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2nd Interview Questions

Updated 03/29/2017

     You're in the Finals

    Now that the applicant pool is down to finalists, do
    everything you can to be prepared, on target, and
    ready to communicate and ask meaningful questions.

    Rarely is there a Round 3 so work to be THE Winner!


You made it through the first interview and are most likely one of two to five people selected for what often is the "Final Round".  Stay focused and keep preparing as the competition will be more challenging and the interviews more discriminating.

The company needs to see if YOU are a good FIT for the position and the company. You need to see if THEY are a good FIT for you.  You don't want a bad marriage!

For second interviews you can start talking about what was off limits in Round 1:
  • Salary and other compensation (bonuses, awards, etc.)
    Hold off on benefits questions until you receive an offer and can then dive
    into greater detail with Human Resources.

  • Company culture

  • About the team you may be joining and how they work together

  • Opportunities within the company for learning and advancement

  • Typical daily and weekly work activities

  • Business Unit goals, company goals

  • Manager's style and practices

  • Company activities and involvement in the community

  • What would you like to discuss about qualifications and experience for the position?

  • What are your top three qualities you need from the person you hire?

  • What is the thee most challenging parts of this job?

  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • How many people are in this work group and department, and does the organizational structure look like? 

  • What are the top three challenges for the selected person in this job in the first 6 months?

  • If selected for this role, how would you complete this sentence: "Whatever you do, _________."

  • How do you this role making the greatest impact to the company?

  • What sort of management style would you say you have?

  • What do you like most about working for the company?

  • Can I provide you with additional references?
    If you offer, have them with you during this interview!

  • What is the next step and timeline in the hiring process?

  • When can I expect your hiring decision?
  • If I were to be offered the job, when would you like me to start?


Do not forget all the lessons about planning, being courteous, attire, odors,
preparation and all the rest.  Review tips for your first interview and visit.  It is a safe bet you will be under greater scruitny by others this round so stay sharp, be prepared, look and act like the consumate professional.


Be ready with a list of questions, above, to ask the interviewers. You'll also want to be ready to answer some of the common interview questions asked during second interviews. 

When you get the call or email to schedule your second interview, inquire about who will be interviewing you. You can look these people up on LinkedIn or the company website; knowing a bit about interviewers' backgrounds can help you brainstorm specific questions to ask them. 

If you have success stories, especially those which you initiated an effort or process to improve productivity, profitability, sales or reduce costs or labor, this is a good differentiator to put before the interviewers.

It's possible you'll be speaking to several new people during your second interview. While you do want to subtly frame your answers to appeal to your audience, make sure to always be consistent about your job history, experience, and talents.

After your interview, all your interviewers will meet to compare notes, so you don't want to appear inconsistent. Consider asking all your interviewers similar questions, too, and comparing their responses. That can help you get a full picture of the company.  

You proved you were capable and an appropriate fit for the position. This interview, you want to show youare THE candidate for the position. Since you've learned a lot from the first interview about the responsibilities you'll handle in the position, and the company's overall needs, use that information to prepare.

You'll want to have examples and stories at the ready that demonstrate your abilities. 


If this is a publicly held company, examine their K-10 report at by using their EDGAR tool. The tool is free and easy to use, the K-10 report provides a wealth of information on the company. As an SEC document, they have to tell the truth.

Whether public or private, do local research and look for archive files from newspapers or broadcasters. Check with the public library for available resources. It is amazing the facts you can find that the average employee does not know.

In a second interview, it's more important than ever to show that you're knowledgeable about the organization. Learn everything you can about the company and prepare a few questions directly related to the job you are interviewing for.

To find information, review the About Us (or other such tab) section of the company website and press releases issued by the company. Use Google and Google News (search by company name) to get the most current information and news.

For example, if the company's expansion plans are in the news, you could ask whether the expansion would impact your role in the company if you were hired. If the company is releasing a new product or service, ask if the new release would have any impact on your position if you were to be hired. 

When you ask these types of questions, you're showing you've done your homework and you're engaged with what's happening at the organization.

Review more tips to help you ace your second round interview, and remember: you should send a thank you note after your second interview, just as you did after the first one. Here's how to write a second interview thank you note.