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Author: Richard Snarey

Published date: 2019/08


​So, you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates from the first round of interviews and invited them back for the next stage. The question is, how can you effectively utilise this opportunity without going over the same ground as the first interview?

The first round is used to determine whether the candidate can do the job, will fit with your company culture, and, crucially, whether they really want it. When it comes to second interviews for senior blue-collar candidates, your aim is to compare their experience and skillset with the other candidates you’ve shortlisted. This means it’s time to get specific about the job, the company, the candidate’s ability to perform in the role.

PRS works closely with leading blue-collar employers in the UK to ensure they get the most out of every stage of the recruitment process. Here, we’ve pulled together our top seven recommended second interview questions to help you make the ultimate decision on who to hire.

1. Knowing what you do about our business and the wider industry, what challenges do you think you might face you in this role? How would you deal with them?

Recent research found that 47 per cent of interviewers said that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company. Asking a question like this demonstrates the candidate has gone on to conduct further research on the business after the first interview. It also shows a working knowledge of the industry and an awareness of challenges and threats. As this question is in-depth and requires careful thinking, you may want to share it with the candidate before the interview so they can adequately prepare.

2. What do you want to achieve in the first 100 days in your new role?

Here, you’re allowing the candidate to lay out their plans and what they hope to achieve from day one. It also gives them an opportunity to highlight any immediate training or support they require. Providing the candidate has given this some thought, you should gain some interesting and varied responses from your shortlist.

3. What’s the one aspect from your previous job that you’d like to bring to this one?

This allows the candidate to demonstrate their problem-solving skills and innovative thinking. For a senior blue-collar role, you’re ideally looking for someone who will introduce more effective and efficient processes that improve your business.

4. How do you usually delegate tasks to your team?

The second interview is the perfect chance to find out more about a candidate’s softer skills. Understanding how someone relates to their fellow employees on a day-to-day basis to get things done is something you’re unlikely to find out from their CV alone.

5. What kind of company structure do you thrive in?

Are you the right fit for the candidate? Flip the answer on its head and put yourself in their shoes. Everyone will have an ideal way of working and you, of course, won’t (nor should) have to change working practices to accommodate every new member of staff. Be honest with yourself about how close you can get to providing the candidate what they’re looking for.

6. Do you have any questions regarding what’s expected of you in this role?

This is an open question for the candidate to ask anything, whether it’s about development opportunities, enquiries about flexible working hours, travel and expenses policy, etc. It may be worth listing some of these factors to prompt them. The candidate must leave the interview understanding precisely what’s expected of them. Additionally, you need to know about whatever requirements they have from day one.

7. What are your salary expectations?

All salary discussions should ideally take place in the second interview. However, if you’re working with a recruiter, this may not be necessary as they will already have this information and be responsible for dealing with any negotiations. This question is essential if the topic hasn’t been broached by the candidate previously. It’s your invitation for them to engage in an open and frank conversation.