Second Interview Expectation And Preparation

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Written By Editorial Team

Are you worried about your second interview? First of all, congratulations on passing your first interview and making it this far. You are edging closer to the finish line, and the job can easily be yours with enough preparation. Now, back to our question, it’s okay to feel nervous as second interviews are usually more in-depth than the first ones. You need to adequately prepare and gather all the confidence you can before appearing before the interview panel. This article will cover what you should expect and guide you in making your second interview successful. Let’s get started!

What Is A Second Interview, And What Does It Mean?

Second interviews are scheduled after successful resume screening, phone screening, and first-person interviews. Even though being invited for one is usually a positive sign, it may be too early to celebrate. Companies have different hiring practices, so do not be shocked if you are called in for a third or even fourth interview after your second one.

All in all, a second interview shows that you have met all the job requirements. It’s therefore scheduled to determine whether you are the best fit for the company’s culture or team. You should get over the excitement of succeeding in your first interview and start preparation as soon as possible.

What To Expect In Your Second Interview

Knowing what to expect in your second interview will help you prepare adequately and avoid last-minute surprises. You wouldn’t want to walk into an office all confident, only to be shut down by the first question or occurrence. Here are a few things to anticipate:

1. In-Depth Discussion

First interviews are usually less detailed unless the company’s norm is to conduct only one interview when recruiting new employees. In your second interview, you should expect a more extensive discussion on how you intend to succeed in your role. You will also be asked questions capable of determining whether you will be an excellent cultural fit. The panel will definitely want to know more about your skills, knowledge, and experience to decide whether or not you are a strong candidate for the role.

2. New Faces

You will meet new faces in your second interview, which can be intimidating. The only familiar face you may see is the hiring manager, who will appear for the second time.  Depending on the company’s hiring practices, you will likely be interviewed by high-level managers or executive leadership. The panel may also be bigger or smaller than the first, so preparing for both possibilities is essential.

3. More Behaviour-Based Interview Questions

Employers use second interviews to determine whether you can contribute to the entity’s long-term success. Expect several behavior-based or competency-based questions that drill into your past performance and experiences. The interviewer will use your responses to predict how you will behave or perform upon encountering similar scenarios in your new workplace. Remember, behavioral questions do not have obvious answers like traditional interview questions. You have to draw from your experience and include details and specifics, giving the interviewer a chance to know your habits, thoughts, and best responses to different situations.

To know whether a question is behavioral or not, look for the following opening statements:

  • Tell us about a time when..
  • How would you deal with…
  • Give me an experience where…

Questions that require you to dive into your experience or tell the interviewer how you would respond to a particular situation are behavioral. It’s important to answer them well since they give the interviewer a chance to know about your personality and what working with you daily means.

What To Consider When Preparing  For Your Second Interview

You shouldn’t walk into your second interview unprepared. Let’s correct that. You shouldn’t walk into any interview unprepared. Anticipating what is likely to happen in your second interview and coming up with the right strategies will give you an easy time, allowing you to tackle all the questions thrown your way confidently. Here are a few tips that should help you make the best out of your second interview:

1. Find Out As Much As You Can About The Company

We understand that you researched the company before your first interview. However, you must make your research more intensive and extensive this time. Make sure you have the company’s values, missions, and visions at your fingertips since second interviews help determine whether you will be an excellent cultural fit and are aligned with the company’s values. Remember to find out about the entity’s business operations and recent developments or news.

Extensively researching the company allows you to prepare for the second interview adequately and shows that you are serious about the opportunity. You will also get to determine whether the company is a good fit for you. Gathering enough information about the company helps you determine what they need in an employee and how well you should respond to the questions asked in the second interview.

2. Review The Job Posting

Even though passing the first interview can serve as a sign that you have met all the job requirements, you still have to take a thorough look at the job posting. Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities associated with the role and what the employer needs in the employee filling it.

3. Request The Itinerary For The Day

Most employers are generally generous enough to share with interviewees the agenda for the day before their second interview. There’s no harm in politely asking your employer for one. The agenda normally contains valuable information such as who will be interviewing you, the duration of the interview, and at times, even the dressing code. Some companies include parking information in the agenda, giving you an easy time when you arrive for your second interview. Ensure you know the day’s layout ahead of your interview to know what to expect.

4. Find Out As Much As You Can About Your Interviewers

You should familiarize yourself with the interviewers by learning as much as possible about them. But how do I know who will be interviewing me? Simple. Look at the agenda. Most agendas have the names of the members of the interview panel. Learning more about them will help you plan your conversations and freak out less. As we mentioned, expect the hiring manager for a second time and new panel members such as the executives.

5. Reflect On Your Past Interviews

The best time to reflect on your past interviews and learn a thing or two from them is during your second interview preparation. Think about some of the conversations you have had with recruiters and hiring managers over time and some of the tips you may have acquired. Also, reflect on the common behavioral questions you have been asked in your former interviews.

Reflecting on your past interviews will also help you come up with informed and thoughtful questions that you can ask your interviewers at the end of the second interview.

6. Prepare Answers For Common Behavioral Interviews

You now know what type of questions to expect in your second interview. Take some time to brainstorm the best responses to common behavioral questions to boost your confidence.

7. Dress Well

Your dress says a lot about you, more than you may think. You must get the colors right when picking attire for your second interview. If the agenda doesn’t have a dress code, find out more about the company’s culture, specifically the allowed dress code, when thinking of what to put on during your interview. Stepping into the interview room with the proper attire will earn you your first mark since you did your research well and would possibly make an excellent cultural fit. However, remember not to overdress.

8. Have Questions For Your Interviewers

Interviewees are normally given a chance to ask questions after the interview, which you should never pass. Prepare relevant and thoughtful questions that can help you determine whether the job you are interviewing for is the best fit for you. Your questions should also reveal a genuine interest in the role and the company, which interviewers usually want to see. However, remember not to prepare too many questions. Keep them between 5-10, and you will be good to go.

9. Success Tips For Your Second Interview

The above tips were to help you prepare for your second interview. This section is different as we discuss tips to help you succeed during your interview. Here are a few things to have in mind:

10. Give Examples As You Can

The best way to answer behavioral or second interview questions is to reinforce your response with examples. Mentioning examples show the interviewer you can apply your past experiences to succeed in the new role.

11. Answer Questions Confidently

Every organization wants a strong employee, and strong employees are usually confident. Let your presence be filled in the room, and exude confidence in your voice and body language. Make sure that your voice can be heard when answering questions too.

12. Thank The Interviewer

Even though this is not mandatory, appreciating the interviewers for taking the time to interview you shows good manners and can be interpreted as a genuine interest in the role.


Your second interview should proceed smoothly with enough preparation. All you have to do is prepare adequately and be confident when talking to the interviewers. Additional tips that can help you succeed include showing genuine excitement and curiosity, doing most of the talking, and following up after your interview.