10 Common Questions and Answers About Second Interview


Every follow-up interview comes with unique challenges, so we have provided answers to 10 of the most frequently asked questions in this second interview FAQ.

If you are preparing for your second interview, you’ve obviously made a good impression during your first interview and should give yourself a pat on the back. However, it is important that you don’t get too comfortable just yet. In order to continue making a great impression on your potential new employers, it is imperative that you prepare for your second interview with enthusiasm and focus.

During your follow-up interview, the hiring manager will ask questions that are designed to delve deeper into your technical skills and personality. While the first interview is a general overview of your experience and your abilities, the second interview is intended to help the hiring manager determine whether or not you will be an asset and a good fit for the company. To help you prepare for this important stage of the hiring process, we have put together a list of the 10 most common questions and their corresponding answers in this second interview FAQ.

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Q. What is the purpose of a second interview?

Landing a second interview usually means that you are being seriously considered for the job opening. While you should be proud of yourself for making it this far, it is important not to get too relaxed. During the second interview, you will be asked difficult, in-depth questions about your abilities and your job history. Prepare accordingly and you will feel more confident and poised.

Q. What types of questions will be asked?

During your second interview, you can expect to be asked a lot of behavioral questions. These questions are intended to reveal how you behave in difficult situations. Examples of common behavioral questions include “Tell us about a specific time when you overcame a challenge at work,” or “Describe a situation where you utilized your skills to improve efficiency in your department.” When an interviewer asks you behavioral questions, they are looking for characteristics such as critical thinking skills, self-confidence and professionalism that will make you a valuable asset to the company.

Q. How can I answer behavioral questions confidently?

One of the best ways to prepare for behavioral questions is by thinking of very specific instances when you showcased a desirable skill or behavior. To answer these kinds of interview questions, we advise that you use the S-T-A-R method:

  1. 1. Situation or Task (identify a situation or task you were faced with)
  2. 2. Action (discuss the action or steps you took to resolve the problem)
  3. 3. Result (what was the positive result of your action?)
  4. When using the S-T-A-R method, focus on examples that specifically showcase the skills most valued by your prospective employer.

    Q. Will I have to take any tests?

    Depending on the position for which you are applying, you may be required to undergo psychometric testing that reveals information about your personality, intelligence and skills. The best way to prepare for these tests is to get sufficient sleep the night before and to relax.

    Q. Is it appropriate to talk about salary and benefits?

    One of the most common questions candidates have about second interviews is whether or not it’s appropriate to bring up salary and benefits. While it is considered unprofessional to bring up the topic on your own, it is perfectly acceptable to discuss the subject if the hiring manager brings it up. Also, be prepared to negotiate your salary in order to come to a fair agreement.

    Q. How much should I know about the company?

    Before your second interview, thoroughly research the company and the specific position for which you are applying. You’ve probably already done some general research prior to your first interview but now it is time to delve even deeper. Consider talking with current or previous employees and finding out more about the company culture and what the hiring managers are looking for in a job candidate.

    Q. How much should I talk about myself?

    While the entire point of a job interview is to help the interviewer get to know you better, don’t get too carried away. When asked a question, try to answer in a conversational manner but don’t allow yourself to drone on and on about yourself. Keep your answers succinct and professional.

    Q. Will I be expected to ask questions?

    You are not required to ask questions during your second interview but the hiring manager may interpret a lack of questions as disinterest. In order to show your attentiveness, ask fact-based questions about the history of the company and the products or services it offers. You could also ask for more details about the job opening, including traveling expectations, future goals, challenges, etc.

    Q. How should I dress?

    When you land a second job interview, always dress to impress. Wear clean and pressed business clothing, fix your hair, and ensure that your overall appearance is conservative and professional.

    Q. Should I send a thank you note to the interviewer?

    Always. Sending a thank you note to the interviewer is professional and appropriate after any interview. Since you will likely meet with several people during your second interview, be sure to write down their names and contact details so you can thank them each individually.