If you have been selected for the second interview, then first of all, congratulations. You have made the cut as one of the viable candidates that captured the screening committee’s interests and the first interviewing panel. That should obviously give you a boost of confidence.
Obviously, you have done something right. The interviewing panel passed your credentials and experience for the open position. But this is not the moment to drop off. The second interview phase is bound to be rigorous, and the questions will go deeper than the first one. You have been selected for the second phase regardless of your performance in the first interviewing panel.
So, if you expect the second interview questions to be along the same line as the first one, you could not be more wrong in your assumption. The second round of interviews will be significantly different from the first one.
The questions will be different, and the interviewing panel will also consist of additional personnel. Senior executives of the company, managers, and potential supervisors would be the ones involved in the second interviewing process. So, naturally, you have to be at your absolute best to get selected as the candidate for the vacant position.
Most Common Second Round Interview Questions You Should be Familiar With
Here are some of the most common questions you will most likely be asked in your second interview.
#1. Can You Walk Through Your Cv?
Another variant of the question, ‘So, what can you tell us about yourself?’. It may seem like a simple enough and innocent question, but your answer should consider the position you are in at that moment. While it is an open-ended question allowing one to talk for five minutes to highlight the virtues and skills – you should not do that. Not if you want to be hired for the open position.
The key to answering this question is being brief and going chronologically about your professional career. Still, again we cannot emphasize this point enough – in brief. A one or two-minute answer is simply the right way for one to go. Your answer must contain:
- The relevant positions you have held over the years.
- Key career moves you made.
- Some of your biggest career accomplishments.
It would be best if you end your answer by explaining your next career steps.
A quick tip for every blog reader is to bring a couple of extras of their resume to hand out to interviewers who might need it.
#2. What Were Your Responsibilities in the Last Position You Held?
This is one of the most common questions. You will indeed be asked this or any other similar variant in your interview. So, don’t forget to explain the key responsibilities in the last and last couple of years in any position you held in one or more organizations. A candidate has to highlight their accomplishments in their previous job or jobs.
Take this example, suppose you were in charge of supervising and training individuals in a manufacturing plant. And, even if it was only a small part of your tasks, you should mention this point to the interviewing panel sooner. Recruiters will observe that you were not only leading a team but can also guide young blood. It would surely add worth to your value in their eye.
Mention all the noticeable achievements of your previous role and the minor too. For example, you were responsible for developing a logo and the brand image of a trendy brand in your last job. It is something that you should tell immediately in your answer.
Companies look for personnel who are not only capable of doing the job but oozes confidence as well. And that’s why you are highly recommended to practice answering this question several times before the interview.
#3. Why Do You Want to Work in This Company?
You are right if you think it is pretty similar to the question you were asked during the first interview. Even though you might have been asked this question in the first round, still, it is such a versatile and open-ended question. There is a likelihood of this question coming again, albeit with a different interviewing panel. Now, if you already have a great answer, that’s excellent, especially if you have been asked this question earlier. But if you don’t, here is how you can construct an ideal one.
Higher pay is indeed your reason, but you cannot answer that. So, it would be best if you have a couple of other exceptional answers to tell. First, think about what excited you the most about the position and the company you are applying to. Think about the most attractive part of this vacant role and how it will boost your career in the right direction. A correct answer to this straightforward question can easily make or break your entire candidacy, so think carefully before answering this, as other 100 candidates are vying for the same position.
#4. What is Your Decision-Making Process?
The purpose of the second interview is not to question whether you can do the job or not. The company has already determined you are more than capable of providing them with what they have been looking for. Your acceptance to the second interview is proof.
The purpose of the second interview is to dive deeper into your personality and your behavior. It is all about determining whether you would be the right fit for the position personality-wise. And the question, ‘how do you make decisions?’ or something similar, is asked for the same purpose.
Now it is a complicated question with layers added on top to make it even more challenging than before. It would be best to show the interviewing panel that you have a calm and logical method to assess the outcome versus the risk in any scenario. After that, you should decide the best course of action. Companies look for personnel who are not only decisive but are also logical in their approach.
#5. What is Your Preferred Work Environment?
If you have noticed carefully, a lot of questions in this list are designed to determine whether the candidate would fit into the team. As opposed to the first interview, the emphasis was on finding whether or not you are qualified for the position on offer.
The first interview screens the suitable applicants for the job. The second determines the best candidate for the open position. This is the logic behind this question as well.
Companies like to hire personnel that would fit into their working environment seamlessly. And the best way to answer this question is to research the working environment in the company you are applying to. Whether they have a more relaxed atmosphere or a more formal one. Would they prefer employees who like the work-from-home type job? And after you have done thorough research on the company’s working environment, you can construct an answer that will position you as the best candidate for the vacant position.
#6. What Do You Think Your Strengths And Weaknesses Are?
It’s one of those routine questions sure to come in any second round interview. And the objective of the question is to further dig into the technical and analytical skills you possess. It’s the question that decides if you are the right person for the open position. Another addition to the above question, when the interviewers ask, ‘where do you think you need to improve to be a better working professional in the industry?’
The purpose of this question is to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, whether your hiring would be an asset to the company or a hindrance depends on this question.
The way to answer this is to look for some of the necessary skills required for the same and not list them in the weakness or to improve the column. This will get you immediately removed from the consideration for the vacant position.
For example, do not say that you need to improve your communication skills, especially for an entry-level position. If you are unsure which might be the right answer for you, the safe answer is to say that you are looking to improve your leadership skills. Companies love individuals who want to progress in the field and take more responsibility.
#7. What Motivates You?
Again, a very obvious question that is sure to be asked in your second round. Your potential employers would no doubt want to know your motivation for not only applying for the job but in general as well. If your answer to this question is money, you are not alone. But naturally, you cannot answer that.
In most scenarios, honesty is the best policy, but this is not one such case. And it is also quite an obvious answer; everyone wants a bigger paycheck. There would hardly be anyone who would say no to more money.
In answering this question, you need to think about what made you apply for a job in the industry. Is it something you were always interested in, or is it someone who inspired you to work in the industry?
The purpose of this question is to determine whether you have the mental capacity for the challenges you might face in your new position. And your answer to this question must reflect this if you want the position for yourself.
#8. Why Did You Leave Your Last Position?
If you are an applicant who is not working at the moment, you have to face it for sure, and if you are working, you might be asked the reason you are looking for a change. Both these questions are similar, and the key to correctly answering them is to focus on the positive things you hope to gain in your new position.
A common mistake made by many candidates is that they immediately start bad-mouthing the previous company they worked at or how the position was not sufficient enough for their skill level. This would not go well with the interviewing panel. Of course, you can always say that you could not grow as per your expectations, but that is the only negative thing you could say about your previous work.
#9. What Are Your Career Goals?
Companies look for employees who know where they will see themselves after the next five or ten years. They obviously would want someone who will stay with them for the foreseeable future, especially in the case of a mid or higher-level opening in the company. Not only is it troublesome, but companies also have to spend a lot of time, effort, and money. to find the right candidate and get them up to speed.
This question is designed to find out whether you are someone who will stick with them, at least for a while, or you would be jumping ships in a few months if you get a better offer from someone. So, the primary purpose of asking this question is to find a candidate whose long-term career goals would align with what the position has to offer if they have any. Therefore, it would be best to keep this in mind while answering this question. You can do it by preparing an answer beforehand that is in sync with the long-term opportunities and benefits of the offered position.
#10. How Does the Applicant Handle Conflicts At Work?
Conflicts are inevitable regardless of the industry one is working in. If an organization has more than a couple of people working at its helm, then sooner or later, there would be conflict among employees, conflict with the customers of the business, and more.
The interviewing panel would want to know how you would handle it if such a scenario happens at work. And they would do that by asking how you managed such conflicts in your previous job and what your approach was. The key to answering is that you have a calm approach to handling such a situation, and you do not take anything personally during such an occasion. It is crucial to stress that you opt for a logical approach, not an emotional one, then you are good to go. This would show that you would keep the company’s interest in mind over everything else.
You would face the second interview because many of your questions would be based on your professional behavior. So, for example, the question will be about how do you handle conflict and stress, that type of thing. So it would be best if you prepared answers for the question that will ask you how you would tackle this or that situation.
#11. How Would Your Past Coworkers Describe Working With You?
Now, this is a question that would require you to make some assumptions. You obviously cannot be sure how your previous coworkers would describe working with you. But that is not the question that the interviewing panel is asking you. Like some of the earlier questions on this list, this question has layers and layers on top of it. The objective of this question is to again dig deep into your personality. This question is also about finding whether your new coworkers would enjoy working with you or not.
The easiest way to answer this question is to think about some positive things related to you and try to add that to your answer. For example, suppose the company you are applying for a job has a relaxed working environment. In that case, you can add some of the fun activities you have participated in with your coworkers earlier.
#12. Do You Consider Yourself A Leader Or A Follower?
Another pretty common question, regardless of the position that one is applying for, is whether they consider themselves a leader in the organization or do they consider themselves followers. This is another indirect question with the sole purpose of determining whether or not the candidate has the potential to work in the company to grow in the role and even be in line for promotion in the near future. Companies love to promote internally, as it would save them from the hassle of first finding the right person for a high-level job. Second, it motivates the staff working in the office.
Now, suppose you are applying for a potential leadership position. You can see yourself gradually getting a promotion to a better position. In that case, you obviously should state that you have leadership qualities.
#13. Would You Have Any Questions About the Interviewing Panel?
Unlike the previous questions on this list, this question invites the interviewing candidate to ask a question of their own to the interviewing panel. It is common for companies looking to hire employees, especially for a high or mid-level position to ask them a question in return. But if you think there is a hidden reason for it, then you are right. You could ask several questions from the interviewing panel, depending on the environment. For example, suppose the company you are applying to has a relaxed atmosphere where employees socialize after hours. In that case, you can ask about their hangout and something along the line. This will indicate to the interviewing panel that you would fit perfectly within the organization. Or, if you are looking to hammer the point that you want to grow in the company, you can ask about the performance review and how they measure it in the organization. The options here are endless.
The purpose of such questions is not only to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for the job. The company has already determined that you are good enough to fill the vacancy. Still, you have to convince them that you are not just a suitable candidate, but you are the right candidate for the position that is on offer. And the best way you can do that is by giving succinct and engaging answers. This will indicate to the interviewing panel that they could not find a better candidate to fill the vacancy than yourself.