Second Time’s the Charm: 10 Questions to Ask During a Second Interview

February 11, 2019

So, you’ve been asked to come in for a second interview. You might be thinking, “Yay, they like me! Now what?” Chances are, if you’ve made it this far in the company’s hiring process, then your resume and performance in the first interview were impressive enough to garner serious interest in your potential as a future employee. The second interview is an opportunity for the employer to get to know you on a more personal level to determine if you are a good fit with the team and the company culture.

For you, the second interview can accomplish three goals:

  1. reiterate the reasons that you are the best candidate for the job,
  2. find out where you stand as a candidate, and
  3. determine if this job is a good fit for you.

With that in mind, you can be certain that the second interview will NOT be a repeat of the first; therefore, you should come prepared with an entirely different set of questions to ask the interviewer. Here are 10 questions to ask during a second interview that will make you stand out as a formidable candidate and help you decide if this job is a hit or a miss for your career:

  1. How would you describe the culture here? This shows that you are interested in the people you work with. Company culture is extremely important and it is crucial to know what type of environment you’re going to be working in.
  2. What is the organizational structure, and how many employees work in this department? This is a great question that will give you insight into what your day to day work life will be like.
  3. What do you like most about working here? This is another great way to get insight into the company environment and show that you’re interested in your potential employers.
  4. What are some of the key challenges associated with this job? It’s great to ask this so that you can be prepared.
  5. What are the main priorities over the next 90 days/6 months for the person who attains this position? This will show initiative and give you a clear vision of your potential responsibilities.
  6. What kinds of development opportunities are available for an employee in this position? For example, will there be support for additional training or education? Advancement opportunities? Asking this will demonstrate a desire to continue to improve.
  7. If hired, how do you think that I could best contribute to the company’s success? This is a win-win question. Your potential employer will see that you want help the company grow, and you can get insight into how to achieve your own success within the company.
  8. What was it about my skills and qualifications that stood out for you during your candidate search and interviewing process? Asking this question will help you be more aware of your strengths moving forward.
  9. Does the total compensation package include other perks beyond the salary and benefits? This is a great question that people don’t often think of. It shows that you value the company beyond the salary they provide.
  10. Would you like for me to provide additional references? Always have references ready to go. This is just another way of showing that you’re a quality candidate.


While you may have already asked some of these questions in the initial interview, it is a good idea to keep questions like these in mind for the second round. More often than not, the questions that you ask are just as impactful on the company’s hiring decisions (and your own decisions about the job) as your answers to their questions. Asking good questions makes lasting impression for a potential employer and (hopefully) tips the proverbial hiring scale in your favor. These questions can also tell you whether your job search is over or you’re back to the drawing board (or, rather, the job board)! Need more ideas? Contact Pinnacle Consulting & Recruiting for expert guidance as you take that next step in your career.

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