Last updated on January 24th, 2019 at 11:24 am

Job applicant looks nervous in his interview, playing with a ballpen in his hands. He wears a brown shirt and glasses. He has a gentle mustache.

You have successfully passed the initial screening interview, you have overcome the first hurdle. Great!

Now they have invited you for the interview in the company–your 2nd test. Perhaps you are just one little step from signing a new job contract with them…

But how does the second interview differ from the first one? What questions  will they ask you? And how to make a good impression on the recruiting managers?

We will try to find the answers on the following lines.


Second, or final interview?

In many cases, second interview will be also the final interview in the company. At the end of the entire session (when they finished interviewing the last applicant), they will decide who gets the job.

If you apply for a management role, however, or for a highly technical position, second interview will typically be just another step in the hiring process. Even when you do extremely well, will still have to pass the final interview (meeting with the decision maker), or even go through the assessment center.

In the article, however, we will focus on the second interview, and the most common questions you will deal with in this meeting. Let’s go!


Behavioral interviewing

Three people talk in an interview. One woman and two man. One of the man is the job applicant.We know that you meet the basic job requirements. We know that you have good communication skills, and would not do badly in your new job.

All these questions have been already answered, in the screening stage of hiring process.

In the second interview with you, we try to understand how you would act in various work related situations, how would you handle them.

Your answers to behavioral questions help us to understand your attitude to work, to your colleagues, and to all kinds of things that happen on the workplace. You can expect to get some of the following questions:

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
  • Describe a conflict you had with your colleague.
  • Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service (for the customer, for the colleague)
  • Describe a situation when you reached a goal and tell us how you achieved it.
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client (customer).
  • Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a time when you struggled with motivation in job (it was repetitive, you did not enjoy your duties, there was no work to do, etc). How did you overcome the crisis?
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?
  • Describe a difficult decision you had to make in your professional career. How did making this decision affect you?
  • Describe the biggest failure of your professional career, and how you overcame the failure.
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
  • Describe a situation when you were unable to meet your goals in work.
  • Describe your latest project (task). Which problems did you face when trying to realize it?
  • Describe a time when you have effectively resolved another person’s request. What was the situation and what kinds of information did you gather to help assist in resolving their request?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client. How did you handle this delicate situation?

Special Tip: If you struggle with answers to behavioral questions (you are not alone if you do struggle with them), have a look at our Interview Success Package. Thank you!


Duo of hiring managers talks to a job applicant. The second interview takes places in a school environment.Technical questions

Your answers to behavioral questions tell us a lot about you: how you approach your work, your colleagues, how you would act in various work related situations.

But they do not tell us much about your readiness for a particular job, especially for a technical aspect of it–whether you can cook (if you interview for a job in a restaurant) whether you can design websites (if you interview for a web designer position), whether you can actually manage people, design a marketing campaign, etc.

Only your answers to technical questions (both theoretical and practical) will tell us something more about your readiness for the job–whether you can really do it.

As you can probably guess, these questions vary from one position to another. If you want to see questions that are specific for your position, navigate to this section of our website, choose your job field and a position you apply for.



Once they invited you for a second interview, they do not doubt your education or experience anymore. But they want to learn more about your attitude to work and other people (your answers to behavioral questions tell a story about it), and your readiness for technical aspects of the job (answers to job-specific questions indicate that).

Get ready for both of these groups, and succeed in your interview. We wish you good luck! – Your best job interview coach since 2011.


May also interest you:

  • How to dress for your interview – Four rules to consider when choosing clothes to wear.
  • Job interview etiquette – Regardless of your approach to the interviews, and your strategy in the meetings with the employers, certain borders should not be crossed.
  • Teamwork interview questions – Teamwork is one of the foundation stones of success. HR managers will often give you a couple of questions that test your teamwork ability. Learn how to deal with the questions.

Matthew Chulaw
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