10+ Second Interview Questions & Answers [2020]

second round interview questions

After completing a phone interview, there is a good chance you’ll be called back to do a second-round interview in person. It’s extremely important for you as a potential employee to be prepared. That's why we've prepared the best second-round interview questions and answers to help you. This interview isn’t your first impression, but it could be your last impression before getting hired or getting the chop.

Let’s dive into what to expect, how to prepare, what second-round interview questions you might be asked as an interviewee, and what answers you can provide.

Table of Contents

What Does Second Interview Mean?

A second round of interviews is always a good thing. In general, the second round of interviews comes after the phone interview or potentially a single on-site interview. This means that you are a candidate worth moving forward in the process. You shouldn't expect to have another round of interviews after this one, though. Generally speaking, the hiring manager or HR team will let you know if they'll decide to offer you employment shortly after this.

What To Expect In Your Second Round Of Interviews (Second Interviews)

Typically, a second interview will be conducted in person between you and a hiring manager. During this interview, hiring managers will often ask candidates more in-depth interview questions about the candidate.

Be ready for lots of questions about your qualifications, hypothetical questions involving ethics, and questions about your past or current line of work.

How To Prepare For An In-person Interview Session

Preparation is key for acing any type of interview, not just your second one.

To begin, prepare an agenda for the day. For larger companies, a second interview could be a full-day affair. If you’re being strongly considered for a position or have been hired on the spot, you may have to go straight to an orientation or training session. Clear your schedule for the day of the interview just in case.

Next, review the questions and answers we’ll be covering in this guide. Prepare your answers accordingly in easy-to-remember brief bullet points that you can study up on before the interview. You should also review the interview questions from your first interview as well.

To wrap up your preparation for the second interview, take the time to do a ton of research about the company you’re interviewing for. You’ll want a solid knowledge of the company’s goals, mission, past products, tasks associated with your specific position, and corporate culture.

Don’t be afraid to conduct a mock interview beforehand to recite your “script” so to speak. When rehearsing, be sure to have a confident and friendly tone of voice and be concrete with the answers you give. Avoid ranting or giving too-brief answers to complex questions.

What To Expect After The Second Interview

As we mentioned above, your second interview could be an all-day affair. It could also be extremely brief. Either way, it’s important to be prepared.

In the case of orientation or training events occurring directly after the interview, make sure you have a briefcase with the essentials. Bring a pen, pencil, eyeglasses, and other writing accessories if necessary.

Pack a light lunch in your briefcase. You should have had a big nutritious breakfast before the interview to improve your brain function and attention, but if you’re stuck in orientation after the interview you will want to have something to eat on hand.

Always make sure to ask questions before you leave the interview. If you have not received a direct answer on if you’ve been hired, don’t let that hold you back from asking for a copy of the job description to look over in the meantime while they decide. Also, don’t be afraid to ask about how you will fit in with the organization structure if hired.

Tips For Your Second Round Of Interviews (Second Interview)

Be prepared for a group interview. Sometimes without notice, your second interview will involve a group. If this happens, don’t worry! The only real change you’ll have to make is to direct your attention to each and every interviewer on the panel. Make eye contact, make sure to include them all in the conversation by directing your answers to all of them.

Be energetic and enthusiastic. If you’ve been called back for a second interview, you are likely a frontrunner for the position. Don’t disappoint them! Walk in looking ready to work, fresh, energetic, and approachable.

There may be situations in which you are being evaluated without even stepping foot in front of your interviewer, such as if you're given an opportunity to meet recently hired employees for lunch to discuss the company culture. Afterward, you can bet those employees will be asked what their impressions were of you. Be personable, but still very professional.

Always ask questions after your interview. This shows that you have initiative, and you may be able to get more valuable information out of your potential employers.

Be sure to send out a follow-up email after the interview. Do your best to do this for each of the interviewers and management members you’ve met through the interviewing process. This email should be a thank you note of sorts, as well as an opportunity to follow up with your potential employers to hear more about the hiring process.

Make it clear through the interview and any other interactions that you are interested in this job and think you would be a great fit.

Always review the notes you made from your previous interview before going into the second interview. The last thing you want is a continuity error that could make you seem scatterbrained or distrustful. Reviewing your notes from the first interview can also make it easier to avoid repeating answers.

Study this guide in-depth, and write out your own answers based on the suggested answers we’ve provided.

Don’t be afraid to do a bit of research on your interviewers. If you have the opportunity to ask their names ahead of time, do it. Take the time to research what they do in the company so you can have some context before going to the interview.

Supplement your answers to the interview questions you’ll be asked with examples. Adding brief examples to your answers can make your more conceptual answers easier to understand from the perspective of a hiring manager that may not have your specific background. Also, using examples from your past employer will make you appear more invested in your work. Just be sure to keep your examples quick and easy to understand.

15 Second Interview Questions & Answers

1. What interests you about this position?

This was likely already asked in the first interview, but the hiring manager will likely ask this again to give you an opportunity to talk about your skills and strengths that you can bring to this specific position. In preparation, take the time to list out skills that are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for, and propose ways you could incorporate those skills into task solutions at the company.

If you want more information on how to answer this question, head over to our guide on answering "What interests you about this position?"

2. Is there anything you’d like to go over again from our first interview?

It’s extremely important for you to have answers prepared for this question. Declining to revisit anything from your first interview is an opportunity lost to go into more detail about your skills, references, strengths, etc. Declining this opportunity will also make you seem as if you’re not interested in fixing any potential errors or points of interest that you missed in the first interview. The last thing you want to do is make the hiring manager think a second interview was really a waste of their time. Do your best to make a list before the second interview detailing aspects of the first interview you would have liked to expand on or correct.

3. Tell me about what you believe is your biggest weakness.

This is standard for most job interviews and some hiring managers may ask you this question in the second interview. It’s very important to be honest about a trait that could genuinely be a weakness, but also isn’t so bad that it flies a red flag to your hiring manager. For example, don’t take a positive trait and try to turn it into a negative trait. “My weakness is that I work too hard” or “my weakness is that I care too much about my work” seems like a non-answer. On the other hand, “my weakness is that I often have trouble getting along with others” could be detrimental if you’re interviewing for a very team-based position. A good go-to answer for this would be to mention a skill that the position requires that you aren’t 100% perfect at, but follow it up with what you’re doing to improve that skill right now. You could say that you aren’t the best at data entry, but you’re currently taking online classes to improve these skills.

If you want more information on how to answer this question, head over to our guide on answering "What is your greatest weakness?"

4. Describe a difficult choice you had to make on the job.

Your hiring manager is testing you for integrity and decision-making abilities, which are valuable in just about any job. Answer honestly, but make sure your answer demonstrates your ability to make a choice that benefits the company.

5. Do you prefer to work by yourself or in a team?

Both. In this industry, communication and collaboration are very important. At the same time, individual incentive and passion for the work only makes collaboration better. If everyone on a team can handle working hard on their own and hard on a team, the results will be positive.

6. What would you have changed about a situation in which you had a poor workplace relationship with a coworker?

There are two directions you can go with this question. On the one hand, you could say that you're dedicated to collaboration and civility at work and have not had any poor relationships with coworkers. On the other hand, you can be honest about a bad workplace relationship and give actionable, insightful, and introspective solutions to problems you may have had.

7. What was your most recent job like?

Keep in mind that you’ve probably already talked a little bit about your previous or current job in the first interview as well as your resume, so this is an opportunity to talk a little more in-depth about what you’ve been doing. Go into a detailed but short account of what your duties and responsibilities were at your previous job. Be mindful about your tone and don’t say anything negative about the job itself or your employer.

8. What type of work environment do you prefer in this line of work?

I prefer the type of work environment that you can see in this specific company. My perception of the corporate vibe here is definitely on par with what I’m looking for in company culture, and I believe I would adapt quickly and easily once hired.

If you want more insight on how to answer this question, head over to the guide on answering "What type of work environment do you prefer?"

9. Do you have any professional achievements you’re particularly proud of?

The hiring manager will ask this to evaluate your priorities when it comes to your work but also will ask this to sort of “test” your natural ability to explain what your skills are in a way that most people can understand. When answering this question, avoid technical language and words that only someone of your particular career path or industry would understand. Work on explaining what your accomplishments have been in layman’s terms. You can also use this question to showcase more of your talents that will have a positive impact on the job you’re interviewing for. For example, highlight an issue from your last job that you found a solution for through teamwork, especially if you’re interviewing for a job that is very team-based.

10. What do you believe your current or previous employer could have done to be more successful as a company?

Don’t be afraid to be honest about this question. Your hiring manager is checking to see if you have a good understanding of what your previous company’s goals were and whether or not you were working towards improving the company as a whole.

11. What was the average day like at your previous job?

This question is used to see how your previous job’s tasks align with the company culture of the business you’re interviewing for. Try to list tasks that were similar to tasks you’ll be expected to perform at this job.

12. How did you positively affect your most recent or current job?

You can definitely use this question as an opportunity to highlight your adaptability, creativity, and resourcefulness in your particular industry.

13. What salary would be acceptable for you in this position?

If compensation has not been discussed yet, it’ll definitely come up in the second interview. Do some research on what is the common salary for your position, as well as what benefits are commonplace. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a salary you deserve, but keep things civil and light-hearted.

14. Within the first few months of employment, what steps would you take to get established?

It’s important to do quite a bit of research on the company you’re interviewing for and to tailor your answers around that information. Think practically about what you can do to make an impact within just a few months and be honest about your intentions.

15. Why do you want to be in this position?

Sometimes, the answer is just “I need the money.” Of course, this isn’t a great answer. Take the time to research the company and reiterate what contributions you can make. Make it clear that you’re interested in a position that you can thrive in and why.

How was our in-depth guide to mastering a second interview? We want to hear your success story in the comments below.

Second Interview FAQ

Common questions asked by job seekers regarding the interview process.

What should I be prepared with as I go on my second interview or on-site interview?

You should study the company's website, learn about their products and services. Then study the company's culture. This can help you be prepared and show you're a good fit for the role by simply having a more firm understanding of the company's goals or company's values. If you don't see it on their website, you can sometimes find it on the company's social media accounts.

What's the best tip you have for job seekers?

Study common interview questions like the one in this guide, get a good night's sleep, and arrive early to your interview.

What job interview questions should I be prepared for?

The ones provided in this guide as well as questions regarding salary expectations. Be prepared to answer behavioral interview questions as well, ones that require storytelling or expressing your management style, problem-solving skills, or other. All behavioral questions start with, "Tell me about a time."

What are questions I should have for the interviewer?

STudy the company's expectations of the job, then ask questions that you think helps fill in any gaps for you. Then be ready to ask questions about the company's objectives. This shows you have a significant amount of experience and know what questions to ask to better manage your expectations of the job. Be familiar with the company's mission and these questions will be easier to think of on the spot.

Is there another job interview after the second one?

There is normally not another job interview.

Should I expect to answer questions about my career goals?

An interviewer asking questions about your career goals is considered one of the good questions to ask. Be prepared to have an answer. Think about what you said during your initial interview and be sure it aligns with what you are expressing now.

Second Round Interview Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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