How To Ace A Second Interview (Questions & Example Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

Ahh, the first interview. Such a magical moment in time.

You, terrified, trying so hard to be everything you know you need to be.

You’re on time (which is actually a touch early!), you’re prepared, you’re dressed to impress and you’re ready to answer any question they throw at you.

You walk out, shoulders back, heart racing, adrenaline putting an extra spring in your step.

Congratulations, you’ve survived!

You get home and take a deep breath. It’s time to relax and bask in the golden glow of your success.

But then the unexpected happens…you get a phone call…and not just ANY phone call!

It’s the hiring manager and he wants to know if you’re available for a second interview!

Of course you are!

You quickly stutter your acceptance and set the date and time, then hang up and stand in stunned silence.

Oh crap. Now what?

Take a deep breath, turbo! This isn’t good news…it’s great news and we’re gonna tell you how to knock this one out of the ball park too!

So, don’t toss that tie quite yet…or put those high heels away for good…it’s time to go back to work turning you into the perfect candidate…again!


Get access to 5 of the most common second interview questions along with great sample answers for each.

Click Here To Get The Second Interview Questions Cheat Sheet


What Exactly Is A Second Interview?

First off, let’s start with what a second interview really is.

Yes, it’s what it sounds like…a second chance for the hiring manager to take a good look at you and decide if you’re a good fit…but it’s also so much more than just that!

HANG ON! Before we get into this too deeply, we have to issue this brief disclaimer:

For the purposes of this article, we are going to assume that this is your second IN PERSON interview, not a phone screening interview… If your only prior interview was via the phone and this is your first IN PERSON interview…then for all intents and purposes you need to consider this to be a FIRST INTERVIEW and should check out our other articles that tackle this subject including Job Interview Questions and Answers 101.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

So what does a second interview mean?

Well, we can tell you it ISN’T a guarantee of employment. This isn’t the time to get cocky and let everything you’ve worked so hard on slide.

Not by a long shot.

It IS, however, another opportunity for you to really show them that you’re the best person for the job…you are the perfect candidate!

The first interview was the warm up.

Odds are in your first interview you met with someone from human resources or a hiring manager and was probably more of a broad screening to weed out the last of the unsuitable candidates.

The second is the “big leagues” which means your second interview will probably be conducted by someone a little higher up…or even a LOT higher up.

You can almost guarantee that this interview will be much more in depth and very well might include introductions to other key members within the business including superiors, senior managers, and even possibly fellow teammates.

Think of the first interview as a first date. Everyone was on their best behavior and really trying to see if there was any chemistry.

A second interview is a bit more serious…think of it as a second date…on steroids.

Odds are you’re going to be talking long term commitment and possibly meeting the parents…er, I mean higher ups!

No pressure!

So how do you prepare for this new level of scrutiny, intensity and yes, even fear?

By taking everything you’ve done so far and kicking it up another notch!

The Invitation For a Second Interview

Let’s start by going back in time and the phone call that started this all…the call for a second interview.

Don’t just stutter and stammer through it. Take the time to make even this brief interaction work for you in the best possible way.

As you set up the interview, ask a few questions starting with getting a list of the name and role of the individual (or names and roles if it’s to be a panel or group interview).

This is also a great time to really make sure that you know EXACTLY what job you are going in for.

Even if you think you already know, take the time to ask again…it’s far better to ask twice than find out too late that you’re wrong.

If you’re going in for a position with a large department (let’s say IT), get the exact title of the position you are now interviewing for. Not only will it help clear up any confusion on either end, it’ll give you a laser tight focus to your prep!

But I didn’t get a phone call…I got an email!

Even better!

Take the time drafting your response and make sure you hit the tasks we outlined above in your reply. Don’t feel self-conscious about these steps…your goal is to be as prepared as possible and a good hiring manager will recognize this.

Plan Your Strategy

Okay, the date and time are set.

You know exactly what you’re interviewing with and who is doing the interviewing.

Congratulations, you’ve got everything you need to start really prepping!

Start with who is interviewing you. Time to do a little digging!

No, this isn’t the time to hire a Private Detective or go all crazy stalker on them.

You want to impress them with your knowledge, not scare them!

A little personal information (gleaned through the company website or LinkedIn) is good for small talk, but don’t go overboard.

Now is not the time to friend them on Facebook and send them Candy Crush requests. More than anything, focus on their role within the company and how you will fit into that puzzle as well.

To bring it back to the second date scenario, don’t forget that this is a partnership which means you’re going to want to make sure that not only are the company needs met, but yours are as well!

Now is the time to figure out beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the right fit for you too.

Sit down and really figure out what matters to you in a job. While you’re doing this, use the time to also come up with a NEW list of questions to ask your potential future employer. We’ve gathered a list of good ones below for you to augment your own list with.

This would be a great time to read our article How To Discuss Salary During the Job Interview Process” as well if it’s a subject you haven’t yet discussed.

While you’re digging around gathering information on your potential interviewers, don’t forget to brush up on the company information as well.

You should be able to articulate clearly not only what you know about the company but also how you would be a good fit with them.

You want to demonstrate genuine interest in the company and the best way to do that is to figure it out yourself first.


The most important thing to remember while doing your research is that you need to tailor the entire second interview to the company you are interviewing with (and the position you are interviewing for).  The best way to do this is to infuse your answers to the interview questions with Qualities that you have discovered through your research.  For a detailed explanation on how our Tailoring Method works, check out Job Interview Questions and Answers 101.

If you have contacts within the company or know of any past or current employees, now is the time to reach out.   Ask them about the climate within the industry.

Ask them what they liked about working there and what they didn’t like.

Go ahead, you can even ask them about the people who are going to be conducting your interview…but be careful how you use this information!

If you’re asking a former employee, make sure to keep in mind why they’re a former employee (good and bad) and don’t let personal opinions dictate your own ability to form impressions on your own.

Double and triple check that resume and print out multiple copies. If you’re going in for a group interview, make sure to bring enough copies for everyone…and a few extras (just in case!)

Types of Second Interviews

As I mentioned above, there is a good chance that your second interview looks a lot different than your first interview.

While the introductory interview is usually just a one-on-one with a person from HR or a hiring manager, the second interview can follow a lot of different formats (and could possibly be a collection of a few different “mini interviews”).

Here are some of the different interview formats you could see on your second interview:

One on One

Okay so you already know this one.  But it is worth mentioning that your second interview could be similar to your first in that it is with only one person, only this time it could be with a different person with a different (and more influential) role with the company.  This might include a department head, Director, Vice President or possibly even the owner.

Panel Interview

Ahhh, the dreaded panel interview.  In this case, you literally “face the firing squad” as you are interviewed by multiple people at the same time.  Fasten your seat belt and be prepared to answer a barrage of questions, but more importantly, try and keep your cool.  After all, they like you!  They wouldn’t have brought you in for a second interview if it wasn’t the case.

Group Interview

Depending on the type of person you are, this type of interview can either be a blessing or a curse.  In the group interview, you are put in a group of other candidates (i.e. your competition!) and everyone is interviewed at the same time.  Quite often, the hiring manager (or panel) will ask you to do exercises that force interaction between the candidates in order to get a feel for how you will work with others if hired.


Extroverts tend to love this dynamic, and introverts tend to dislike it passionately.  If you fall into the latter grouping, spend some extra time brushing up on your communication skills.  Grab a group of friends and colleagues and run through a mock group interview.  The best way to do it is to come up with a few relevant scenarios and choose a person to be the interviewer.  The interviewer will have you and your colleagues act out the scenarios as if you were in a real interview.  Once finished, get everyone together to sit down and have a debrief and see where improvements can be made.

It would also be a huge help if you download our free “Second Interview Questions Cheat Sheet”, because it’s exactly what you need to make sure you are completely prepared for your second interview, including five of the most common second interview questions you could face (and some good example answers for each one!) Click Here To Get The Second Interview Questions Cheat Sheet!

Great Questions To Ask During a Second Interview

We can’t stress this enough…the interview process is a TWO WAY STREET which means you NEED to ask questions! Sure you might be the perfect fit for the job, but what if the company isn’t the right fit for you???

Here are a few to get you started on your own list.


  • Is there an orientation process for new hires?
  • What are my long range possibilities with this job? What is the advancement process?
  • Is there potential for professional growth with the company?
  • Does the company encourage employees to further their education and improve their skills through classes or conventions?


  • How would you describe your management style?
  • How is the department structured? (chain of command)
  • What are the daily duties and responsibilities of the position? (A good one to get in writing!)
  • What are your expectations for this position? What are the company’s expectations?


  • What is a typical work day like?
  • What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced in the job?
  • Do you feel there is potential for professional growth?

We have more example answers as well as an in depth explanation of each in our article top 14 questions to ask in an interview.


Top 5 Tips

As we stated above, odds are your first interview was conducted by one individual. Second interviews can be a bit different and you might face any number of individuals…all the way up to a panel interview.

Some interviews might start with the hiring manager, then transition into a meeting with your potential boss and then end up with other managers, co-workers, and supervisors. Others might jump straight into a panel or group interview with you meeting with more than one person at one time.

  1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Regardless of the type of interview you are going into (individual, group or otherwise), treat each person with respect. Shake hands firmly, look them directly in the eye, and repeat their names as they are introduced. It’s also appropriate to ask for business cards. Not only does this make remembering who interviewed you easier, but it’ll make sending thank you notes at the end a snap (sneaky sneaky super smart move!)
  2. ASSESS AND ANALYZE: This is also a great opportunity to assess each individual that you’ll be potentially working with as well. Remember, this is a two way street and you’re not just making a first impression…so are they! As you go through the interview, evaluate not only your own performance, but what impressions you get from your potential co-workers. If offered a job, you’ll be working with these people every day…keep that in mind! Are you comfortable with them or are there red flags popping up already? Is this an environment you’ll feel good working in or are you put off by something? How do you feel about your colleagues? What about your supervisors?
  3. COME PREPARED!: Be prepared for the interview questions to be more specific this round. They are going to focus more on the details of the job and how your skills and knowledge fit what they’re looking for. It’s also a chance for the company to really find out how much you know about them and the industry overall. Again, this is why you do your research!
  4. DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH!: Don’t forget to breathe! Don’t rush through your answers and think before you speak! Take a moment to really think (but don’t take too long!) We’ve compiled a list of potential second interview questions down below for you to practice on. Figure out what you’re going to say before you go in and keep your answers short and sweet. Remember to be brief in your answers…but not terse. Don’t ramble on endlessly or talk for so long that you lose your train of thought or forget what the initial question was…and try not to go off topic.
  5. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY: I know we told you to be honest in the first round interview, but now more than ever that is true. BE HONEST! At this point you’re not just trying to make a good impression, you’re potentially making a life impacting decision about your future career. Don’t say what you think they want to hear for the short-term. The last thing you want is to be offered a job you don’t really want…or can’t really do. BE HONEST!

Ultimately your goal is to build on the stellar job you did in your first interview (hey, it’s why they called you in for round two, right?!) and really show them just why you are the ideal candidate for the job!

Second interviews are when companies really drill down and get to know candidates.

They want to make sure you’re a good fit and that the skills and knowledge you bring are also a good fit… and that means they’re hyper-evaluating everything!

Knowing this, I highly recommend that you download our free “Second Interview Question Cheat Sheet”. It’s exactly what you need to make sure you are completely prepared for your second interview, including five of the most common second interview questions you could face (and some good example answers for each one!) So Click Here To Get The Second Interview Question Cheat Sheet!


Potential Second Interview Questions

The biggest difference between first interview questions and second interview questions really lies in the type of question that you are asked.

Generally speaking, in the first interview the company will want to get a feel for the type of person you are, and the questions they ask will emulate that desire.

But in the second interview, you can expect there to be more specificity regarding the position itself as well as a bit more prodding to determine how well you will fit the culture of your potential new team.

Having said that, this is not set in stone.

Every company goes about the questions a little bit differently, so you really need to be prepared for any type of question in both the first and second interview.

Having fun yet? 😉

One thing is for sure at this point in the game… employers are really trying to make sure you’re a good fit, so expect that these are going to be tougher than the first round.

Read through these questions and come up with your answers. We’ve given an example answer for the first two to get you started.  If you need some more help learning how exactly to formulate a perfect interview answer, head over to our blog post Job Interview Questions and Answers 101.

  • “What is it about this job that interests you?”
    • Don’t answer “The salary.” They probably already know that. This is a question that hiring managers ask because they want to know just how interested you are in the position! What you say here isn’t as important as how you say it. Yes, use the information you gathered about the position and use specific examples…but at the same time, be genuinely enthusiastic about the position. Do you want the job? Why? What about it interests you? Are you ready to do it for a long period of time? Are you excited by the idea of getting this position???
    • Remember to tailor your answer by infusing the skills and abilities they value into the answer itself (ex. if through your research you discover that they value “elite-level organization”, you must work this into your answer.  Demonstrate you have a passion for organization and this is what is really drawing you to the position.)
    • Example Answer: “I think the thing that really attracts me to this position is the opportunity to do work that best suits my skill-set, namely, my ability to curate and maintain large spreadsheets.  I’m a nerd at heart and have always appreciated the idea that well maintained data can help influence decisions on such a large scale for a company like yours.  Knowing that I have the opportunity to play such a huge role in influencing these decisions is a very attractive idea to me.”
  • “What do you want from your career and how does this job fit into that?”
    • This is a landmine question! Hiring managers usually don’t want to bring someone in and spend the time training them if they think this is just a temporary situation. If you’re applying for a job with the idea that you’ll be bailing out within mere months, that could be a potential red flag for an employer. Before they ask you this question, ask it of yourself! If the job you’re applying for is something you see yourself doing long term and leveraging into professional growth with the company, tell them that. If it’s just a quick way to make some cash and earn an employee discount…perhaps it’s time to rethink a whole multitude of things.
    • Example Answer (using the same example from above): “My main goal is to come into your organization and do the job I was hired to do to the highest level.  I understand that you are in need of some refinement and advancement in the quality of your data recording, and my hope is that I can come in and utilize my high-end organizational skills to have an immediate impact on your data collection.  If that all goes according to plan, I could see myself growing within the company, using my skills and this data to help make larger more impactful decisions at a senior management level.”
  • Can you give an example of your problem-solving abilities?
    • Employers are looking for competence and evaluating not only what you’re bringing to the team, but how you bring it! Before you go into the interview make sure you prepare for this question! Find a solid example from your past that demonstrates your skills at problem solving. Don’t just tell them that you solved a problem, tell them how you solved it and what you learned from the experience. Don’t overstate your role in the situation…again, be honest. If you have physical examples (ie, sales pitches, patents, designs, press releases, etc.) bring those along!
  • Can you give us what you think are your three most important qualifications for this position? (or why do you think you are qualified for this position?)
    • Again, this is a good one to ask yourself before the interview. Good examples include education, skills, past work, self-discipline, teamwork, attitude, etc. Figure out what you think are the three most important qualifications for the position and how you personally bring those to the table.
  • Why should we hire you?
    • (Ooh! We already answered this one for you!   Check out our blog post!)

Wrapping Up

Once you’re done with your second interview it’s time to again assess where you are and what you want. Before you say goodbye, try to find out what the next step in the hiring process is.

Is there a third interview? If not, when should you expect a decision to be made and how do they let candidates know?

If everything goes so well that you’re offered the job on the spot (congrats you lucky duck!!) it’s perfectly ok to tell them you need to think before you accept.

If you’re not offered the job on the spot, don’t take it personally…rather take it as an opportunity to really think about the job.

Take into consideration how you felt about the people you met and the vibe you got from the company overall.

Now is the time to really evaluate how you feel about the company and the people who work there and how you’d feel working there as well.

Finally, don’t forget to send everyone who interviewed you a thank you note (good thing you got those business cards!) Even if you ultimately decide not to take the job, or it’s not offered to you, it’s always better to leave on a positive note.

Besides, you never know when another opportunity will open up with the same company!

Okay, okay, we threw a ton at you here…so let’s go back to the very beginning and say again…congratulations on making it to the second interview! You’re one step closer to showing them that you’re the ideal candidate and securing that job you’ve always wanted.

Remember, above everything else, be honest and be yourself.

Good luck!

Please be kind and rate this post 🙂

How To Ace A Second Interview (Questions & Example Answers Included)
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  • Jacqui

    Reply Reply July 9, 2015

    I just finished my second and third interview yesterday, so I wish I would have seen this post prior to that! However, I want to say that when I decided to go for the job, I did some searching to find out the best tips on behavioral interviewing and every other tip to land the job, and once I found your blog that’s where I stayed. I read every post. I’m can’t know for sure, but I think that I should be getting a proposal letter within the next week. Thanks for all of the advice!!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply July 9, 2015

      It’s too bad we didn’t get this article to you in time, but it sounds like we were able to help you with our other posts (which is great!). Please be sure to let us know how it goes. Best of luck!

  • Mayelyn Cantor

    Reply Reply July 9, 2015

    Just in time!
    Tomorrow I will have my second interview. Thank you guys for the post, it is really helpful. I am having not an easy time looking for job, I only have a year in the US ( I am from the Dominican Republic, so a lot of things are new for me regarding to interviews but with you guys I am getting update!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 10, 2015

      I’m glad we published this blog post in time!

      Good luck on your interview Mayelyn!

  • Donna Lang

    Reply Reply September 9, 2015

    I have a second interview with a company tomorrow and I am really excited. Just curious at your thoughts on the fact that my 1st interview was Friday and I am the only one they have interviewed so far?


    Donna Lang

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply September 9, 2015


      Thanks for the kind words, and great to hear about your second interview!

      As far as the significance of you being the only person interviewed is concerned… it’s tough to say! I would need to know a lot more about the company and their hiring practices if I was to make an educated assessment.

      It’s possible that you were the only person brought in for an interview, but I will say that this isn’t very common. Most companies will bring in at least three different candidates, and the normal amount of interviewees is generally closer to 6-8.

      Another possibility is that you were the first person scheduled for an interview, and the interview went so well that they decided to cancel the other interviews and bring you in for a second interview. Again, this would be a little unorthodox, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

      The most logical thing I can think of is that there is something to do with the scheduling of candidates that we don’t know the answer to. For example, perhaps you just happened to be available on Friday and tomorrow but the other candidates aren’t available until next week, or something along those lines. It’s completely possible that there are others who will interview after your second interview.

      Anyway, this shouldn’t discourage you at all. Here is the reality…


      This means that they like you and see your potential. So put your best foot forward and do your preparation. By reading this article you are already well on your way! Take the extra time to really learn about the company and make sure you are tailoring the entire interview towards the company and position you are interviewing for.

      And please, let us know how it goes.

      Good luck!


  • Christine P

    Reply Reply September 10, 2015

    Hey Guys!

    I have an interview tomorrow which I guess is a first interview after I had a ‘phone screen’ with the company recruiter. I am going to use as many of your tips as I can for both first and second interviews because this seems like a second interview. This company is having an ‘interview blitz’ over two days to fill 15 – 20 positions in the Executive Resolution department. I have a 1 hour ‘panel’ interview but was told there would be only two managers on the panel. I asked the recruiter if he could give me some insight on what to expect during this interview and he said be prepared for situational interview questions and stay to the point with my answers.

    My question for you is, have you ever heard of an interview blitz?? What is your understanding of what an interview blitz is? Near as I can figure if they are interviewing for 2 days with one hour interviews they could be seeing as many as 16 candidates for up to 20 positions. Should I be preparing in a different way or with additional tools in my belt or role play, role play, role play situational interview questions and I will be beyond prepared?

    Thanks for all of the information on this website! It has helped me be prepared and confident that I am qualified for this position – because I am going to show them that in this interview!

    Wish me luck!

    Christine P

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply September 10, 2015

      Hi Christine,

      My understanding of the “interview blitz” is that the company is holding a couple of dedicated days for doing a large amount of interviews for a large amount of positions, just as you’ve said. Rather than focus on the amount of people that are interviewing and the amount of jobs that are being interviewed for, you need to keep the focus on one candidate and one interview…

      Your own!

      Try to block all of that out and just be the best version of yourself that you can be, but more importantly, remember to tailor your entire interview and give the company what they want.

      If they have specifically mentioned situational interviewing, then by all means, spend some extra time preparing some scenarios. Try to grab a colleague to run through some scenarios with. Look for someone to help you that works in a similar company or at the very least, the same industry.

      Other than that, be confident that you’ve put the work in and are going to nail it. If you’ve spent the time, you’ll be great!

      Let us know how it goes.

      Good luck!


  • Meredith Rodriguez

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    Thanks guys,such a great post. I sure did take some notes. I am really exciting to go for my second interview. This post gave me a lot of good tips.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply September 16, 2015

      That’s great to hear Meredith! Keep up the good work and good luck on your next interview!

  • Sarra Oneya

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    Hi there!

    I have been invited for a second interview tomorrow morning and I am just going through your advise to prepare and refine my answers. I am hopeful & optimistic that with these great insights, I will have an edge over my competitors!

    Wish me luck!


    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply September 16, 2015

      As they say in show business Sarra…

      Break a leg!

      It sounds like you put the effort into preparing properly, so be confident you’ll knock it out of the park!


  • Nadia

    Reply Reply September 25, 2015

    Hi there,

    Just wanted to say first and foremost that this was a great and extremely helpful resource. I have another interview scheduled for next week and I wish I had read this before the phone call came in today to let me know about the second interview invitation. In my daze, I didn’t ask any questions. The caller told me the first name of the person who will be interviewing me, but not their last name or position in the company. I’ve looked through the staff directory and can’t really decide who they are because it’s a pretty common first name. Do you think it is appropriate for me to call back and ask for more information about my interviewer?


    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply September 26, 2015

      Great question!

      I would say that yes, it is ok to call back and obtain some more information. It really just depends on how you frame it.

      If you just call back saying, “I need to know so and so’s last name,” it might come off as either a little creepy or possibly even a tad annoying.

      Most companies, however, expect interviewees to try to gather some of this information. So if you call in and lead with the fact that you are just trying to get a little more information about your upcoming interview AND sandwich the name question in between two other relevant questions (i.e. “Where will the interview be located?”, “Can I expect more than one interviewer in my interview”, etc.) than you should be fine.

      Keep it brief and non-threatening and you should easily get the information you need.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

  • Salome D!

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    Hey guys!

    Great article! I just got a call for my second interview, (the first one was a phone interview) and it is scheduled for Wednesday. Needless to say, I am a bit nervous. Really happy I found your website, it helped a great deal. I didn’t know who was going to interview me, so I followed your advice and just found out it is going to be one-on-one. I guess it is better than a panel right? I tend to easily panic and stutter during the first few minutes of an interview and I hope this arrangement is going to work in my favour.

    Anyways, keep up the good work!
    Going back to my research. 🙂

  • NoelBerger

    Reply Reply October 17, 2015

    This material is explosive! It really worked for me: I have had several phone screening interviews, and now I have an interesting situation to describe. One company’s hiring manager did the screening interview, then immediately pushed me up to the F2F interview next week without even having a long phone interview. I went from screen to personal interview in 30 minutes! My concern is that this is my second choice. My first choice screening interview went exceptionally well, but they are really taking their time to schedule a phone interview. The recruiter said I should remain patient, but 8 weeks is a long time, and I have not be De-Selected from the interview pool – nobody has for any of the 8 positions they are hiring for.

    What do I do if I get an offer from my 2nd choice company, and still no interview from the first choice company? I don’t want to rule either of them out. Of course if my first choice doesn’t select me that would answer that, but I anticipate my second choice will make me an offer. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush? Be true to myself and tell the 2nd choice that they need to give me time to consider? Thoughts?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply October 21, 2015


      Your instincts are correct. The best policy is always honesty, especially if you do have your heart set on your first choice company. Of course you do run the risk that your second choice company will have to move on before you hear from the other company. In this case, you can go to the first choice company and let them know that you have been given an offer, and inquire about the status of your interview/application. Make sense?

  • Lynn Smythe

    Reply Reply October 20, 2015

    Great article!

    I’ve been interviewing with a number of companies during the past few weeks. It’s taking a lot longer than I thought. Hopefully something will pan out and I’ll get a job offer.

    This time the job search process seems to be very drawn out. For example one company I’m taking with so far has requested:
    1. Phone screening with outside consultant
    2. Skype interview with outside consultant
    3. In-person interview with HR Director, then shown to conference room for interview with outside consultant and his assistant
    4. Received a phone call today asking if I could come in later in the week for a 2nd round of in-person interviews

    I let the HR Director know my schedule (I already have 2 other interviews set up for this week). She will call me back tomorrow to let me know what day/time to come in. I didn’t think the first in-person interview went that great. One of the people I was scheduled to interview with couldn’t be found. I took that as a sign they decided to hire one of the previous interviewees so were kind of blowing me off when they couldn’t find this other person.

    They said they would make hiring decision by last Thursday/Friday so when I didn’t hear back I thought that was the end of it. So was a bit surprised to receive the phone call today. Maybe the interview went okay and they are bringing me back in to meet with the person they couldn’t locate last week? So I guess it’s a good sign but I’ve never had so many pre-screenings and interviews for a rather mid-level position. I could see if this was for a senior executive position, but it’s not.

    Anyways, I’m preparing my list of questions, etc… for that 2nd (or 4th depending on how you look at it) interview with that company. Tomorrow I have an in-person interview with another company (had a phone screening with them a few days ago), then Wednesday I have a phone screening with a 3rd company.


    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply October 21, 2015


      Sadly, these are some of the hoops that job seekers like yourself have to jump through in order to get a job in 2015. As annoying as it is, the positive thing to take away from it is that it has encouraged you to be as prepared as possible. And it sounds like you have really taken this to heart. Good work!

      Please let us know how everything turns out.

  • Wesley

    Reply Reply November 13, 2015

    Hello Guys,

    This is WONDERFUL information. Tomorrow i have not one but two second interviews for the company that i work for. I am currently looking for a new position at work that will help me reach my professional goals. I applied for these two positions at the same time and had the phone and first round interviews within weeks of one another.

    Now I have the second round interviews for both and its on the same date. I was a little nervous about having the second level interview b/c typically i would have the first interview (not counting the phone screen) and then an offer would be made but I feel that the universe is giving me more time to make a big decision by allowing me to get more insight on both positions so that I make the right one.

    The information from this website is a HUGE help and I feel more confident about going to the interviews tomorrow. So once again Thanks a million 🙂

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply November 13, 2015


      Thanks for the kind words, and best of luck on your second interview!

  • Arvind

    Reply Reply November 15, 2015

    HI Mike,
    Just read through your article, great job sir. very insightful might i add.

    I have been asked to go back for a 2nd interview Next Wednesday. The HR person has sent me a brief of what to expect but the brief is exactly the same as the 1st round.

    The 1st round involved lots on competency based questions along with a technical test at the end of it. ( work relates to risk management and general insurance).

    The HR guys are based in a different city altogether and not int he city the job has been advertised and where i have been for my 1st round. Could there be a possibility that the HR person has not been told about the test i have already done?

    I just want to prepare to the best of my abilities and trying to figure out what to expect.


    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply November 18, 2015

      Hi Arv!

      Good question, but I’m afraid it’s tough for me to answer without knowing the intricacies of your company’s interview practices. If I had to guess, I’d wager that they are sharing information. Having said that, you can’t assume that they are. So make sure you are familiar with the contents from the first test.

      Also, you may just want to ask the first HR person the same question you just asked me!

      Good luck!


  • James

    Reply Reply November 17, 2015

    By far the best article online for second interviews. I just wish it had some more questions haha! My interview is tomorrow and I love this article so thank you!!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply November 18, 2015

      Thanks for the kind words James, and good luck on your next interview!


  • Jody

    Reply Reply November 18, 2015

    I had a phone interview and then an in person interview with HR manager, my potential manager and an administrator manager. They want me back for another interview with the HR manager, potential manager and now the senior manager. Is this interview now technically the 3rd interview?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply November 18, 2015


      In most cases, your phone interview would be considered a “screening interview”, and then your two in-person interviews would be interview one and two. However, it’s hard for me to say definitively without knowing how in-depth your phone interview was.

      In reality, it doesn’t really matter! The point is, you have passed each stage with flying colors, and this is great news. Now, this is no time to put your feet up and coast to the finish line. You really want to get a good understanding of all aspects of the role and the company, because the next interview is sure to test you much more than the first!

      Best of luck.


  • Sara

    Reply Reply November 23, 2015


    Thank you for this article, it was very helpful as I prepare for a second(?) interview!

    I had an impromptu interview at an event where many interviews were taking place at my college. I wasn’t able to get an interview with the company I wanted initially, but I was able to catch a hiring manager at the end of the day who was happy to sit down and have an unplanned interview. Since the job is out of town, we are having a second interview over the phone. Do you think this would be considered the second interview or would this still be part of the initial screening process?

    Thank you,

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply November 23, 2015


      It’s really hard to tell… it would depend how much you covered on the first interview. But I will say the way you described the first interview – “unplanned interview” – probably hints at an informal, screening-type interview with a “TBD” designation.

      Your phone interview will probably include a lot of what is included on a traditional screening interview, perhaps leaving out things that you’ve already recovered and replacing them with some elements from the next stage (or in-person interview). Then again, since the job is out of town, this may indicate that you are just experiencing things backwards (meaning your phone interview will be more in-depth than a traditional interview).

      Does this make sense? Again, it’s hard for me to be totally sure without knowing everything that was discussed in your initial meeting.

      The most important thing for you to remember is to be prepared for anything. Spend some time doing some research on the company and position, and make sure you learn how to “tailor” your entire interview to this specific company.

      Show them how you can add value!


  • Mido

    Reply Reply December 2, 2015

    Hi Mike,

    Great resources and information to pass the obstacles of the interview proces, i have passed the phone interview then one on one interview with the HR assistand then have been invited for the second stage interview with the HR Manager but they have told me that i will spend around an hour at the work environment to check how i would fare, i am a bit nervous encase I say or do that might make the other employees or the hiring manager have another thought, any suggestions?

    Thank You


    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply December 4, 2015


      I totally get it. Meeting your potential team for the first time comes with a lot of pressure and can be intimidating.



      You’ve made it this far, so clearly, not only are you qualified for the position, but someone (who has been hired to find the best people…they know what they are doing) has decided that your personality is also a fit for the company. It’s a dream scenario!

      All that is left for you to do is “be yourself”, with a slight asterisk. Focus on getting along with each of the members of the group you will work with, but don’t overdo it. Show that you can add value to the team, but don’t be annoying about it.

      The most important thing at this stage is to be likeable as a person, which the HR assistant has already established that you are by advancing you to this stage.

      Good luck! Let us know how it goes.


  • Mike V.

    Reply Reply December 3, 2015

    Hi Mike

    I have my second interview on Friday and the hiring company is paying the ticket for my travel expenses. I will have one on one interviews with 4 different people and closing with the HR contact. I found this article very helpful. As a very successful sales guy, I am comfortable in the idea of selling myself personally and technically. I know that sounds a little cocky. But I am confident in my technical background which is very helpful in my sales career. I know the article mentioned to ensure my strong answers aligns well with the job role and responsibilities but wanted to check if there are any personal questions they may ask that I can turn around back to them in the form of a question to better gauge the personality of the interviewer. In other words, to see if the person interviewing me with personal questions would also be a team player like me. I owe much of my success to my coworkers as I am not afraid to use my resource when I need to in order to be successful in a particular task. I always help others as well as I love to see others being successful as well. So as much as I am a team player, I want to see if there is a way I could figure out if their culture is the same.

    Let me know your thoughts.


    Mike V.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply December 4, 2015

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your question.

      Here’s the thing. Yes, there are a million different personal questions they can ask, and in reality, it’s impossible to prepare for all of them. Not only that, but the idea that you are going to use one of them to gauge the personality of the interviewer (while interesting) is a somewhat misguided.

      Don’t get me wrong. It’s extremely important to build a good rapport with the interviewer and engage in an interesting and dynamic conversation. But what you should really hope to accomplish is to get a better sense of the culture of the company, and more importantly, the team you are going to work with. And you don’t want to do this during the interview, you want to try and accomplish this in your research of the company (before the interview).

      Companies today are very quick to share (or even brag about) their corporate culture, including the types of people they hire and what a “day in the life” is like. You can easily learn all about this information by visiting your company’s web properties, including their website, Facebook (and LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube etc.) page and by visiting websites like Glassdoor and This is where you should focus your energy pre-interview.

      And try to adjust the way you think about being a “team player”. Rather than asking yourself, “Are they team players like I am?”, ask yourself what kind of person you need to be to bring the most value to the company. Why? Because that’s what they care about.

      Think about it. If you go into your interview focusing heavily on being a team player and it just isn’t that important to them, what good is it doing you? What if they put way more value in something else? You’re going on and on about being a team player and they’re just sitting there wondering when you’re going to show them how you add value.

      So start by finding out what they put a lot of value in, and focus your interview around that.

      I hope this makes sense.


  • Mike

    Reply Reply December 5, 2015

    Hi mike,

    So I will have a second interview in my current job. This will be a new position for me where my past experience will help me but I still will need to learn more about the job. This will interview will be with a manager and HR personal and perhaps other person which I don’t know yet. What do you suggest I can do bring up my experience which are related to the new job but at the same time how can i not sound naive in case they ask me some stuff I might not know about the job very well?

    Please give me some suggestion for someone who has a second interview with his current employer.

    Thank you,

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply December 14, 2015

      Do you mean that you are interviewing for a different position within the company you are currently working for? If so, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to research the position. Speak with people that are in the department you are applying to and find out what Qualities are necessary for you to be successful. Then, you want to come up with examples from your previous position that show you demonstrating those Qualities!

      Hope this helps.

  • DougAshley

    Reply Reply December 15, 2015

    Hello Mike,
    I have had two interviews between Nov 2 and Nov 30. I followed up each interview with an email thank you. I followed up these two interviews with a telephone call to the primary interviewer in the second week of Dec 2015 and was advised at that time that because of Xmas that they would revisit this opportunity in January 2016 ( I am a Construction Project Manager). I followed up the last telephone contact with an email to the primary interviewer with a thank you and looked forward to speaking again in Jan 2016. My question is: In your opinion, when would it be appropriate for me to make contact, or should I wait for the potential employer to contact me?

    Your insight would be appreciated.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply December 16, 2015


      At this time, I would leave it be until after the holidays. You’ve certainly done what you can to make yourself known at this point.

      However, I still think you should follow up again if you haven’t heard anything by January 10.


  • James F.

    Reply Reply December 21, 2015

    Hi Mike,

    I just wanted to really thank you guys for making me feel more confidant during my last interview. Two weeks ago I landed my first interview for a position that I’m truly passionate about. My first round was with a panel ( 4 people total ), one was a senior manager and the others were from HR. This was my first interview I had since 2008 (7 years!!) I was hammered with all types of questions, ranging from standard, behavioural, situational and technical. the interview was over an hour and a half long. Last week I received a call back asking me to come in for a second interview, I’ve been tasked to create a 20 minute presentation on a specific topic that will be given to me in a few days. I also feel like I’ll be asked more technical questions relating to the position. Hopefully this will be the last round!!! Any tips or ideas on what to expect?

  • Jenn