What to expect in a Second Interview

| 4 min read


Most first interviews are usually nerve breaking with seemingly strict measures to help recruiters distinguish and take out qualified job candidates; however a second (or third) interview is usually a more relaxed yet intense form of picking out the ‘’best of the best’’ qualified candidate for the position. Acing a first interview could be a daunting task, scoring a second interview and landing that job requires even more efforts as the higher you go in the recruitment process, the more your potential employers expect from you. If you aren’t good at selling yourself, then you’d need to learn it to nail your second interview.     Guidelines for first interviews usually apply to second or subsequent interviews but here a few more to help you seal the deal with your potential employer.

  •  Expect specific and technical questions: among your interviewers would probably be the head of the unit you are to work under or someone who is versed in the kind of work you are to do. Mostly you’d be asked case-interview questions- they present a problem and you are to proffer possible solutions. That’s why the second demands for more than adequate preparation, you need to have answers at the tip of your tongue; you need to be able to think on your feet. Some other questions to expect include: What challenges are you looking for in this company? How would you describe your former boss? Describe a time when you foresaw a problem with your former coy and what proactive measures you helped the company take? Can you tell us an experience of a major challenge in your former position?
  • Tip: when an interviewer asks this question, you are not expected to only tell a story, you are also expected to highlight the things you contributed to the company, mention the skills you acquired in the process, and tailor all you’ve said to the needs of your potential employer.
  •  No matter what you are asked about your former employer, do not bad-mouth him/her, speak more positively and subtly change the topic to how your former role helped you learn better. Even if your former boss was a demon, do not mention it to your potential employer. For all that counts, your potential employer would only agree you’d do the same to him.
  •   Some of the questions you were asked in your first interview could be repeated, most likely because you’d be meeting different set of people so do prepare for general questions too.
  • Do not hesitate to clarify doubts or seek responses to unanswered questions in your first interview. Realise that just as much as your potential employers are looking out for the best candidates, you also want to be sure this is the right place for you.
  • Watch out for tricky questions like “how soon can you start?” some interviewers believe candidates who hastily give answers like “today!”, “tomorrow!” or “Monday!” are desperate while others think such candidates as passionate about the job; to be safe, you could ask “how soon do you want me to start?, if it’s alright with you I’d like to inform my former employer before I move on…”
  • Do not mention the number of interviews you have to ace on your list, interviewers don’t have a problem with you exploring different options but also don’t want you to rub it in their faces. You may be their best qualified candidate but with the impression that you have other places in mind means you are not as completely interested in them as you claim.
  • Ensure to get more inside information about the company, find out from current and former employees in the organisation. As with all other inside information you get on the company, you can find out what to wear on a second interview from employees within the organisation too.
  • Do not forget to take along with you four copies of your résumé; you’ll most certainly be facing a panel.
  • A second interview should be interactive so don’t let your interviewer do all the talking.
  • Do follow up with a thank-you email or letter to your interviewers telling them you had a good time and also reaffirm your interest in the company and job position.

What other tip have I missed? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Lola Olakeye


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