Congratulations on acing your first interview! Welcome to the next phase; it’s time for your second interview.
In this article, you will be exposed to some of the common second interview questions, and how to answer them. There are lots of things to put in place, and consider, when it comes to a second interview. Don’t fret; here are a few tips to keep in mind as you journey on, in this phase.
SECOND INTERVIEW TIPS (Dos and Don’ts)
a. Appreciate yourself for being called for a second interview.
b. Be positive and remember you’ve already made a good impression.
c. Take a practice run to the location, where you are having the interview. This is to ensure that, you know the location, and you are aware of how long it takes to get there.
d. Do well to thank the interviewer, for the opportunity to make your case again.
e. Be up on dining etiquettes, just in case you are told to dine with representatives or staff members of the company.
f. Expect behavioral questions, and expect some questions from your first interview.
g. Do maintain professionalism.
h. Make your response to questions, as detailed and specific as possible
i. Try to build a certain level of rapport, with the interviewer.
j. The Second interview can sometimes, include a tour of the workplace: be friendly and ask questions without distracting your potential colleagues.
a. Don’t neglect to review your performance from the first interview, and put some work on any question or situation, that caused you difficulty then.
b. Don’t be surprised if the second interview is actually a series of interviews (interviews with managers, senior executives, department heads, and prospective team members).
c. Don’t forget the cardinal rule: as you respond to questions, maintain eye contact.
d. Don’t be caught off guard, if the subject of salary or benefits is raised.
e. Don’t forget to send a “thank you” note or email.
f. Don’t presume you already have a job.
You can’t undoubtedly be overly prepared; so, “be on your toes”, and keep an open mind, when it comes to second interview questions. Speaking of that, here are some common interview questions.
See also: How to Nail Interviews Using the STAR Interview Technique
SOME COMMON SECOND INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Being called up for a second interview, can be a rollercoaster of mixed emotions; being happy about acing the first interview, but not so thrilled about having to go through the pressure of an interview, again.
However, “it is a necessary evil” so why not do your best. Keep your focus on, and look carefully at these common second interview questions.
1. WHAT STRENGTH WILL YOU BRING TO THIS POSITION?
Your answer to this question; should expressly reveal to the employer; what strength, skill, or strategy, sets you apart from other candidates as it relates to the position you’re hoping to occupy. Therefore, when answering this question, I’d advise you to leverage your past work experiences, to demonstrate your capabilities. If you have some form of data to back it up, don’t hesitate to utilize them.
How to respond to this question:
“My experience cuts across international sales; which I also believe, is in line with your company’s goal, to expand it’s reach to other countries. In my previous role, I and my team grew the international sales by over 20 percent, in the space of 4 months; by tactically applying marketing strategies that work for each individual client. I look forward to utilizing my selling skills in this position, to contribute to your organization’s growth this year”
2. TELL ME A FEW OF THE FIRST THINGS, YOU WOULD DO IN THIS ROLE
Employers ask this question to ascertain; how much knowledge you have, about the company; and how creative you can get, in coming up with solutions. When answering this question, you should do well to relate your ideas and plans, towards resolving certain challenges the company might be dealing with. Moreover, this can’t be done without first researching on the company. So, “do your homework”
Here is a good way to approach this question:
“My priority would be; to implement an online booking system, to reduce the unending queue of customers, and create a more friendly customer experience. This would help reduce errors, and optimize the effort of the sales team”
3. WHAT TYPE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT DO YOU PREFER?
Employers ask this question, to gain an insight on how well, you will fit into the company’s culture and environment. The details of the company’s culture can be gotten from their website or company’s reviews. While it is gainful to obtain context about their environment, you should be honest about your preferences.
Express what kind of environment you thrive in and keep it positive; that is, focus on what you like as opposed to what you don’t like.
“I perform at my best, when in a highly collaborative and energetic space. I usually find my work quality better, and more efficient in a setting, with open communication. When I am in a fast-paced environment, I feel excited about going to work”
4. WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER GOALS?
When this question is asked; it is usually because, the interviewer wants to know if your personal career goals, align with the company’s long term goals.
Furthermore, the employer asks this question, to estimate how long you plan on staying with the company.
When answering this question, do well to relate your goals to that of the company’s.
“In the short term, I hope to utilize my marketing skills, to aid growth in sales, and overall return of investment for the company, exponentially. Over the years, I hope to build my expertise in the field, and take up a leadership role, where I will be able to manage large marketing projects”
5. WHAT SALARY WOULD YOU EXPECT FOR THIS ROLE?
This question shouldn’t come as a surprise to you; I mean it is probably the one question, you should be excited to answer. However, don’t get greedy.
Before hand, you must have done a research on the average salary for your job, position, work experience and economy. So, answer based on your findings.
Keep the conversation open, by mentioning how benefits would play into your decision, and provide a range.
“For this role, I expect a salary between N100, 000 and N120, 000 monthly. While I feel this is appropriate for my level of skill and experience, I am open to discussing the numbers in more detail”
6. DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION FOR US?
If you have any question about your position or the company, this would be the best time to ask.
Don’t be dumbfounded when this question arises; so, come prepared with some intelligent questions.
If you aren’t sure about the right questions to ask, here are some interview questions to ask the recruiter.
COMMON SECOND INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK EMPLOYERS.
If you ever thought, not asking questions would keep you on a safer side; then, you’re wrong. Asking your potential employer questions, not only helps you quench your curiosity; it also shows the employer how bold and ready you are, for the job.
Here are a few common second interview questions you could pop up with.
1. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES OF THIS JOB?
Is this an awkward question? Naaaah! Asking this question, helps you prepare your mind, and create strategies to tackle the challenges of the job, before they arise. Plus, it also shows the employer, that you are ready to dive into work, and begin solving problems. So, this is a very good second interview question to ask.
2. CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MANAGEMENT STYLE?
It is never a bad idea, to show off your intelligence a bit; so, don’t act dumb. This portrays you to the employer, as someone who is aware of the different management styles; and it also displays your confidence, to ask questions, and discover if the job is right for you.
So as not to “fall your hand”; do some research on different management styles, and start a conversation about it. Who knows, you might end up teaching the employer, a thing or two.
3. IF I AM SUCCESSFUL, WHEN WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO START?
Yes, naturally you would want to know when to start, right? However, companies have pending tasks to sort throug, and don’t like being pressured. This question makes it sound as though, you are doing the company a service by coming to them, and it most times, end up with them, giving you a potential start date.
4. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL EMPLOYEE?
If the answer to this question is tipping towards an employee who doesn’t complain, or one who takes every order blindly; then you’ll know that, the employee – employer relation is not the best. However, if the ideal employee tallies up nicely with you, there is no harm in jokingly stating that fact to the interviewer.
5. DO YOU SEE GAPS IN MY QUALIFICATIONS OR EXPERIENCE, THAT I WOULD NEED TO FILL, IN ORDER TO WORK HERE?
This is a nice way of asking, “give me reasons, why you should not give me this job”; only, it is a bit more polished.
If you are given a feedback, then you’ve gotten yourself a valuable feed.
If you don’t get a feedback; then the employer has admitted to your great qualification. However, if you end up not getting the job; it’d be probably because, you weren’t their best fit.
A final piece of advice: be confident and more prepared. Trust me, you will land that job.