Second interview questions to ask candidates

3 mins read
Second Interview Questions

6 months ago

​​The second interview may seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel after weeks of recruitment to find someone for an opening at your business. Your previous interviews have removed candidates who don't fit the role, which leaves only a handful of people, one of whom you most certainly will be working with in the near future. But working out who this person should be is often decided by running a second interview.

The second interview is an important comparison task for you and your team and therefore the questions you use need to give you some real insight into the person you may employ. Yet, just as in your first round of interviews, asking the right questions can be crucial in order to understand if a candidate is suitable for the role.

Although there are never a fixed set of questions to ask in the second interview, here are our selection of questions for employers to ask which will hopefully allow you to understand a candidate more fully before making a decision on who to hire.

Second interview questions to ask candidates:

What are your personal long term career goals?

The way your candidate answers this question will give you an insight into where they would position themselves within your company in the long term. If they answer directly referencing your business then they are thinking of remaining within the company for the future and will work hard towards achieving their own career goals whilst working hard for the business. It also allows for you to gauge their personality as their honesty will be very important when making a final decision about who to hire.

Do you have any questions about the business or the role since your first interview?

This gives your candidate the opportunity to ask questions they may not have thought of during the nerve-wracking first interview. This is good for both of you as it allows you to see how much they have prepared for this interview but also gives them the chance to ask the really good questions they probably thought of on the journey home from the first time they met you.

What skills do you think are needed for this role?

This does not directly ask them what they could offer but questions their ability to comprehend the role and think critically. It then invites them to state the skills they have and how they compare with what they think is needed.

Why would you not be suitable for this role?

This asks your candidate to think about problem and resolution - how they would overcome any professional issues they may have in the role. How positive they are in answering this question gives you an idea for their own motivation for achievement.

What changes would you make at this company?

This invites your candidate to analyse the business constructively from the research they may or may not have undertaken prior to the interview. It gives you the opportunity to see how they would deal with negative questions and how they would positively bring about change. Good answers could include more specific training or offering more responsibility to certain members of the team.

How soon would you be able to start this role?

This is quite a typical question but an important one as the logistics of taking on new staff can be an administrative nightmare. It can be purely comparative as some candidates will be able to start sooner than others. It also shows their commitment to their current roles and how professional they are in their conduct. If they mention leaving their current position without serving notice they may do this to your business as well.

Ultimately, good questions are essential in establishing who will be best for your business. Hopefully, having met with a candidate for the second time, you will have a much better understanding of their skills, capabilities and – most importantly – whether or not they would be a good fit for your business.

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Reed’s Malta salary guide 2022

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses in Malta in 2022 is attracting and retaining staff - the best way to do this is to offer competitive salary and benefits packages.The most common benefits that Maltese companies offer are health insurance and annual bonuses, but the most valuable, sought-after benefit is flexible working. In addition to flexible working, employees are increasingly seeking career development opportunities. And, businesses that invest in these areas will be the most attractive to jobseekers.“On top of offering flexibility and competitive salaries and benefits, businesses should also remain open-minded when it comes to finding the right people. You will find some of your best workers by taking on those who are slightly less experienced and then providing them with training and support to fit your business needs. Offering upskilling and training opportunities to both new and existing colleagues will put you in a good position.” - James Reed, CEO and Chairman, Reed Using data from the jobs we have taken across Malta, our 2022 salary guide is the ultimate way to benchmark salaries. Who is this salary guide designed for?Our salary guide has been designed to inform jobseekers, employers and existing employees.Businesses can use our guides to inform their talent acquisition strategy, ensuring they stay ahead of their competition and attract the best talent. Those looking for jobs can discover their worth and know what is on offer in their sector across the country.Employees can also use the guide to benchmark their existing salary against the national average.What sectors does the Reed salary guide cover?The guide covers eight of Reed’s specialist recruitment sectors in Malta, providing information on roles at all levels. So, whether you are looking to hire a new finance director, head of marketing or CEO, or you are looking to progress from your role as an HR executive, to an HR manager, our salary guide has the information you need to help reinforce the decision you make.Reed’s 2022 Malta salary guide covers the following areas:·       Accountancy & finance·       Business support ·       Financial services·       Human resources·       Procurement & supply chain·       Sales & marketing·       Technology·       Temporary positions Why should I download Reed’s salary guide?Our salary guide reliably assesses the salary for hundreds of roles, ranging from 2019 to date. It also provides details of what each role is worth in 2022 – giving you a lower, average and upper salary band.Not only do we highlight the salaries for some of the most popular jobs in Malta, but our recruitment specialists also highlight some of the key trends in the labour market for each sector, offering advice and guidance for those looking for jobs as well as those hiring. “2022 is the time for businesses to focus on the future, reflect on how the pandemic has shifted employees’ perspectives on employment, and look at their aspirations for the next 12 months. “There will also be many opportunities for professionals this year. Businesses are seeking professionals who are self-motivated, excellent team players, agile and willing to adapt to the changing environment, and open to learning new skills.” - Ella Dzierzanowska, Business Manager, ReedAs the importance of offering the right benefits package is now more important than ever, our guide also gives you advice and ideas on some of the most attractive benefits jobseekers look for, and employers offer.Download Reed’s Malta salary guide 2022 and get planning for the year ahead.

Top questions to ask candidates on a telephone interview
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Top questions to ask candidates on a telephone interview

​​They may not be everyone's cup of tea, but telephone interviews have a lot of advantages. They are fast, easy to arrange and arm you with just the right level of information to begin whittling down your applicants.Of course phone interviews present challenges too. Mostly arising from the fact that you can't see the person you are talking to. Here's a primer on the kind of questions you should ask to get the best out of your phone interviews.Keep things simple...It's important not to get carried away with telephone interviews. Remember they are intended as a screening measure to decide who to invite for a face-face interview. You don't need your candidate's entire life story. Simple questions are the best policy.Candidates can often be nervous, which can make for an uncomfortable conversation where you fail to get the insight you need on your candidate. 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A four-day work week: the pros and cons
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A four-day work week: the pros and cons

​The past 16 months have given organisations time to consider how they operate, including the number of hours and days they require employees to work.It is no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way we work in the UK, with many businesses having to abandon the office to work from home almost overnight. As well as this, over the last year we have seen the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the challenge of juggling home schooling, leaving many employers no choice but to allow for flexible working arrangements.With this sudden shift to working from home and an increase in hybrid working, we have seen more and more conversations around work-life balance and businesses questioning their ‘typical working week’.The five-day work week has become a cultural norm, especially in the UK, but after more than a year of change, is it time to rethink this approach and, if we do, would businesses continue to succeed? 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And the second is reducing an employee’s hours (typically to 28 hours) over four days, so they are then able to have a three-day weekend.Many argue that, while the five-day work week used to be effective in the 19th century, it no longer suits the needs of the modern-day professional.With the evolution of technology, some day-to-day tasks are significantly more time-efficient, and with an uplift in office-based roles, we are seeing an argument that longer work hours do not necessarily mean staff are more productive.Notably, over the last couple of years, many countries across the globe including Japan, New Zealand, Spain - and most recently Iceland - have trialled the four-day work week to research the effect it has on its employees.Microsoft trialled four-day weeks in its Japanese offices and found the shortened work week led to more efficient meetings, happier workers and boosted productivity by a staggering 40%. 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So, offering potential new and existing employees a flexible working pattern is a fantastic way of attracting and retaining talented professionals.What are the disadvantages of a four-day working week?Whilst there are benefits to a four-day work week, there are disadvantages too:"A four-day work week wouldn’t work practically because of the need to cover more shifts during a time where we are already facing staff shortages."Not all industries can participateUnfortunately, the four-day working week model does not suit every sector. Some businesses or professions require a 24/7 presence which would make a shortened work week unpractical and, in some cases, delay work - creating longer lead times.A nurse who wanted to remain anonymous expressed her reservations about a four-day week in the healthcare sector, saying: “As an A&E nurse a four-day working week wouldn’t work practically for us. 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It would mean the need to cover more shifts during a time where we are already facing staff shortages.”Unutilised labourA four-day week is not for everyone; some employees prefer the structure of a five-day working week or would prefer to put in more hours than a four-day working week offers.Likewise, some professions have tasks which simply take more time than others, which would lead to paying more in overtime or drafting in further staff to make up the shortfall (as happened in healthcare for the Icelandic study), which can ultimately become expensive.Final thoughts: should your business adopt the four-day work week?Although the shortened work week has taken off in many European countries and been successful for many UK businesses, it is an extreme approach for a company to take and requires a shift in mindset from the employer and employees for it to work effectively, so it may not be for everyone.While a more flexible approach on working hours is now expected from employees, a less disruptive, more gradual process would be adopting a hybrid or flexible working policy instead.Likewise, as mentioned above, the four-day model may not work for all sectors. What studies and data have proven is that organisations who are putting more focus on maintaining staff wellbeing, engagement, morale, and productivity are reaping the benefits.​