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Prepare for the Challenges of a Second Interview

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Summary: Don’t assume the second interview is going to be easier since you were lucky enough to make it through the first interview.

Congratulations, you have been invited back for a second interview. Making it past the first round of interviews is a feat in itself, but the second round is not going to be any easier. The company saw something in you that they liked, but now you have to show them why you are the best fit for the company.

The questions during the first interview will focus on your abilities and experience; the second round interview questions evaluate your fit with the company. You can expect the questions to focus on work habits and workplace personality. A tour of the office is likely so the interviewer can watch how you interact with the current employees. They will ask questions aimed at figuring out your behavior and how you will react to certain situations.

There may be some follow-up questions on your experience, but most of the focus during the second interview will be about the office and how you would fit into it. They may re-ask questions that you were not able to answer in the first interview, so be sure to do your homework after that first interview and find the solution to their question. They may also ask for more details about specific situations you mentioned in the first interview.

Here are some examples of common questions you may be asked during the second interview and tips on how to answer them:

  • Have you come up with any questions since the first interview?

Interviewers will anticipate that you have thought up some questions since the first interview. This shows that you have been thinking about the job since the interview. Even if you do not have any questions, come to the second interview with at least two prepared. Having a couple questions to ask will get the conversation started instead of there being an awkward, “Nope, I’ve got nothing.”

  • Describe a situation where you did… What did you do to…?

The interviewer(s) will ask a lot of situational questions so they can judge your decision-making skills and ability to answer the questions with confidence. They may specifically ask about a bad situation or a time that you were creative to see how you handled things. They want to see how you handled the different emotions that come with new or uncomfortable situations. Practice answering these kinds of questions with a positive attitude toward the situation. Do not answer in such a way to portray negativity on a former coworker or employer. Focus on what you learned from the situation, not what went wrong.

  • What kind of corporate environment do you enjoy?

This question is one of the harder ones to answer. You want to give an honest and substantive answer that shows you gained knowledge about the company during the first interview. You can try using part of their mission statement and observations of the employees to provide your answer.

Do you think the first or the second interview is harder? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about succeeding in a second interview, read these articles:

Prepare for the Challenges of a Second Interview by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin