So, you have succeeded in your first job interview and they have asked you to come in for a second interview. Congratulations! You’re even closer to being offered the job.
However, you may be wondering how your second interview will compare to your first interview. What questions will you be asked in your second interview? Will they be more difficult, or focused on a certain range of topics?
In this article, we’re going to help you prepare for your second interview by discussing five common interview questions asked during a second interview.
What is the Difference Between a First and Second Interview?
Before we start talking about the questions you can expect to encounter in a second interview, it’s important for you to know the differences between first and second interviews.
The first interview is usually focused on skills and experience. During this interview, you’ll be asked about your work history, projects you have worked on, and your personality will be evaluated by an interviewer.
The second interview, on the other hand, is usually more focused on culture and your technical abilities that apply to the position for which you are applying. The questions asked in a second interview will help the business better evaluate whether you are the right fit for the job based on your skills and characteristics.
5 Top Second Interview Questions
The best way to prepare for a job interview is to read through some example questions and consider how you are going to answer them. Below we have compiled a list of five top second interview questions that you may encounter in your next interview.
Question #1: What are your long-term career goals?
During a second interview, the interviewers will likely ask about your long-term career goals — the specific milestones you want to meet further down the line.
This is a common question because interviewers will use this information to evaluate whether your goals align with the business’ long-term growth strategy. This helps the interviewer ensure that they only hire someone who is going to be committed to the business over the long-term, and for whom there will be opportunities for progression.
In your answer to this question, you should talk about how you want to grow in your career. What milestones do you want to reach? Why are they significant?
Here is an example response to this question:
“Over the short-term, I am hoping to use my communication skills to help improve your relations with developers on GitHub. In the long-term, I am hoping to develop my experience across many different developer relations channels, and take on a leadership role where I am able to help influence your business developer outreach strategy.”
Question #2: In what work environment do you perform best?
This question helps an interviewer evaluate whether you are a good culture fit for the team.
To help you prepare for answering this question, you should do some research into the company’s current culture. You can usually find this information on the company’s website, or by using a tool such as Glassdoor. This will help you learn about what work environment the business currently offers.
With that said, your response to this question should be entirely based on your personal preferences. You should be clear on what qualities allow you to do your best work.
Here is an example answer to this question:
“I work best in environments with plenty of opportunities to collaborate with others. I enjoy having the ability to discuss new ideas with co-workers who have the same insights into a project as me, as it helps me refine my ideas before presenting them. I also like to work in environments where all team members are direct and honest, which helps to keep me accountable for my goals and commitments.”
Question #3: What are the core attributes you can bring to this job?
This question is all about selling yourself.
When you are asked this question, the interviewer is looking to learn more about the specific ways in which you think you can add value to the business. The answer you give should be clear, and apply to the role for which you have applied.
In your answer, you should try to link your responses to the job description for the position, as well as any attributes the interviewer has mentioned. In addition, it is helpful to mention examples of your past work which can help you showcase how you have applied certain qualities in the professional workplace. Showing, not telling, is always an effective strategy.
A good answer to this question may look something like this:
“My experience working with Excel and Microsoft Word is in line with the expectations for this role. I used both these tools extensively in my last job to prepare professional communication in collaboration with my former boss, and to keep track of our client correspondence. I look forward to bringing my strong written skills and experience with these tools to this position, to help you make your business more efficient.”
Question #4: What salary are you looking to earn?
The question of salary generally comes up in a second interview. Before you go into a second interview, you should make sure you have considered what salary you are expecting to earn from the position for which you have applied.
If you do not have a clear salary range in your head, you can use sites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor to learn about the average salaries offered to workers with your job title and experience level. This will help you come up with a reasonable number which you can mention in the interview.
With that said, you should make it clear that you are flexible on any amount that you propose, which you can do by giving a range rather than a specific number. Here is an example answer to this question:
“In this position, I would expect to earn between $40,000 and $45,000 per year. I feel this is a strong number given my past expertise, but I am flexible and would also take into account any benefits in the discussion over salary.”
Question #5: What would you change about our business?
This question can come up no matter what position you are applying for.
Asking this question allows an employer to learn more about what ideas you have had, and how you could bring them to fruition. In responding to this question, you should discuss any thoughts you have on how the business could improve, and tie your answer to the company’s long-term goals.
In order to effectively respond to this question, you should research the company in advance and familiarize yourself with their product offerings. This will help you prepare a more personalized response in the interview.
Here is a strong example answer to this question:
“If I were to join your business, my first goal would be to improve the sign-up flow on your website. I noticed that there are seven stages on the flow, which I feel may discourage people from following through and creating a complete profile. I would first work with the data science team to provide this hypothesis, then make any required changes in collaboration with the user experience and front-end engineering teams.”
Preparing for a Second Interview
Now that you’ve seen a few of the interview questions you may be asked, there are a few things you can do to start preparing for your second interview.
Tip #1: Practice common interview questions
Before you go into your interview, you should practice answering a few of the interview questions we have discussed. This will help you refine your responses to these questions in advance, and also aid you in building confidence before your interview.
You may also want to ask a friend or a family member to sit with you and provide feedback on your responses.
Tip #2: Research the company
In addition, you should take some time to research the company before your second interview begins. While you should already have done this for your first interview, the more research you do, the better.
By researching the company in advance, you’ll be able to personalize your responses to their questions, which shows that you have thought about how you could add value to that specific company. You can research the company through their website, social media, sites like Glassdoor, or by just reading up on any other details you can find about them.
Tip #3: Revise your experience
Spending time to revise your experience and skills before the interview will help you feel more confident in answering questions like “what are the core attributes you can bring to this job?”
In advance, spend some time reviewing your resume and cover letter, and make sure that you are prepared with a few specific examples about your work history. For instance, you could spend time reflecting on your last job and come up with three occasions where you used your organizational skills, in preparation for your second interview.
Tip #4: Prepare some questions to ask
Toward the end of a second interview, you may be asked if you have any questions that you want the business to answer.
At this stage, it is always helpful to have two or three questions to ask them. Asking good questions is a way to show your interest in the position, and also to address any concerns you may have about the job.
Here are a few examples of questions you could ask in a second interview:
- What will my day-to-day responsibilities be in this position?
- What are the next steps after this interview?
- What part of the company culture stands out most to you?
- What are the main metrics that would be used to measure my performance?
- Can you tell me more about the team in which I would be working?
The questions we have covered in this article are only a few examples of the types of questions that could come up in your second interview. In fact, it is likely that many of the questions you are asked will be specific to an industry.
Prepare for as many different questions as you can before the interview. This will help you feel more confident as you walk into the interview room, because the chances of you being caught off-guard by a question will be reduced.
The second interview is an excellent opportunity for you to showcase the value you can add to a business. The fact you have advanced to a second interview shows that a company is interested in you, and now all you have to do is keep showing your value.
If you spend time reviewing the questions in this article and preparing detailed answers, you’ll be in a good spot as you start your second interview.