contribute to the overall project in the way that “leading brainstorming sessions” or “coordinating time lines with other departments” does.
How Did You Add Value to Your Current Job?
This second round interview question is asking you to talk about how you improved a process or procedure. Did you notice a flaw in the way invoices were processed and improve the procedure? That’s the kind of answer they’re looking for.
What Do You Like and Dislike About Your Current Job?
No job is perfect, and your interviewer knows that. If you say you love your current job, they’ll know you’re lying. If you love it, why are you leaving? While it’s possible you’re leaving due to layoffs, it’s still likely not a perfect job.
At the same time, no one wants to hire a Negative Nelly. So, you don’t want to rant and rave about how awful your job is, how the company is holding you back, how your boss hates you, and how the coffee sucks.
Try to find one thing you like and one thing you don’t like about your job. Present these in a neutral fashion and explain what’s good and bad about them. For example, you could say:
“I love my coworkers. I’m fortunate to be on a very supportive team that believes in collaboration. Thanks to them, I’ve learned XYZ skills. On the other hand, I don’t like the career path for my position at the company. I like the job, and I like the field. But, at this company, I don’t see a lot of opportunity for professional growth and development.”
What Are the First Few Things You’ll Do If Hired?
You must fully understand the role by the time your second interview comes around, and that’s what employers are hoping to determine with this question. And it’s also trying to determine how you will approach the job. Will you try to change things based on how you’ve “always done things”? Or, will you try to learn about the role and the company before you try anything new.
The interviewer is asking how adaptable you are and seeing if you’re open to change. They are also trying to see if you truly understand the position and if you understand how you and your skills will fit into the company.
How Does This Position Fit with Your Career Goals?
The employer is trying to figure out your long-term career plans. It’s a twist on “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But, instead of asking for your short-term goals, they’re asking about your overall plan. And, they’re trying to figure out how they fit into your equation.
Part of this question is trying to determine whether or not you’re a long-term hire. If your answer doesn’t imply that you’re going to stick around at the company very long, the employer may be hesitant to hire you.
If this position seems like a step sideways or even backward for you, the employer is trying to figure out what your overall game plan is. Why would you take a position that’s a step backward? As long as you can give a valid reason why the position fits with your goals, you’ll be able to reassure the employer that you’re a good hire.
For example, if you’re applying for a position that seems like a lateral move, explain that you’re interested in expanding your skill set, and this position offers you the chance to do that.
Get Individualized Interview Help
In some ways, some of the second interview questions will be easier than the first. You know more details about the job posting, you’ve learned a little bit about the company and the culture, and you know exactly where the office is located!
But, the second interview is also harder than the first one. Sure, you’ve talked about your skills, and maybe you’ve even given concrete examples of how your skills can benefit the employer. But, note that round two interview questions will require answers that require more depth to illustrate why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Hopefully, you’ve got some ideas on how to prepare. But, if you don’t, we’ve got tips on how to prepare for any interview and advice for answering some common (and sometimes tricky!) questions. If you want a little extra help, reach out to one of our career coaches for some expert advice and support to help you nail that second interview.
Rachel Jay contributed to this article.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
This is a version of an article that was originally published on May 27, 2016.
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Beth Braccio Hering, Writer, Freelance Jobs
Beth Braccio Hering has been a freelance writer for 20 years. In addition to extensive contributions to various Encyclopaedia Britannica products, her work has been published by outlets such as CareerBuilder, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter, Walt Disney Internet Group, and…Read More >
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