The job search can be a very long process, and many organizations interview qualified candidates several times. If you’ve been lucky enough to land a second interview, it usually means that the first interview went well and the hiring company wants you to meet other managers and decision makers. In general, second interviews get more into specific details about the position and company. The second interview is your time to prove that you will be a valuable asset to the company, and you can do this by asking a variety of intelligent, detailed questions.
While the first interview most likely focused on broad questions and discussions of your skill sets, past experience and position description, the second interview typically goes into great detail about what is expected of you. When it’s your turn to ask questions, make the most of your time by getting clarification about the position. Some good questions for the second interview include: “Can you clarify what my initial duties will be while I’m still training?” and “Please walk me through a normal day on the job. What daily responsibilities will I have?”
Use the second interview to make sure this is a company you want to work for. Ask questions about the company leadership and work culture or philosophy, as well as any recent events you’ve read about. According to Columbia University, a good question for the HR representative is, “What does the orientation and training program look like?” Other good questions include: “How often are performance appraisals conducted?” and “Has the company gone through any layoffs in the past few years or do you foresee any major personnel changes?” If you are a recent college graduate, ask about mentoring programs and career pathways, because you’ll want to ensure that you can grow professionally.
While you should never bring up salary or numbers before the hiring manager does, you can ask questions about the position’s overall benefits. For example, you can ask, “How often are salary reviews conducted and how are they evaluated?” Ask general questions, such as, “What does your overall benefits package look like?” and “Does the company have a tuition reimbursement plan?”
Many companies will introduce you to prospective co-workers or peers in the second interview. Take advantage of this time by asking good questions, such as: “What is the best thing about the company?” and “What has been your greatest challenge here?” You also might want to ask: “What does the typical work day look like?” to make sure that what you’ve been told is accurate.
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