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tedibear's avatar

What are some second interview questions that I might encounter?

Asked by tedibear (17673points) August 2nd, 2012

Tomorrow I have a second interview for a bank training position. The first interview went very well and I thought it was quite thorough. Tomorrow’s interview is with the H.R. Vice President (who is a former colleague from another bank) and the same H.R. generalist that I met with last week.

Any ideas about what questions I might encounter?

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19 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m sure you’ll get good answers from people here, but one important thing to focus on with job interviews is asking your interviewers good questions. Ask them about advancement opportunities, performance bonuses, basically the questions that someone who has every intention of working hard and doing well in the company would want to know. e.g. “Mrs. [name of person interviewing you], I had a couple of questions for you, If you don’t mind me asking them. If I perform exceptionally well, are there opportunities for advancement with your organization? Are there rewards for exemplary performances? Do you tend to promote from within?” etc.

Framing these questions gets the interviewer in the mindset that you have every intention of busting your ass and being a great employee. This is a great mindset for them to be in when deciding to hire you or the person they’re not sure about. Best of luck.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

You might encounter the question: “Why did you leave your last job?” That is a question that has lost so many people the job. If you get asked that question and you had an office job, then say “I hated the work invironment. My boss was nasty to me and my coworkers, and the company would often set completely ridiculous deadlines and we would be forced to work weekends in order to meet it.” If it was a service job, then answer “I was underapreciated and I decided that I didn’t want to keep feeling like that.” Works every time.

tedibear's avatar

@gorillapaws – Thank you for that reminder. I went into the first interview with about 12 questions, a couple of which were answered during their questions to me. Funny that you mention exemplary performance as that is one that I asked! You made me feel better with that response. If you have others, bring them on!

@Mr_Paradox – We covered that too. If it comes up again, I am lucky to have the answer that I missed training, not that I hate what I’m doing now. Whew!

Thank you both for your help! More jellies, please! (Or more from the two of you!)

SpatzieLover's avatar

Why do you want to work for our company?

What interests you about this position?

I agree with @gorillapaws. Interview them about advancement, if they pay for further training/schooling…Also ask them if they advanced within the company (how they got their positions), and what the management style is like.

Kayak8's avatar

Seems like some folks are still asking the “what is your greatest weakness” question and I have found the best answer is to take a strength and turn it around. For example, “It took me a while to learn not to take my student’s success in our training personally. Eventually, I learned to better assess their learning styles and to adapt my teaching/training to their specific manner of learning and that has made a big difference.” Any weakness should be accompanied by your acknowledgement of the weakness and active steps to overcome it because that is what the question is really driving at.

In addition to what @gorillapaws said above (having questions for them), for a training position, I have often found that interviewers have been impressed with my offering a few written evaluations from students in my previous training sessions (not just check boxes, but written comments about how you connected with the student and how your methods allowed your message to reach them for the first time in their whole life kind of thing. Just as an architect or draftsman would bring in drawings and a writer would bring writing samples, this shows that you take this seriously.

If you don’t have evaluations from your training experience, start saving them. A collection of evaluations across a time span that shows consistency is invaluable!

wundayatta's avatar

A second interview with someone you already interviewed with and who is a former colleague? Generally second interviews are to meet other people who need to know you and approve you. Or they are to discuss specific details, perhaps about compensation or work conditions that were not discussed the first time around. Since it is with the HR person, it seems more likely it would focus on HR kinds of issues.

So maybe you should be prepared to discuss compensation, or work issues. I don’t know if they might want you part time, or to work from home, or to travel a lot, or who knows what. Depends on the position, I guess. But if they are having you back, it means they think you can do the job and that you get along with the team. Or at least, the team believes that.

Do let us know what they ask. I’d be interested to find out.

tedibear's avatar

Thank you all! I will report back later today.

tedibear's avatar

The interview went very well. Instead of being the H.R. Generalist and the H.R. Manager (who is the former colleague) it was the H.R. Manager and the Training Manager. Which I thought was a little odd because the Training Manager was in my first interview. She seems nice, so I didn’t mind. Her comment was that she wanted a chance to get to know me a little better. I wasn’t sure what to make of that, and still am not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing!

Most of the questions were a repeat of what I was asked in the first interview. Things such as “Tell me about a training program you designed from the ground up. How did you go about that?” and “When you have to learn a new program that you will have to teach, how do you go about learning that particular program.” “Tell me about a time you led a group of colleagues or subordinates. What did you do to get everyone to work together?” “Tell me about a situation where you have had to work with someone that you didn’t like.”

@wundayatta – Just to clarify, the H.R. person from the first interview was not my former colleague. The H.R. person today was.

That’s the update. I appreciate everyone’s help. Hopefully I will hear in the next couple of weeks whether I got the job.

srmorgan's avatar

I hope I am not too late here but there is one question that I find is an absolute killer.
You ask it at the right moment, late in the interview, directed to the person for whom you will work.
“What could I do or accomplish in the first six months of this job that would absolutely delight you?”
Asking it shows a potential boss that you will focus on getting him or her what they want. It shows that you are thinking beyond the “requirements” of the job as described in the interview. You imply to the interviewers that not only do you have the confidence to do what they have described to you, you are already thinking about the possibilities.

Maybe my reasoning is not completely clear. I have interviewed dozens of people and been the job candidate more times than I care to remember. This question always gets a surprise reaction from the interviewer.

Just a suggestion


tedibear's avatar

@srmorgan – That was a wonderful question! The interview was Friday morning, so I didn’t get to use it. While I was offered the opportunity to email questions if I thought of anything, I don’t know that I could use the question effectively via email.

srmorgan's avatar

There must be some way to include the question in an e-mail but nothing comes to mind either.
I must admit sheepishly that I had an interview on Wednesday and did not think of this question but then this was not a conventional situation: the job has been vacant since February and I have been doing it since May 1 as a temp. They finally listed the position on the website and I applied for it and got the interview. So I know the expectations of the person I would report to.

It is a good question because it prompts more conversation and gives you a clue to how the interviewer thinks and even might give you some insight into the company’s culture.

Good Luck


mattbrowne's avatar

Tell me about a crisis and how you dealt with it.

tedibear's avatar

I got the job!!!! Starts August 27th. And for slightly more money than they talked about initially.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Nekked pancake party at my cabin tomorrow to celebrate!

tedibear's avatar

Wait… why can’t the pancakes be dressed? They’re not as good unless there’s butter and syrup…

Mr_Paradox's avatar

….................... no comment.

Bellatrix's avatar

Congratulations @tedibear! Fabulous news :-) Here’s a lemon, some sugar and a bottle of maple syrup. Just in case you end up going to the Cabin in the Woods with @Mr_Paradox.

wundayatta's avatar

That’s great news!

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