Second interviews are a fact of life as you climb the career ladder. While more junior roles may only require one interview, as you progress you’re far more likely to be called back for a second interview, or maybe even a third. However, in some organisations, a second interview is standard across all levels.

In general, first-round interviews are designed to screen candidates and create a shortlist. Second interview questions are designed to really dig into whether you’ll be a good fit for the role and the organisation.

Here’s what to expect in a second-round interview and some sample interview questions:

Prepare for competency-based questions

Competency-based hiring is a key strategy for many organisations. Competency-based questions require you to recall specific examples where you responded to a certain kind of situation. Where a first-round interview may take the form of a free-form conversation, and could well include some competency-based questions, the second round interview questions will likely be more structured and targeted to your industry.

Related: 5 interview mistakes you should never make

Expect behavioural questions

Where competency-based questions aim to ascertain your skills, technical abilities, and experience, behavioural questions focus on your personality, soft skills, and cultural fit for the particular organisation, team, and role.

  • Give an example of a situation when you used logic to solve a problem.
  • Describe an occasion you made an unpopular decision and how you handled it.
  • Have you ever not met a goal? Why?

Related: Top 5 soft skills to demonstrate at an interview

Questions about your expectations

While a first-round interview is the wrong place to discuss salary expectations, promotion options or leave, in a second interview you may be asked questions like what your salary expectations are, career goals and, crucially, why you want to work in this job and this organisation, specifically.

To answer these questions well you’ll need to do your research about the organisation and its industry, and make a compelling argument about how you can bring value with your unique skills.

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