Most Common 2nd Interview Questions & How To Answer Them Successfully
The second interview is the time to prove to employers that you fully understand the company, company culture, and are excited to move forward with the position. This may mean doing a little more research outside of the company website. Visit the companys social media, read articles about the company, and privately look at employees LinkedIn profiles to gain important insight. These small details can help you stand out. 47% of interviewees said they wouldnt hire someone who had no knowledge of their company.
In this article, we will review key strategies for completing a successful follow-up interview. We will also provide a list of killer second interview questions and answers for you to review.
Second Interview Questions Examples
- Please share a specific example of a time when a projects priorities changed suddenly and you had to adapt.
- What would you do if you were assigned multiple tasks with the same deadline?
- Who are our competitors and what makes us different from them?
- Whats our mission?
- What do you know about our products/services? Have you used them before?
- What makes you want to work here?
- What type of management style best supports the way you work?
- What type of work environment do you prefer and why?
- What is the most difficult decision you have had to make in a previous role?
- Were there any questions or answers that you wanted to revisit from your initial interview?
What Challenges Are You Lacking In Your Current Job
Underneath the surface, interviewers are asking one thing: Why are you leaving your current job? If possible, incorporate details about why do you want to work for this company. This is a good question to prepare for.
Tips for your response
Remain diplomatic when answering this question. In other words, dont mention terrible coworkers or incompetent bosses. Those types of comments reflect poorly on you rather than your previous team. Instead, focus on your future and opportunities.
“While I liked my last position, I wanted to work for a company with a bigger client base. I am excited to work at a company that has world-renowned clients in the industry all over the world.”
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What Should You Expect
Expect to be challenged. The second interview can often feel more intense than the first round. This is partly due to the fact that you may feel closer to landing the job and therefore the stakes are raised, but also because the interviewer will look to challenge you, perhaps put pressure on you, all in a bid to see how you cope. They will have identified some weaknesses they saw in the first stage and ask you further questions in that area, perhaps even tell you why it is that they are not sure about hiring you. This is to gauge how you react, how you respond and whether or not you can show them that you really want this job.
You may also be asked to prepare something beforehand and to present it in front of the panel. For example, in a marketing role, you may be asked to present a campaign plan, in a finance position this might be a report on a set of data they provided, or in a project management role it may be to perform a risk analysis on an existing transformation plan. Whatever you are asked to produce it is sure to be closely aligned with the remit of the job you are interviewing for and actually gives you an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and your understanding of the company.
Why Do You Want To Work Here
Next, if youre meeting this interviewer for the first time, theyre probably going to ask about why youre interested in this particular job.
So before your second interview, review the job description and think about one or two reasons that you would enjoy the position.
What seems most attractive about the role? What about this job fits your goals? And what can you learn or do here that excites you?
The bottom line is: In the second round, youre almost certain to face questions about why you want to work with them, and saying, I just need a job, isnt good enough!
Everyone who applied needs a job, and employers often get 100 applicants, so theyre looking for more in the second round interview.
They may also ask, What are you looking for in your next position? Thats another common second interview question to expect.
If you hear this, be ready to name specific things youre targeting in your next role. And make sure these are opportunities offered by the job youre discussing! Otherwise, you might cost yourself the job offer.
This is a common question that you could hear in any round of the interview process.
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Tell Me About The Best And Worst Bosses Youve Ever Had Specifically In Your Career What Was The Difference
As the CEO of Foursquare, Jeffrey Glueck finds that candidates arent usually prepared for this question. They often reveal what makes them tick through their answers, he says. While the best one is interesting for picking up insight on how to get the most growth out of them, I often find that the worst boss answer is more interesting. You might learn that they react strongly to micromanagement, are fiercely independent, or are very individual comp focused.
The key is pushing candidates to get specific. Dont let them off with vague answers, says Glueck. They dont have to name names, of course, but you need to insist they talk about two specific bosses at specific companies, not generalizations.
It’s September 5 2020 What Impact On The Business Have You Made In The Year Since Youve Joined
Heres what hes able to learn from this question:
Timing: Ive found that it provides visibility into how long the candidate thinks things should take, says Desai. Folks coming from larger companies assume things take longer than they should, while someone from a smaller, scrappier startup might want to go faster than they should.
Where their focus lies: You can learn a lot from how they describe their hypothetical impact. Are they results-oriented, using numbers to describe their impact? says Desai. Maybe theyre more process-oriented, describing their impact in terms of the systems theyve successfully set up. Candidates who are more people-oriented will talk about how the org will have grown and how the team will have developed.
Understanding of the role: If a candidate is way off-base from your expectations when describing what theyd hope to achieve, thats telling in a different way. It tests the extent to which they have internalized this role and what the company is asking them to solve for, says Desai.
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What Were You Responsible For In Your Last Job
This is one of the most common questions youll hear in any second interview.
Be ready to explain your key responsibilities and accomplishments over the past few years, and always think about the job youre interviewing for so you can highlight the pieces of your work that are most relevant to this employer!
For example, if you supervised and trained a few people in your last job, but it was only 20% of your duties, you should still mention that VERY early in your answer if youre interviewing for a Supervisor or Manager position now!
Employers may also ask you, What was your greatest achievement?
So review what you accomplished and did in your most recent job. Maybe its been a while since you reviewed the results you got for the company. You want to be ready to give a clear, confident answer when asked, so practice ahead of time.
Also expect similar questions in your second interview, like, What did a typical day at your previous job look like? or, How did you measure job performance?
Why Is It Important To Ask Questions During Your Second Interview
During your second job interview, you can ask questions that provide you insight into the company, find out what the daily operations are like and get an idea of the company culture. It’s useful to ask questions that show your interest in the role and demonstrate that you’ve done proper research for the position.
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Second Interview Questions To Ask The Employer
It’s important to have questions ready to ask the interviewer. Since you don’t want to repeat what you asked in the first interview, have a different set of interview questions ready to ask during your second interview.
Here are some examples of questions to ask the employer during a second job interview.
- “What is one thing you love about the company culture here?”
- “How do you think an employee in this department can best impact the company?”
- “How do you measure job performance in this role ?”
What Should Our Team Be Doing Differently That Could Yield 10x Improvement
Meka Asonye leads the Startup & SMB sales org at Stripe, a group that advises venture-backed companies on their commerce, monetization and expansion strategies. Im looking for folks who have a bias for action and can think like an owner, he says. Can they think at the CEO level, beyond just the job theyre applying for?
Sometimes, this question surfaces some real gems. We’re actually considering piloting one of the ideas a recent candidate mentioned. I’ve also had interviews where people have mentioned things that we have seriously considered but scrapped for various reasons, says Asonye.
But when the answers are less than stellar, heres where candidates tend to go wrong:
Ambitions aren’t lofty enough. Oftentimes I hear ideas that are a 10% improvement, not 10X. The temptation can be to offer non-controversial, minor tweaks to process, says Asonye.
Cant think of any suggestions. This one is a big red flag for me, as I tend to see candidates in a second or third round interview, after the candidate has met with five to 10 people, says Asonye. They should be pretty well-versed in our company and product by then, so its often a sign that they havent done their homework.
To troubleshoot conversations that have stalled out, Asonye offers helpful footholds with these guiding questions:
Why might we be unable to raise our next round of financing?
Why would someone choose to work with our biggest competitor?
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Why Did You Leave Your Last Job
If youre not currently working, employers are likely to ask about why you left your last position.
Dont let your guard down even if you heard this in the first interview or phone interview, either because if youre talking to a new person in this second job interview, you could hear the same question again!
And if youre currently working, be ready to answer, Why are you looking to leave your current company?
Dont ever badmouth, though! Its best to focus on the positive things you hope to gain next by switching jobs! I like to say:
I learned a lot in my current role, but I feel its time for a change in order to expose myself to new challenges and continue growing in my career.
What Are Some Things Outside Of Work That Youre Irrationally Passionate About
While this question may seem like a standard getting-to-know-you inquiry, Laura Behrens Wu uses it as an opportunity to delve deeper into a candidates motivations.
Im looking for people who are intrinsically motivated, and hobbies are often an outlet for that, says the co-founder and CEO of Shippo. Over the years, Ive found that intrinsically driven individuals typically have other passions outside of work that they pursue in an obsessive-like way. For example, if a candidate tells me they run 10 miles a day as a hobby, thats a signal of a strong internal drive.
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How Do You Respond To Stressful Work Environments
Every company wants employees that can work well under pressure. Stressful situations are unavoidable. Employees must know how to deal with them in a calm, collected manner.
Tips for your response
Start with a general answer about your stress habits and move into a more specific example. With this in mind, you can highlight your strengths in your answer.
When Im stressed, I become very quiet and hyper-focused. I am usually a very jovial employee. But in stressful moments I am more likely to focus all of my energies on finishing a project. For example, in my last position, my manager asked me to take on a failing project and turn it around in a matter of two months. At first, I wasnt sure how I could execute such a task. I became a very quiet employee because I was trying to maintain a deep-work focus. I informed my coworkers that I was busy and needed time to work. They were very understanding and gave me the space I requested. Within two months, I improved the project teams productivity by 53% and saved the company $40,000.
Be Ready To Ask Some Of Your Questions At Any Moment Of The Interview Not Just At The End
While most interviewers will provide time at the end of an interview to ask questions, you may find that some of the questions interviewers ask throughout the conversation relate to the ones youâve prepared. In these cases, it may be appropriate to ask interviewers to pause and consider your question.
Hereâs an example: âI have a question about this topic. Would you mind if we discussed it before moving on?â
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Do You Prefer To Work Independently Or As A Member Of A Team
It may appear as a bit of a trick question, but the best answer is usually both. However, the level of management supervision does differ from role to role. So, if you are seeking a self-starter who works mostly independently, youll want to look for a candidate who is self-disciplined and enjoys working alone. Likewise, if the role requires work on diverse teams and high-level interpersonal skills, a candidate who is a strong communicator and enjoys teamwork may be the best choice.
From establishing their interest in the position to putting their skills on display, the second interview is the candidates time to show you why theyre the right person for the role. By using these second round interview questions youll be well prepared to make a personal connection with each of your interviewees and find the best candidate for your business.
What Do You Want To Do Differently In Your Next Role
When he asks this question, Instacart co-founder Max Mullen usually sees two kinds of responses and theres one camp that the best candidates usually fall into.
I find that the best answers highlight what theyre running toward, rather than what theyre running from in their current job. If they launch into what they dont like about their boss or current company, that tells you a lot. It tests whether theyre a positive person and how they handle adversity, says Mullen.
I also can often pick up on what interests them about our company specifically, and get a sense for how much research theyve done. Finally, it gets into motivations if they bring up how theyre looking for a more challenging opportunity, you can probe how they want to make an impact or the types of problems theyd love working on, he says.
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What Are Three Qualities You’re Looking For In A Candidate To Fill This Role
Learning about the top qualities the employer seeks can help you determine which skills to focus on strengthening if you get the job. If you have any of the qualities that the hiring manager lists, you can mention them after they finish their answer. You can also detail your qualities in your follow-up email after the interview.
What Are Your Career Goals
Your interviewers want to get a sense of whether your personal career goals align with the organizations long-term growth plan. They also want to ensure that you plan on being with the company for a substantial amount of time. Focus on the employer in your response and demonstrate how you want to grow at the company. Consider this example response:
Example answer:In the short-term, I hope to use my marketing skills to increase this companys profits on a large scale in a role like this one. Over the coming years, I hope to develop my expertise in the field and eventually take on a leadership role here where I am able to manage large marketing projects and work directly with clients to meet their needs.
Why this is a good answer: It applies the candidates goals to the role and company, which conveys that the candidate plans on investing in and staying the company long-term. It also helps the employer visualize the candidate in the role.
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What Was It About Our Last Interview That Prompted You To Invite Me To A Second One
Asking this question can signal to interviewers that you are open to feedback and eager to apply learnings from past successes to future efforts. Listen for answers that address details about your first interview performance, your skills and other qualifications, and their curiosity about your potential.