When a company invites you, a potential job candidate, in for a second interview it’s usually a good sign. Otherwise, they would have just politely informed you they moved on with their hiring process or refrained from contacting you at all. If your prospective company wants to see you again, the focus will most likely be on digging into the details.
The first interview is for first impressions and mostly surface-level questions. Interviews also include an opening for the candidates to ask their own questions. If you went ahead and did so, your inquiries probably centered around company values, the hiring manager’s personal experience working for the company, or what the company is looking for in an ideal person for the job.
Unfortunately, you will have to think of new questions to ask the hiring manager for the second interview. The good news is that you don’t have to think too long and hard about creating such questions.
If anything, you may already have some in mind based on the first meeting with the hiring manager: learning more about the company. In this case, be creative and focus on what you really want to know.
A second interview is a perfect opportunity to make a final decision concerning your future outlook working there. Would you be a good fit for the environment, company culture, and fellow co-workers?
If you’re stuck, here’s a quick guide on how to navigate which questions to ask the hiring manager when the time comes.
First Interview vs. Second Interview
The second interview will obviously be quite different from the first one. Initial interviews can incorporate generic, basic questions that are standard procedure for every candidate. By the second interview, the hiring manager has already formed a general first impression of who you are.
Therefore, the interview might follow a less distinct, less rigid format. You might meet other employees, perhaps the potential department manager you may work under. You may receive different questions that hone in on details of your initial responses. The key thing to remember? Be prepared for anything.
Possible Interview Questions
In the second interview, the questions will be tailored to you. As such, they will be seeking personal examples from your experiences. Here are just a few examples of potential questions to prepare for:
- What questions do you have for me from the first interview?
- What are your long-term career goals? How does this job position fit into your goals?
- Describe any past achievements, projects, or successes. How did you traverse them?
- Describe any past difficulties or challenges you’ve had. How did you deal with them?
Most of these questions want to gauge your commitment to the job, how you react to either success or difficulty in the workforce, and the values that are important to you. When answering, always be honest. Have some examples from your life ready to explain in detail, and always relate it back to the company’s principles (in a subtle manner). Try to highlight your abilities, using examples to back them up.
Questions to Ask
Just like the first interview, it’s equally important to ask the hiring manager questions back in the second interview. Such questions should definitely differ from any questions you asked before, otherwise, you risk sounding like you forgot or didn’t pay attention to the response. Fortunately, there are a plethora of possible questions to inquire about. At least with the second interview, you have a base to piggy-back off of.
Examples of Questions to Ask:
- Remember any specific things you learned about the company that you are curious about and ask more about it.
- What is the most challenging part of this job position?
- What factors do you consider in making a hiring decision?
- What standard do you hold your employees to?
- What sort of personal growth can I expect to undergo in this position?
General Tips for the Second Interview
Alt-Text: men discussing at table
Caption: Show dedication by researching the company’s values.
Remember the research you did (or should have done) for your first interview? Well, brush up on it and study more. Peruse the company website, look up the LinkedIn profiles of the hiring manager or other managers or staff members you may have come across. Look through the company social media sites or blogs to keep up to date with any news or current projects. This shows a clear interest in the company’s dealings while giving you more substance upon which to base your questions.
If a second interview is needed to make a final decision, then the playing field for the position may be competitive, with other equally proficient candidates. Always arrive at the interview site 15 minutes before the scheduled time, dress smartly, and bring any materials (resume, samples, references, etc.)
The goal is to leave a lasting impression without overselling yourself. Remain candid and sincere. Preparation goes a long way!