Second Interview Questions and Answers
We hope you are enjoying this mini-series around finding a new job. With times being difficult at the moment, we wanted to share with you some guidance on writing your cover letter and telephone interview tips and tricks. Giving you the very best opportunity to land your new role within these challenging times. Now for the next blog, we are going to run through some of the most popular second interview questions and answers to help you get prepared.
The main thing people worry about with the second interview is how much more they are going to be asked. Surely everything was covered within the first interview? The way you prepare for the interview will probably be the same, but the second interview is essentially the stage where you have to separate yourself from the other candidates.
The employer wants to know why they should hire you over someone else just as qualified for the role. Other key members of the team may also be invited into the second interview so they can see how you will fit in. They will also help with the shortlisting process.
Typical second interview questions
What are the main skills you think are required for this role?
This is the time for you to flourish. You have been invited back for a second interview, which speaks volumes in itself, so now is your time to set yourself apart from the other candidates. Referring back to the job description is always a good idea here, and give examples of how you have implemented the skills they are looking for.
Name the reasons why you don’t want this job
This is often asked to put you on the spot during an interview. A normal interview question, turned completely on its head just to try and confuse you. You should approach this one with caution, and use it as an opportunity to ask the employer about any reservations you have with the role.
What would you change about this company?
This question is designed to make you think about your long term role within the company. How can you help them grow and achieve their targets? Again, your previous research of the company will come in handy here. Highlight any opportunities that you have noticed – is there a way they can expand their market share, for example?
What is your salary expectation?
A tough question to answer, but you will be asked it whether you like it or not! Be honest and give a figure that you feel you are worth. If you are wanting slightly more than advertised on the job description, or towards the higher end of their figure, then justify this. What extra skills and experience can you bring to the company that are going to be valuable to them?
What notice period are you required to give?
This is quite a straightforward question, and shows that the employer is seriously considering giving you a job offer. Make sure you have looked at your current contract and know exactly how much notice you are required to give.
There is no point in lying and saying you have two weeks, as you will end up in trouble with both your current and prospective employer. Factor in any outstanding holidays and commitments you have too. You may want to give yourself a week off before starting the new job so you can prepare yourself properly.
Final things to think about
Be prepared to have a completely different interviewer for your second interview. They may not have been passed all your information from the first round, so treat it as if they know nothing about you.
The interview questions we have included are not an exhaustive list, and you may well be asked things that are more industry-specific within the second interview. As long as you have prepared in the best way possible, you will fly through it. Remember, they liked the first impression you gave so that has to be a positive thing!
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.