You’ve made it through the first round, but now it’s time to face the second interview questions. Hold on, there’s more than just one round? Yep, and now you have to prepare yourself for it. If you’re not sure what you’re doing at this point, you can count on us to help you out. We’ll run you through the purpose of a second stage interview, the questions to ask and answer, and how to prepare for your second interview. Follow our tips and tricks, and we’re sure you’ll breeze through any second interview questions they throw at you.
Why do we have second interviews?
Why bother going through the hassle of a second stage of interviews? Isn’t it easier to just make a decision the first time? You might think that, but it’s often more beneficial to the company to do a few rounds of interviews. They’ve likely narrowed down the list of candidates for the second round, so it’s easier to compare a smaller number. It’s also better for them to have a more in-depth interview process so they don’t hire someone that’s not actually a good fit.
It’s not all just for the business’ benefit though; there are advantages for you as a candidate too. They’re going to want to know more about you in detail, which gives you another chance to show off your skills and abilities. Your second interview might also be with higher management, so you can impress more people. You never know who makes the final call on hiring, so it’s good to connect with as many people as possible.
A second interview isn’t necessarily the same as a final interview. If the position is very competitive, it’s likely that you’ll have to deal with multiple rounds before you get to the end. The final interview is usually only to finalise the details of the job, whereas the second interview will still have questions about how suitable you are.
There are many forms of interviews that you need to prepare for, and second stage interviews are no different. You don’t want to be left scrambling for answers on the spot, as that’s a sure-fire way to bomb an interview. Check out all of our /job-application-tips/interview/interview-tips to ensure you’re as prepared as you could possibly be.
2nd interview questions to expect
The questions that you’re asked in your first interview are usually pretty general, to get an overall idea of what you’re like as a candidate. If you’re lucky enough to get past that round, the second interview questions will go a bit more in-depth. They’ll typically focus more on your work abilities and how you would fit into the company. We’ve gathered a few examples of common questions you can expect during second stage interviews.
1. Is there anything you want to go over from last time?
This is a great opportunity to bring up anything that you don’t think went well in your first interview, or that you could go more in-depth on. For example, if you didn’t give enough information about your skills or experience, now’s the chance. It shows the interviewer that you took the time to reflect, and you’re able to think critically about yourself.
2. What has been the most difficult decision you made on the job?
This common second interview question is all about testing your ability to make tough decisions. It may not be the focus of your job, but it’s important for interviewers to know just in case anything should come up. Try to give an answer that shows you understand how your future company works, while still staying truthful.
3. What are your salary expectations for this position?
Ah, the age-old awkward money question. You might have already gone over this in the first round, but it also comes up a lot as a second stage interview question. Now that you’ve reaffirmed how valuable you are as a candidate, you can /job-application-tips/salary/how-to-answer-salary-expectation that matches your value. Be realistic (they probably won’t pay you £1 million right off the bat) but don’t be afraid to go a bit higher than you think – you might just nab yourself a better salary than you thought.
4. What changes would you make at our company?
This can be a tricky one, as you don’t want to come across as overly-critical of your future employers. Take the chance to show off the research you’ve done on the company. This second round interview question is a slippery slope, so make sure you back up your answer with some facts. They can’t argue with the truth!
5. What are your long-term career goals?
Interviewers don’t usually want to hire someone who’s only going to stick around for a month. They use this question to determine if your goals align with the company’s objectives. You want to answer with both your short-term and long-term goals, so they get a good overall idea. Just don’t make it seem like you’re too eager to move on too quickly.
Giving great answers for second interview questions doesn’t have to be killer. Having an idea of what to expect and preparing well in advance is the key to acing your interview. If you need more help, we’ve got a bunch of other examples of interview questions that you can use to get yourself ready.
2nd stage interview questions to ask
Just like any other interview, the questions you ask in a second interview matter just as much as the ones they ask you. This isn’t just an opportunity for them to find out more about you as a candidate. You can also use it as a chance to really decide if you like the company and want to work there. You probably got a general idea in the first round of interviews, but the second round of questions gives you the chance to go deeper. Some questions you can include are:
1. How do you measure the success/responsibilities of your employees?
Knowing how you’re going to be judged and assessed is an important part of your job hunt. That’s what makes this such a useful question to ask in a second interview. You don’t want to work somewhere with impossible standards that you don’t think you can meet. Finding out this information will allow you to better judge if you’re aligned with the company’s values.
2. What are the daily/weekly/monthly responsibilities of this role?
Knowing what you’ll be expected to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis gives you the best look at what a job there will be like. It’ll tell you whether you think you can meet expectations, or if you might struggle with handling all the responsibilities. It’s also a great second interview question to ask so that you can find out information that wasn’t included in the job description.
3. Can you tell me about some challenges I would face in this role?
This is another great second interview question to ask your future employer. You can figure out if you’re right for the company, and if they’re right for you. The general job description might not tell you all you need to know; every company has moments where things get difficult, so it’s good to know what you might be getting yourself into.
4. How do you like working for this company?
There’s no better way to find out what it’s like to work somewhere than by asking the employees themselves. Your interviewer has an inside look into how things run – they’re there every day, after all. You can compare what they tell you to the things you find important in a job, and see if they align. If they do, great! If not, this might not be the company for you.
5. What are the next steps?
One of the best questions to ask the employer during your second interview is ‘what’s next in the process?’ It shows that you’re still open and enthusiastic about the role and you’re excited to move forward. If you decide during the interview that you don’t actually want to move forward, maybe don’t mention this question. But, if you’re still keen and want to move forward, ask away! You can also slide in a question asking for feedback to prove you’re capable of being self-critical – that’ll earn you some bonus points.
These are all killer second interview questions to ask employers. They’ll tell you all you need to know about whether or not the company is right for you.
How to prepare for a second interview
There are a few things you can do to prep for the second interview, other than preparing questions and answers. Two of the most important second interview tips are:
- Review your CV and cover letter to refresh your memory. You probably talked a lot about of things in the first interview, and it’s natural that they might slip your mind. Have a little refresher of the details ahead of your second interview so that you have everything to hand if they ask you about them.
- Do some more research about the company. Having more in-depth knowledge will show them how serious you are, and how far you’re willing to go to impress. You can answer questions equipped with more information, so your answers are sure to impress.
It can be tough knowing how to prepare for an interview, but the good news is you’ve already done it before! How you approach a second interview isn’t much different to how you approach the first one, so you can follow the same general principles.
Second interview questions: in short
There’s no reason to stress over second interview questions. As long as you prepare well beforehand, there’s nothing stopping you from acing it. Just remember to:
- Look back at your CV and cover letter, and think about your answers from last time;
- Do some more thorough research about the company so you can give more informed answers.
Once you’ve done all that, the second interview should be a breeze. All that’s left is to figure out how to accept the job offer (or, if you’re not too keen after all, how to reject it). Are you not getting through to the second or even first interview? It might be your CV holding you back. Try out our free CV builder to make sure yours has all the important elements included.
FAQs about second interview questions
What questions are usually asked in second interviews?
How do I prepare for a second interview?
What do employers look for in a second interview?
The questions in a second interview can vary a lot depending on the job. Usually, they’ll be more in-depth than in the first round, so prepare to give some fully fleshed-out answers.
Prepare like you would for any other interview! The most important thing is not to let yourself be freaked out, so stay cool, calm, and collected. Prepare some questions to ask and answer in your second interview and you’ll be fine.
During a second interview, the employer is likely looking to see if you fit in well with the company. They’ll be assessing your work-style and teamwork abilities, to see if you’d give with the other employees.