Common Questions and Answers at Second Interviews
Congratulations. You have aced the first interview and were invited to a second. Second interview questions are different than your first interview. During the first interview, your skills and knowledge are examined. You were asked questions about your experiences and goals. The second interview invitation implies that the answers you provided were sufficient for the job opening.
The second interview is about assessing your fit within the company. Employers will try to understand your work habits and workplace personality. They may take a second look at your experiences, but are also likely to show you around the office and watch how you interact with others.
Second Interview Questions Expectations
Second interviews may also cover topics that were addressed in the first interview. There are questions that you should expect based upon your performance in the first interview. You may also be asked questions that you were asked once before.
- Expect interviewers to re-ask questions that you could not answer in the first interview.
- Expect interviewers to ask you about specific situations that you mentioned.
- Expect interviewers to ask behavioral questions, such as “What would you do if…”
Many of the questions you were receive at the second interview will be designed to learn more about the specifics of the broader information you gave during your interview. This is why you need to know how to thoroughly prepare for the second interview.
Sample Second Interview Questions and Answers
Q: Have You Thought of Any Questions Since the Last Interview?
A: It is not uncommon for second interviews to start by asking if you have formulated questions about the position since the first interview. It is always a good idea to have two questions prepared. You do not want to start the interview with an answer of “Nope, I’m good.” If you cannot come up with any good questions, one that always goes over well is “What do you consider the overall philosophy of the department?”
Q: Describe a Situation Where You … What Did You Do To … ?
A: Situational questions are common in second interviews. Employers want to judge both your decision making skills and your ability to confidently answer these questions. You may be asked to describe how you handled a bad situation or how you shared your opinion. Be honest. Practice answers that will show employers that you have a professional attitude.
Avoid answering any question that reflects negatively on a previous workplace or coworker. If you are asked to describe how you handled disagreement with a supervisor, kindly tell the interviewer you cannot recall a time where you disagreed, and then answer the question in hypothetical form “… but if I did come across that situation, I would … “
Q: What is Your Sense of Our Corporate Environment?
A: This is a tough question to answer. You want to give a substantive comment, rather than a basic “I can see that you are very dedicated.” See if you can bring in knowledge that you learned about the company during your first interview. Also, consider rephrasing the mission statement using specific product examples. For example, if the mission statement is “to develop innovative B2B solutions,” then your answer “I can see that you and your staff are dedicated to producing technologically advanced tools such as product X and product Y in order to meet the needs of modern and future businesses. After meeting Person Z and Person Q, I can tell that the entire department is organized to help meet those goals, and it appears to me that this is an environment with a clear path ahead of it.”
Additional Second Interview Answer Tips
Second interviews are more personal than initial interviews. You will be introduced to other staff members. You will meet and interview with executives. You will be asked about your feelings towards the company and its employees. The focus of the interview will be to see if you are NOT a good fit for the job, because the initial interview showed the company that you have at minimum the skills and experience necessary to succeed.
The best way to be ready for second interview questions is:
- Come prepared with questions to ask everyone that interviews you.
- Remember facts about the company that are not readily available.
- Use names when providing answers, for example “John Smith mentioned that …”
- Pay attention throughout the interview.
- Be ready to provide specific examples from your work history.
If you can prepare all of the above information, you will be able to ace your second interview.