Asking Good Second Interview Questions for the Executive Interview

Asking good second interview questions can help make an impression for executives, so we have established a list of common 2nd interview questions for candidates to use. Expectations, interview approaches and questioning styles often change between first and second interviews. With second interviews, expectations rise because it is more about testing executive leadership credentials, being more specific and challenging candidates with tougher interview questions using a more sophisticated approach. Equally, candidates need to be more targeted and specific with the questions they ask during second interviews.

2nd Interviews: Role-Specific Questions

Asking good 2nd interview questions for executives often revolves around the job specification, precise expectations and contract-specific issues. Employers would reasonably expect questions regarding proposed start dates, benefits packages and salary details (if not already been discussed). There may also be things that need to be elaborated on from the first interview, plus things like key projects, future business direction and long-term vision for the company by placing the role into a wider context.

Added Responsibilities

This may involve clarifying aspects of the job description or contractual details overlooked or previously not discussed such as with added responsibilities, key deliverables or expectations for performing in the role. This is because sometimes the job description may not truly reflect the actual reality faced in the job. For instance, there may be other things that have been understated or additional challenges being faced in the role. The idea is to gain a better overview about whether the role is suitable by digging slightly deeper (i.e. there may be hidden issues to undercover with company owners, financial situation, board conflicts or corporate politics).

Second Interview Questions: Salary Questions

It goes without saying, executives must have a clear salary negotiation strategy in mind, having done some research and salary benchmarking to determine relative market value. The underlying rule about salary is only ask questions that executives can confidently answer themselves, especially if the question is ‘turned-around’ / ‘flipped’ by the interviewer with a question! This is often done to draw-out a salary negotiation point from candidates rather than gaining a definitive answer from the interviewer.

Executive 2nd Interview Questions: Outcome / Next Stage

Again, use this question to an advantage to gain insights into next steps, particularly if there is an extended interview process as well as asking about when a decision would be made. Sometimes, there may be two, three or four interviews, plus a presentation and other psychometric tests, especially if recruiting for high profile roles or there are two exceptional candidates. It is a good idea to find out to plan ahead or focus on other opportunities if the interview process is going to be long / drawn-out (i.e. companies often lose talented executives if interview processes are long and drawn-out).

Second Interview Questions: Conclusion

Executive interviews are a two-way process, so it has to feel right for both parties. Asking good questions at second interview demonstrates a clear interest in the role and helps make a favourable impression. Make sure questions are relevant, simple and straight to the point, rather than over-complicate them. External article covering Second Interview Questions to Ask the Employer. In addition, please see our related article relating to first interview questions to ask at executive interview.