Published: Aug 08, 2023
Welcome back to our series on how to handle a second job interview. Yes friends, many companies are becoming more selective in their hiring process, which means job interviews are a bit more involved than they used to be. If you haven’t read part one of this series yet, click the link. Now then, let’s go over some common questions you can expect during a second interview.
“Is there anything you’d like to go over from your first interview?”
If you took notes either during or immediately after your initial interview, you should take a look at them and see if there’s anything you want to go over when you attend your second interview. Were there any questions you didn’t get to ask? Did the interviewer provide adequate answers to your initial questions? In addition to this, take note of any particularly successful exchanges from your initial interview, since you can revisit them later on.
When the interviewer asks this question, take it as an opportunity to gain further insight into your potential role, or into any topics that you feel you don’t have enough information on. Along with this, you can remind the interviewer of any high points from your initial interview. For example, you might say something along the lines of “Since our last interview, I’ve been looking into the history of [company name]’s [products and offerings], and I’m excited to learn more.” This will demonstrate your interest in the role, as well as your eagerness to learn.
“What type of management style/work environment do you thrive under?”
This is one of those patented “tricky questions” an interviewer will often ask, as it’s more about how you’ll fit in with a company’s current management as opposed to your own preferences. As with almost any interview question, an effective answer relies heavily upon your research. Before your second interview, take another look at the company’s core values and conduct research into members of the leadership team.
Let’s say one of the company’s core values is teamwork. Here, you can explain that you thrive within a collaborative environment, and that you look forward to working with others on projects. If possible, include an example from your past that further demonstrates this, such as a time when you worked with others to complete a complex task in a short amount of time. The key here is to connect your own values to the company’s values, as it will show the interviewer that you’re a good fit.
“What strengths will you bring to this role?”
This is somewhat similar to the famous “strengths and weaknesses” question, but it’s a bit more specific. Here, you want to demonstrate to the interviewer just how your skills and experience will apply to the role at hand. Once again, the goal here is to connect examples of your past experiences to the role you’re interviewing for.
If you’re interviewing for a role as a product manager and you have particularly strong communication skills, you can explain that you plan to leverage your ability to understand customers’ wants and needs in order to improve product efficiency and functionality. In most cases, you should be able to provide at least some quantifiable data relating to your past successes, such as increased sales or customer satisfaction. If you can do so, your answer to this question will be much more impactful.
“The team is currently experiencing [name of problem]. What would you do to solve it?”
Whether the problem the interviewer is referring to is real or not isn’t the point of this question. The reason the interviewer might ask you this is to gauge how well you can apply your own skills and experiences to any potential issues your team might face. If you’ve previously learned any information about the team you might be working with, this question should be relatively easy to answer.
Let’s say you’re interviewing for a role in a company’s marketing team. Here, you can look into some of the company’s previous marketing campaigns and identify any problems that might have occurred, such as decreased sales or bad publicity. This will give you an idea of what types of problems the team might face in the future, which you can then develop solutions for. If you’ve done your due diligence, this question shouldn’t give you too much trouble.
“What are your salary expectations?”
This question can be particularly stressful, as asking for too much can make you seem greedy, while asking for too little might result in a lower wage, which can lead to problems down the road. Once again, we want to rely on our trusty research when answering this particular question. Before your second interview, take the time to determine the average salary range of the role you’re interviewing for in your area. In addition to this, take into account your experience level, cost of living, and if possible, the salaries of similar roles at the company you’re interviewing with.
Armed with the information above, you should be able to provide the interviewer with an appropriate salary range. When you provide a salary range, it shows that you’ve done your homework and that you’re flexible. Try saying something along the lines of “Based on my level of experience and my research, I feel that somewhere between [dollar amount] and [dollar amount] is appropriate, but I’m open to further discussion with regards to salary.”
Always thank the hiring manager or HR representative at the end of your interview. At this point you may also ask what the next steps are or when you should expect to hear back, or you can ask these questions in a “thank you” email later that day. If you haven’t heard anything within a week or so, send an additional follow-up email to the contact person. Regardless of the outcome, maintain the same positive and professional attitude you exhibited throughout the process. We’ll be providing more tips and strategies on complex interview processes in the near future, so make sure you stay tuned.