Difference Between the First & Second Interview

by George N. Root III ; Updated September 26, 2017
The first and second job interviews are very different.

The interview process often consists of at least two different sets of interviews. Each time you meet with company representatives, you should have a professional attitude and approach. But understanding the differences between the first and second interviews can help you to be better prepared. You can improve your chances of getting the job by knowing what to expect and being ready to answer the company's questions.


The first interview is often referred to as the "screening interview" while the second interview is called the "hiring interview," according to Irene Marshall, writing for The Ladders website. The screening interview is used to check the accuracy of the information on your resume by asking you specific questions about your experience and your background. You may also have to take personality and aptitude tests at the screening interview as well. The second interview, the hiring interview, is geared towards the specific position and whether or not your skills fit the company's needs.


The first interview is often done by a human resources professional either over the phone or in person. The interviewer uses forms that contain basic questions that the company needs answered during the screening process. The second interview is done by people who are more closely associated with the department for which you are interviewing. The departmental manager, any team or project leaders and divisional vice presidents could be involved in the second interview. There may also be a panel interview that consists of employees from the department.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Techwalla
Brought to you by Techwalla


The first interview may entail filling out the company application and running through the job description with the human resources professional. Any important details about the position such as the need for relocation or an extended training period out of town, is covered. You may be given a run-down of the basic company benefits, time-off policies and retirement plan structure. The second interview deals with more specific information such as compensation, work hours, managers you report to and the career path you may be offered.

Career Focus

The first interview is more concerned with where you are now and confirming your past experience. At the second interview, you should be prepared to discuss your future career plans and how you feel the company will benefit from your plans. If you have any future training or certifications you would like to achieve that are pertinent to the position, then they will be discussed at the second interview.

About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article