Getting a call for a follow-up interview is a big success as it brings you one step closer to getting the job. It shows that your initial interview was a success, and you are a serious candidate for the position. You must prepare for your second opportunity to impress the employer. Do not take it lightly and rely on the success of the first interview.
How Is the Second Interview Different?
The second one-on-one meeting is much more involved than the first interview. Be ready to see some new faces as follow-up interviews are a chance to meet new people. Some companies have a panel for the second one, and there are managers, potential coworkers, and senior executives present.
Second Interview Tips for Success
- Do not forget to bring work samples as there are going to be new people in the interview panel
- Communication must be consistent so make sure you review the resume, so there are no contradictory statements
- If there is a repetition of a question, answer with as much detail as you did initially. Answer it as if you are answering for the first time
Second interview tips and questions to practice
The second round of questions focuses on helping the panel or interviewer visualize your role. Here are some sample interview questions for the second meeting and tips on answering them in the best possible way.
What interests you most about the position, and what strengths and skills will you bring to it?
The question is similar to asking about your skills and strengths, but the context is different. It is about contributions you can make to the organization.
Is there anything you would like to revisit from the previous interview?
It is necessary to be prepared for this question. Do not answer the question by saying “not really” because it shows you are not interested in the position. The best way to prepare for the question is to make a list of things that you experienced after the first conversation, that are worth bringing up.
What, in your opinion, is your greatest weakness?
It is a common question in the first interview and is asked in the second one as well. Do not avoid the question and be honest about your negative trait. Immediately mention how you are working on overcoming it. Some acceptable weaknesses to mention are fear of public speaking, impatience, etc.
Can you tell me more about your most recent or current job?
While answering this question, you should not just recite everything that is already mentioned on the CV. It is the perfect opportunity to highlight small yet essential things you might have missed in the first interview. Share a precise and short summary of your recent professional responsibilities. Use a positive tone because talking negatively does not leave a good impression on the interviewer.
The question is not asked for evaluating priorities but to test the candidate’s ability to explain their job in easy terms. Avoid using complex acronyms or jargon to explain your achievement. Highlight characteristics that show you are an excellent choice for the job.
What changes did you make in your most recent or current job?
Give an answer that showcases your willingness to adapt and take initiative when required. Mention the times when you decided to take a different approach than other people to achieve better results. It will highlight your resourcefulness and creativity.
What is the hardest professional decision you have made in your career?
The question tests the decision-making ability and integrity of the candidate. The answer should match the culture of the company.
Is there anything you think you could have done to improve a strained workplace relationship?
The purpose of the question is to determine whether the candidate is capable of handling an unpleasant situation or not. The answer also showcases a person’s ability to learn from past mistakes. These are desirable qualities in a potential employee.
Avoid giving a critical and bitter answer because it shows that you hold a grudge, and it is not a desirable quality. Make the answer positive and reflective, so it shows you are always in favor of minimizing personality conflicts. The employer wants to hire someone who likes to be diplomatic and be tactful and stand up for the right thing.
Do you like working in a team or alone?
The right answer is saying both. The interviewer should know that you can operate in a better way, whether working alone or in a team.
Do you have any suggestions that can make your past or current company become more successful?
It is a big-picture question. The interviewer wants to know the depth of understanding of the mission of past or current employers. You should also mention that you worked with these objectives.
Describe a typical day at your previous or current job
The question tells the interviewer about your work ethic. It also allows the interviewer to know how your routine compares to the requirements of the job they are interviewing for. If your previous work routine was different from the new one, it will raise concerns for the employer.
What is your preferred work environment?
This question is asked to find out whether you are a suitable choice for the company. It is necessary to be aware of the corporate culture of the company you are interviewing for so that you can give an answer that matches it.
Have you ever faced a work situation where you felt like you are doing something unethical?
It is good to answer the question with specifics. No employers want to hear that you think it is ok to be unethical. You can share anecdotes with your answer. It will enhance the comfort level of the company and increase the chances of getting hired.
What are your salary expectations?
The question can be asked in various ways. Sometimes the salary is discussed during the first interview. Make sure that you are prepared for the question. Find out the average salary for your location, experience, and skills. Always remember the benefits and perks that are important to you during salary negotiation.
If selected, what will you do during your first year to establish yourself?
Such queries are common in second interview questions. To answer this question properly, you will have to do in-depth research about the company. It will show you can make an immediate impact on the company.
Practicing and preparing for possible questions is helpful in successfully giving a follow-up interview. Apart from preparing for questions, here are some other things you can do:
- The second meeting offers an opportunity to tie up loose ends. If there was a question you feel you did not answer fully, or any topic you were not able to discuss, it is your opportunity to do so
- Before going into the interview make a list of loose ends from the first interview
- Practice answering tricky questions because some employers like to ask them. They test the problem-solving and analytical skills of the candidate
- Make sure you have some interesting success stories to tell. Sharing past accomplishments is essential for impressing the employer. Make success stories appealing by highlighting the role you played, and give specific examples about how your problem-solving skills saved the day
- If you get a tour of the workplace and get an introduction to the other employees, make sure you show interest. Ask questions about the different operations of the company
- When the second interview is finished the interviewer is most probably going to tell you about further steps (potential third interview or when you will hear from them). They can also offer the position on the spot, so be prepared for that as well. If you are prepared to take the job, then you can give your answer right then. But mostly you will be given some time to think and answer
Questions for the Interviewer
The interviewer will ask whether you have any questions or not. It is an excellent opportunity to know more about the company and get a better sense of the workplace and job description.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What management style do you prefer?
- What is your favorite thing about working there?
- How do you measure the performance and responsibilities of the employees?
- What is the biggest challenge an employee can face during their first year?
- What makes an ideal employee?
- Can you share the next steps in your hiring process?