How to Answer the 10 Most Common Second Interview Questions

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One of the greatest feelings can have in your career search happens when you’re called in for a second interview. Of course, the greatest feeling is you’re asked, “When can you start?” To improve the odds of that happening, let’s look at some of the ways you can prepare for that second interview and keep the momentum going toward your ultimate goal.

In the second round of interviews, you’ll be asked new questions and you’ll probably face new interviewers. These interviewers are going to be more diligent and dig deeper into your career record and personal strengths.

You’ve come this close to “closing the deal,” so here are some common second interview questions and how best to reply to them. If want objective feedback, you can practice a mock interview with a professional career service. Let’s take a look at how to give effective replies to the 10 most common second interview questions.

1. Is there anything we didn’t cover in our first interview you’d care to address now?

You’ll want to have an answer prepared for this question. “I don’t think so” is a poor reply. Something better might be, “I mentioned in the first interview that I was planning to start an online course to improve my business correspondence skills. Luckily, community education was just starting a class. I’ve had two sessions, and I’m feeling like I’ve already made improvements.”

2. Can you tell us more about why you’d like to work here?

After your first interview, continue researching the company. You think you’re a good for the company, and this interview question is your chance to drive that point home with some of the “higher-ups” in the company. You could say, “I felt I would be a good fit when I applied for the position, and I enjoyed learning more about the company in my first interview. I’ve had time to think more about the position since, and I’m even more convinced I could contribute a lot here.”

3. You know more about the position now, so can you tell us more about your strengths?

The interviewers have the notes from the first meeting, so don’t repeat yourself. Reiterate, but add something new, like more about how you’ll use your strengths to benefit the company. Don’t brag. Make sure you have some examples to demonstrate your strengths.

4. What are some of your long-term career goals?

Make sure you don’t convey getting this job as just one stop in your journey to better things. The company wants to ensure whoever they hire will be around for more than a few months. Place your focus on how you’ll contribute in the short and long term. You might say, “I want to continue working on my customer service skills with the goal of moving into product marketing. I’m hopeful I can do both here.”

5. What’s your preferred work environment?

You know the company pretty well by now. Frame your response to this second interview question based on what you know, what you have to offer, and how that all makes for a good fit. An appropriate answer might be: “I’ve always been comfortable working with a team, but also adapting to whatever environment is necessary for success.”

6. How do you handle conflict on the job?

This second interview question relates to your character as an employee. They want to make sure you’re above engaging in petty disputes and that you deal well with conflicts, do your best to resolve them, and move on without holding a grudge. You might respond by saying, “I’ve always tried my best to be open with coworkers. When a disagreement arises, I don’t jump to conclusions and try to have an open dialogue with a coworker or supervisor.”

7. What kind of tough decisions have you made in your present or previous jobs?

Your response depends on the company’s culture and the positions you’ve held. Provide an example. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular that saved the company from certain doom. The interviewers just want to know you’re capable of quick thinking and confident decision-making.

8. What salary range are you expecting?

This second interview question is tricky, but you can provide a satisfactory response. Be ready for this one by weighing your skills and experience with the position level. Consider the other benefits and perks. Provide a range that matches your skills, isn’t too broad, and doesn’t sell you short. Check salary websites like Glassdoor for some guidance.

9. What kind of notice do you need to give your present employer?

Being asked this second interview question is definitely a good sign, but not a sure thing. It’s a “what if we offered you the position” type of question. A safe response is, “It would only be fair to give my current employer the standard two weeks’ notice.”

10. Do you have any final questions for us?

This could be your final shot at moving from candidate to employee. Strong, thoughtful questions from you will go a long way to show you are eager to join the company. Here are some questions to ask: “How do you measure success here?” “What is one challenge I might need to be ready for right away?” or “When do you plan to make a decision?”

You want to finish your second interview on a strong note, so thank the interviewer or hiring panel for their time and say that you look forward to hearing their decision. And remember to send thank-you notes to everyone involved in the second interview within 24 hours.

We hope these second interview questions help prepare you for your moment in the spotlight. You can never be over-prepared, so consider a little extra assistance. Our job success packages include career coaching and mock interview services. In the meantime, we wish you success!

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