With many organizations undergoing layoffs and downsizing, it is more important than ever that job prospects put the best foot forward during the interview process. With the second interview becoming routine, it’s critical to know what to expect and make a second impression that will stand out from other job hunters.
What Questions are Asked in a Second Interview?
More employers are using the second interview to conduct personality tests and ask personality questions to find out about attitude, teamwork skills, and emotional stability. Many second interviews involve being toured around the office to talk to potential co-workers one-on-one. To prepare for a second interview, talk to someone currently employed by the company and ask about office culture and the management style. Then, be prepared to answer the following types of questions:
- Describe the most difficult person you had to work with.
- How do you deal with a coworker who is not performing in a team?
- Describe a time when a customer or co-worker made you angry.
- How do you handle an irate customer?
- How do you resolve conflict among co-workers?
- Describe an example of how you dealt with a difficult boss.
- What do your hobbies or personal interests say about your personality?
- What irritates you the most and how do you deal with it?
Job seekers who prepare for these questions, as well as the anticipated technical questions will do well in the second interview.
What Questions Should You Ask in a Second Interview?
Prepare at least three questions ahead of time to ask about the company. Focus these questions on the company culture, the workplace environment and employee-customer relations. Remember that the second interview is also for the prospective employee to decide if the workplace is a fit. Consider asking about the following topics:
- What is the company’s strategy on building customer relations?
- How often does the company do team-building activities or offsite management meetings?
- How does the company promote innovation in the workplace?
- If there is a parent company, what is that company’s effect on workplace culture?
- Are there any team-based performance rewards or incentives?
If the answer to any of these questions leaves a dead end, don’t worry. Use it as an opportunity to share viewpoints on team building and workplace culture. Interviewees should show how they would add this element to the workplace environment if hired.
What to Wear in the Second Interview
One of the first impressions is appearance, and wearing the right clothes can make a noticeable difference in confidence. When deciding how to dress for a second interview, wear tailored, crisp suits or jacket and pant/skirt combinations, similar to a first interview. Only dress down if the second interview warrants it, such as touring a construction site or other outdoor manufacturing or industrial site.
Following up After the Second Interview
After the first interview, job seekers might follow up with an email or a letter of thanks. After the second interview, this is also appropriate, but consider a more personable touch. If following up by email, also make sure to call. If writing a follow up thank-you letter, hand deliver the letter to the hiring manager a day or two after the interview.
Projections for the economy in 2022 and beyond indicate instability in the marketplace, so the best way to ensure success in the job market is to stand out in the crowd. Don’t be afraid to ask about how team members work together and make sure the work environment and people are a fit. Be prepared to ask the employer about their workplace culture and see how new employees fit into the company’s long-term plans. Ask about the personalities of potential co-workers to show interest and demonstrate team player qualities. Follow up with a personal touch like a phone call or hand-delivered thank you letter to the hiring manager to seal the deal.
Self Interview Coaching Skills
Interviewers typically attend training or otherwise prepare themselves for asking questions that will help determine if a candidate will be a great employee for their company. Job seekers who take the same amount of time, if not more, to prepare for an interview have greater success than those who do not.
Question styles have evolved over the years. Staying current with common question styles is accomplished by visiting websites with sample questions. Rehearse interviews with a friend or colleague. Practice in front of a camera and evaluate the performance. Have a friend who is a manager assist by conducting a mock interview.
Interview Questions – Stay Current
Some questions have never changed over the years. Preparation is always required for the “Tell me about yourself?” and the “What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?” questions.
One of the latest techniques is to ask behavioral questions. These start off with “Tell me about a time when…”. The question will be in relation to a skill needed for the new position.
Being prepared to give a story about when teamwork was difficult and a challenge was overcome will increase the potential of success. Having a story ready about a hiring or termination moment will avoid the delay in thought when a question is asked. While preparing, job seekers need to remember why the interviewer will be asking the question. They do not really care about the details, they just want to know how a situation was handled in the past so a guess can be made about how a similar situation might be handled in the future.
Job Interview Answers to Avoid
Talking poorly about a previous employer or supervisor is a dead give away for an interviewer that he is sitting in front of a complainer and should expect the same if he were to hire the job seeker. If there was a difficult supervisor in the past, discussing how the supervisor may have challenged a more patient response in workplace communications or some other positive outcome will gain interview points.
A tendency exists to discuss past successes in a selfish manner; pointing out sales awards won or bonuses paid. A company vantage point suggests helps to sell the job seeker to the interviewer. Job seekers who talk about how much revenue increase came to the company because of a sales milestone that was met have a much better chance of being hired than the person who keeps the conversation selfish.
Job Seeker Research
Before an interview takes place is where much work must be done. Researching the company on the internet, newspapers and company literature is highly suggested. Uncovering any connections that may exist with employees of the company on websites like LinkedIn.com provides opportunities for informational interviews about the company before the job interview. Preparing a few intelligent questions to ask during the interview from this research makes the job seeker look very intelligent.. Asking only questions like “When should I expect to hear back from you?” or “How much does this job pay?” shows a lack of professionalism.
Printing out a copy of the company’s website and highlighting a particular area to ask a question from will allow the company representatives to recognize the webpage and see that they are interviewing someone who does her homework.
Ask for the Job
Once the interview is winding down if there is still an interest in the position make sure to express that interest. While shaking the interviewer’s hand make a statement similar to, “I am very pleased with what I have learned about your company and am very interested in the position.”
Make sure to follow up after the interview and be friendly but persistent. Thank you notes helps to remind the hiring manager who is interested in the job.