Second Interview Questions: 3 Tips to Calm Your Fears

3 Tips to Calm Your Fears


Second interview questions are questions you’ll be confronted with during the second step in the hiring process. Of course, the first step is to create a good enough impression in your first job interview to be invited back for a second interview. The types of questions you’ll likely be asked in your second interview will have a different focus and you’ll need a new strategy for preparation.

Whereas your first job interview may have been conducted by somebody from Human Resources in a large company, your second interview questions will likely be conducted by somebody from the Department to which your job applies. And in much smaller companies, the interview will probably be conducted by the Owner/Manager.

In any case, you should plan to be interviewed by a different person than before and expect the second interview questions to be tailored quite a bit more to your specific skills and the requirements of the position for which you are applying.

Preparing for Your Second Interview Questions

So, how do you prepare? Well first and foremost, keep this in mind: You made it to the second interview. That definitely puts you on the inside track for landing the job! And that means you must have made some very good impressions on the first interviewer. Follow these tips and you will be prepared:

1. Recall and relive every moment you can of the first interview. How did you dress? How did you sit? What did you do when they were talking? What did you do when you were talking? Were you rigidly professional and business-like, more laid-back and friendly or a combination of both? Do you remember smiling? Do you remember nodding at all? Did you ask questions of them?

This point cannot be over-emphasized. Dig in and relive the first interview as best you can, while making notes of what you consider may have made the difference. Then, plan to repeat them in the second interview because what worked before will probably work again. People like to associate with others of similar values and personality types. The job environment is not any different.

Most of the time, job applicants who have been called in for a first interview will possess similar levels of technical skills. Therefore, your personality, values, and the way you conduct yourself can make the difference. For you to be called in for a second interview is an indication that certain qualities and actions you expressed in the first interview, may have made the difference.

You should devote sufficient time to this step and take notes as best as you can while you relive your first interview.

2. You will have submitted your resume prior to the first interview. If the interviewer didn’t think you were qualified, you never would have been called in for the first interview. So, the first interview was more about evaluating you and not your qualifying skills regardless of the way it may have seemed. The second interview questions will therefore be more specific and be centered around your skills as they would apply to the position for which you have applied.

The best way to prepare is to again recall what took place in the first interview. The interviewer will have at some point described the nature of their business, the needs of their business and in particular, why they need to fill the position. Recall what they said and make note of it.

Now, rehearse how you would tailor your skills to fulfilling the needs of the company based on your notes. Make up second interview questions you might be asked, such as points about your experiences and abilities. Then, figure out how you would answer them.

3. You may be asked “Test” questions designed to explore your ability to solve a particular type of problem. Don’t worry about them. Chances are, there is more than one correct answer. What the interviewer is primarily looking for is whether or not you can think and evaluate situations.

So, don’t panic. Just be yourself and answer these types of questions based upon your experiences. Do not answer them according to what you think they want to hear. You do have skills and experiences so be confident of them.

Remember: The interviewer has probably heard so many possible answers to their second interview questions after interviewing so many applicants, that their “head may be spinning”. Therefore, your best bet is to always be yourself, base your answers strictly upon your personal experiences and ask questions. Asking relevant questions always demonstrates strong interest.

That’s the 1, 2, 3 to handling Second Interview Questions.

If you came across this article and you haven’t yet had your first interview, then you’ll want to know how to prepare for it. You’ll need the 7 tips you can learn by going here to Top Interview Questions [].

You can read other valuable tips, such as how to follow-up after your first and second interviews, by going here to Job Interview Tips [].



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
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