What to Expect In a Second Interview

The interview process can be daunting, and sometimes, you may have to go through more than one interview round for the same job. Why is this?

The second interview typically functions to discuss more in-depth on the job description and how you would function in that role. It gives interviewers a chance to learn more about you, as they were impressed by you in the first, a more general round of interviews.

The second interview solidifies you as a great candidate and showcases your experience, your skills, and your knowledge about the field or the position.

Preparing for Your Second Interview

When it comes to your second interview, you will certainly want to be prepared! Preparation will help you to perform better on the spot during your interview, as well as help you to feel more confident, knowledgeable, and in control. If you’re looking for some tips to ace your second interview you can click to read our more recent article on Second Interview Tips.

Learn About Your Interviewers

If you ask for the agenda for the day of your second interview, the names of your interviewers will usually be listed. Once you have that information, you can do some research on them, which will help you to plan your conversation during your interview.

Having some knowledge of these employees in their background will not only make you more prepared but will help you to feel more knowledgeable and confident going into the interview.

Depending on the hiring process for the company, the second round interviews may involve an interview panel, although this isn’t the case for every company, but just be prepared to have more than one person involved in the interview.

It allows other team members to get to know you and if you are a good fit for the role as well as the right fit with the company culture.


Just like you should have done for your initial interview, you should do some research before a second interview. This is when you should be doing a thorough investigation about the company you are interviewing for.

It is vital that you are aware of details such as the company’s mission, values and business operations, as well as any recent events or news that they have been involved in. This is typically found on the company website.

By doing your research, this will aid you in answering interview questions and give you a better understanding of the company, but will also make you look more serious and invested in the opportunity that you are interviewing for.

Brush Up

You will want to brush up on your field of work before the interview, as this second interview may be used to test your skills or industry knowledge. You will want to be able to answer these questions in a calm, collected manner that conveys your knowledge and experience.

Being able to converse about the industry or trade– as well as being able to offer suggestions of ideas to integrate at this company– will help show the interviewers that you are competent and would be a good fit for the position.

Prepare Answers to Common Interview Questions

Just as you would for a first interview, you should prepare answers for common interview questions so that you have a loose script that you can stick to. This will help to ensure that you come across well and can advocate for yourself and what you bring to the table, even if you tend to get nervous in interview situations.

Practicing answering questions prior to the interview will make answering these questions feel almost like muscle memory!

Also, be prepared to discuss salary expectations, the final stages in job interviews will lead to these discussions so have a number in mind.

Review Your Notes

Look back on your previous interviews or any conversations you may have had with the hiring manager or HR, for example. Take the time to thoroughly read through the notes you took during these conversations. Refreshing your memory in this way should also make you feel confident and prepared to have a more in-depth conversation in your second interview. It should also give you some ideas on things you may want clarification on, or other questions you can prepare to ask your interviewers.

Additionally review the job posting to remind yourself of the exact qualifications the company is looking for, as well as the responsibilities expected of the job title.

Tips for Success in Your Second Interview

When interviewing, it may feel nerve-wracking, as if there is a lot on the line. However, with preparation and the proper attitude, you can ace your second interview without a problem.

The most important thing is to be properly prepared beforehand. Here are some more tips to keep in mind when going in for a second interview.

  • Show excitement and enthusiasm
  • Be curious about the job and the company
  • Be confident
  • Make eye contact
  • Show genuine interest
  • Prepare to do the talking
  • Use examples to bolster your answers
  • Dress appropriately and professionally
  • Rest up beforehand
  • Be on time
  • Have a prepared list of your own questions if not already asked in the first interview
  • Send a thank-you note or message afterwards
  • Follow up

By already having completed the first interview, you covered some of the initial “scary” aspects, meaning you now know how to get to the interview and where to find parking. You know how to locate the office (if one). You’ve met the front desk staff and most likely the hiring manager.

What to Expect In a Second Interview - About Staffing

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a second interview?

When preparing for a second interview, ask for the agenda and learn about your interviewers. You will also want to research and review your notes from your previous interviews, as well as prepare your responses to common interview questions and prepare questions to ask your interviewers, too.

Does a second interview mean you have the job?

A second interview is a great sign, but it does not mean you have the job yet. It usually signifies that the interviewer felt you met the basic requirements and seemed interested in the job opportunity.

What is normally asked in a second interview?

While every interview is different, second interviews are usually more in-depth, targeting a potential employee’s values, ethics, and competencies. The questions being asked will be more situational, such as “what would you do if…” type questions.

Do you usually get hired after a second interview?

A second interview does mean you have a better chance of getting the job. You can increase your chances by making a strong and immediate follow-up after the second interview. However, stay professional– don’t be pushy!

Is the second interview harder than the first?

The second interview will likely require more preparation, more questions, more people in the interview room, and more pressure. On the other hand, the second interview also means more likelihood that you will get the job.

Should I send a follow-up e-mail after a second interview?

Yes, sending a follow-up thank-you e-mail is recommended, especially from an etiquette perspective. Sending a handwritten note instead may help you to stand out among the other job candidates.