Second interview questions to ask candidates

3 mins read
Second Interview Questions

about 2 years 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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How to become a hotel manager
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How to become a hotel manager

​When it comes to the hospitality industry, the role of a hotel manager is crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of a hotel. From overseeing day-to-day operations to managing staff and ensuring guest satisfaction, hotel managers play a key role in the success of a hotel. If you are considering a career in hotel management, it's important to understand what the role entails and whether it is the right fit for you.

What does a Hotel Manager do?

A hotel manager is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of a hotel, including managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, and maximizing revenue. They are typically in charge of setting and achieving financial goals, developing and implementing policies and procedures, and maintaining high standards of customer service. Hotel managers also handle issues such as staffing, budgeting, marketing, and public relations to ensure the hotel runs smoothly and efficiently.

Is a career as a Hotel Manager right for me?

A career as a hotel manager can be both rewarding and challenging. If you have a passion for hospitality, strong leadership skills, and a knack for problem-solving, a career in hotel management may be a good fit for you. It's important to be able to work well under pressure, communicate effectively with staff and guests, and adapt to changing situations in a fast-paced environment. Additionally, a willingness to work long hours, including nights and weekends, is often required in this role.

Key responsibilities of a Hotel Manager

Some key responsibilities of a hotel manager include:

  • Overseeing day-to-day operations of the hotel

  • Managing staff and ensuring they are properly trained and motivated

  • Ensuring guest satisfaction and responding to guest feedback

  • Developing and implementing strategic plans to achieve financial goals

  • Managing budgets and controlling costs

  • Marketing and promoting the hotel to attract guests

  • Maintaining high standards of cleanliness and safety

  • Handling any issues or complaints that arise

Career progression

For those interested in a career in hotel management, there are opportunities for career progression. Many hotel managers start out in entry-level positions and work their way up through the ranks. With experience and dedication, it is possible to advance to higher-level management roles such as general manager or regional manager. Continuing education and professional development can also help hotel managers advance their careers and stay current in the industry.

A career as a hotel manager can be a fulfilling and challenging path for those with a passion for hospitality and leadership. By understanding the role, responsibilities, and potential for career progression, you can determine if a career in hotel management is the right fit for you.

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Employee tenure: long-term relationship or short-term fling?
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Employee tenure: long-term relationship or short-term fling?

​We all want committed employees but is length of service a true indicator of engagement? Does simply staying around in an employment relationship mean you’re all in? Of course, there are no simple answers to these questions – each situation is as individual as the parties involved – but it is worth thinking about what benefits both short and long tenure bring – and not rushing to build assumptions (or recruitment practices) on one or the other. 

So, what is employee tenure? It is generally defined as the length of time an individual spends with the same organisation or working for the same employer. According to the CIPD, the most common length of service is between two and five years (22.4%) but employees with over five years’ service make up nearly 50% of the workforce (Jan-Dec 2022).  

Is a long-term relationship better? You can certainly be forgiven for thinking so, as our corporate landscape often places value on long service and actively engages with strategies to lengthen or reward employee tenure. But why? Here are some key benefits of both short- and long-term tenures:

Long-term employee tenure

Increased productivity

Tenured employees tend to have a clear understanding of their roles and company goals due to their experience and time with the organisation. This familiarity with processes and procedures can allow them to work efficiently and contribute positively to productivity, as they are able to navigate the idiosyncrasies inherent in all companies. Quite often, they will have developed practices that enable the most efficient use of time to achieve objectives and outputs; and are then able to influence wider practices to spread the word. 

Stability and commitment 

Tenured employees will often feel more secure in their positions and so, can demonstrate greater commitment to the company. Their loyalty contributes to a stable work environment, which can positively impact team dynamics and overall organisational success. My current HR team has an average tenure of around 10 years, and this contributes to a very supportive and effective working environment – although how they’ve put up with me over the years is still a mystery! 

Skill set and knowledge base

Over time, tenured employees accumulate valuable knowledge and skills specific to their roles. This expertise can not only be passed down to new hires, benefitting the organisation as a whole, but also help with integrating new technologies and processes, ensuring they work for the business. We all have a ‘go-to’ person in our companies who is the fount of all knowledge and can help give a perspective gained from years of experience and insight. 

Company ambassadors

A company that retains its workforce builds a reputation for employee satisfaction. In a world where Employee Value Proposition (EVP) plays an important role in both retention and attraction, having employees who are aligned with the company ethos and happy to talk about why they’ve stayed so long, is a real asset. Plus, they are able to share this insight with new hires, acting as mentors and imparting knowledge and enthusiasm for the company. 

Short-term employee tenure

So, if long tenured employees are the utopia, why does an interim market exist, I hear you ask? What about those contractors who enjoy short-term assignments or project-based roles? Well, as I mentioned earlier, there are benefits to both forms of tenure and while the above benefits can be true of long-term relationships, there is also a lot to be said for a short-term fling (from an employment perspective, I hasten to add): 

Career experience 

Demonstrating experience in diverse roles can make employees more attractive to potential employers, not only for permanent positions but also where a specific skill set or experience is needed. Working in various short-terms roles can help to provide this and organisations then benefit from someone who can bring real-life examples from different workplaces. 

Versatility

Working across different organisations and/or industries means employees will have experience of adapting to new environments or taking on responsibilities they haven't had before. This can encourage a mindset that is open to new ideas, as well as sharing them, and so means organisations benefit from having a versatile employee who excels in new environments. 

Openness

By accepting that an individual is not planning on bedding down within the organisation, employers may find a level of openness and challenge that is not there in others. The short-termer will be happy to challenge the status quo and focus on meeting the objectives in hand, even if that means coming up with new ways of working or unsettling the cart. While this might not be comfortable for all involved, it will foster an environment where ‘this is how it’s always been done’ is no longer a mantra. 

Ambition and drive 

Employees who are prepared to leave a company to seek new challenges or career development that is not available to them if they stay, show a level of ambition that is likely to have benefitted the company during their employment. In addition, they could well be the individuals who return to the organisation as future leaders, and so allowing them the opportunity to gain new experiences, while leaving on good terms, is a no brainer. 

Final thoughts 

With benefits of both types of tenure, where does this leave you? Should you be looking for a serial monogamist or a more open relationship? Well, as with most things in life, there isn’t a simple answer. It’s primarily about striking the right balance within your workforce and accepting that people have different preferences and needs.

Of course, you should be looking to encourage retention and reward those who show loyalty to the company, but you should also embrace those who leave sooner than hoped as they may one day wish to return. Many people, having gained certain skills and experience elsewhere, will fondly remember their experience at an organisation and consider rejoining. Therefore, the main thing to remember is how all employees are treated and valued during their time with you. Who knows, you may rekindle a relationship with an old flame further down the line! 

Looking for your next great hire in the HR space, or looking for pastures new? Contact our specialist consultants to start the journey.

Hospitality resume template
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Hospitality resume template

​Build the perfect hospitality resume with our free template

[Full Name]
[Home address]
[Contact Number] • [Email Address]

Personal Statement

Stick to no more than four sentences in this section of your CV.

“I am a professionally qualified chef with over 15 years’ experience. During this time I have worked in fine dining restaurants up to a 2 rosette standard and spent two years working for high society event caterers across Europe. I hold an up to date Level 3 Certificate in Food Hygiene, and am now looking for my first Head Chef role.”

Education

This is your chance to talk about your qualifications, academic and vocational. This is a particularly important section for those with little experience. You should give detail about what you studied, where and when, and list them in chronological order.

If you have many of one qualification, such as GCSEs or professional qualification e.g. HND in Hotel Management/NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery etc. you might find it useful to group them together.

[University Name]
[Date M/Y– Date M/Y]

[Degree Class]
[Degree Name]

[College/School Name]
[Date M/Y– Date M/Y]

A-levels:

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

GCSEs:

  • [Number] GCSEs, grades [range], including Maths and English

Work Experience

Try not to repeat yourself when you are bullet pointing each job. Mix it up, and try to think of different skills/styles of environment you’ve worked in. This should be brief and, as a general rule of thumb, focus on the last five years of your career, or last three roles, in chronological order with the most recent at the top. You should highlight your key achievements and use bullet points rather than lengthy descriptions.

October 2010 – Present

Senior Sous Chef, REED Restaurant, London, 3 rosettes

  • Brief overview: [state any promotions you’ve had and your responsibilities e.g. staff training, recruitment, stock/cost control P&L, marketing strategy, managing suppliers etc.]

  • Environment worked within: I worked in a [size of brigade/team] to produce [style of food] in a [establishment e.g. hotel/bar/restaurant] with [status e.g. Rosette, Michelin etc.]. Or I worked on [event/contract catering/food retail/production/New Product Development] with [result].

  • Worked/managed [different sections/departments/teams e.g. F&B, events, reception, general/kitchen, corporate or leisure sales, revenue management etc.]

  • Received a [include achievements e.g. Bib Gourmand/Rosette/Michelin/Trip Advisor score, increase in revenue etc.] for [reason]

Hobbies and Interests

If you are a chef, clients would expect to see that at least one of your hobbies relates to cooking or eating out.

If you work front of house it would be advised to include interests in different styles of restaurants or bars, give examples of your knowledge.

“I have a keen interest in craft beer and whisky, and have recently discovered The East London Liquor Company.”

Make it relevant.

References

References are available upon request.