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Human Resources Interview

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    Job Interviews Careers Human Resources

50 Human Resources
Interview Questions

    Human Resources

  1. Tell me about a time when you influenced hiring practices at your current or former employer.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Possessing the skills to change or improve a hiring practice in the workplace is a valuable asset to any employer. Talk to the interviewer about a time you recognized a need to change or enhance a hiring practice. Touch on the steps you took to implement the change and how you measured the success of the improvement.

  2. When hiring, is it important for you to contact a candidate's professional references?

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      By

      Prospective employers will be interested in your diligence around the hiring process, including reference checking. Proper reference checking shows your ability to be thorough in the hiring process. An adequate reference will stand as a solid recommendation from those who have professional experience with the candidate in question. Be prepared to talk to the interviewer about how you handle reference checking, including how diligent you are with this task.

  3. Tell me about a hiring mistake you made. Were there any details in the hiring process you missed and realized later? How did you adjust from what you learned?

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      By

      The hiring authority is interested in your ability to identify areas for improvement and learn from your mistakes in a positive, constructive way. Accepting feedback and learning from mistakes aides in your professional development as a human resources professional and benefits the organization you support. Talk about a time you made an error in judgment when extending a job offer to someone. Briefly discuss the situation, how you course-corrected, and what you learned in the process.

  4. How do you use social media and other online tools in your recruitment process?

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      By

      A great human resources specialist will have many tools at their fingertips, allowing them more speed in their research. The fastest acting HR professionals know which talent sourcing tools are available, helping them to succeed and meet the workforce needs of their organization quickly and efficiently. List a few of the top resources that you use in your recruitment process. If you'd like, you can also ask for recommendations on tools. Show that you are eager to learn and that you lean on resources other than yourself, to reach the finish line.

  5. What do you enjoy most about being an HR Specialist?

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      By

      Prospective employers will be interested in what drives you to come to work every day. Communicate your answer honestly and with conviction. Take the opportunity to tie your passion into the values and mission of the organization with which you are interviewing. This question is not the time to give a canned response that sounds like everyone else. Let your genuine passion for your work shine through!

  6. How do you use data and analytics in your HR process?

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      By

      As a human resources professional, the stakeholders in your organization will respond best to your recommendations if they can link your findings to data. Show the interviewer that you understand how to use analytics in your HR processes. If possible, give a specific example of a time when the use of data and analytics led to a competitive hire, valuable market assessment, or a successful talent acquisition campaign.

  7. Give an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The interviewer wants to know your process when deadlines are present, and how you react when vital decisions are at hand. The human resources industry has a blanket reputation for making slow and calculated decisions. With that said, you will not always be afforded a lot of time in the choices you make as a human resources professional. Talk to the interviewer about how you go about making decisions in critical times where you may be under pressure. Provide a specific example of a time when you succeeded in this type of situation.

  8. As a Human Resources professional, which publications and resources do you turn to the most?

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      By

      Human resources professionals have endless options when it comes to industry resources. Talk to the interviewer about any tools that your employer provides you, some that you found on your own, or ones that other HR experts have recommended to you. The interviewer wants to see that you have a keen interest in learning and staying on top of the ever-changing human resources industry. You can complete your answer by asking the interviewer for resource recommendations if you are comfortable.

  9. Do you have experience guiding candidates through job offers and negotiations?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      One exciting part of your job as a human resources professional might be making a job offer to an eager candidate. But, you know, to be cautious in the process! Many things can get in the way between a job proposal to its acceptance, and it's up to you to ensure the process goes as smooth as possible. This task includes controlling the conversations regarding salary offerings and counteroffers. Discuss any experience you have with job offer negotiations, giving a real-life example if possible.

  10. How do you help your company to make sound hiring decisions?

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      There are many ways that an HR professional can influence a company and help them through challenging talent acquisition projects. Skilled human resources professionals will act as a partner to their company and its stakeholders. They will be a listening ear, an educated hiring partner, and a person with sound judgment. Discuss how you help your company make the best hiring decisions.

  11. What is your long-range career objective?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      Interviewing and on-boarding is a costly and time consuming process for any company and hiring manager. Assure the interviewer that you are seeking a long term fit with your next employer. Take a look at the career growth options with the company. If any of these stand out to you, it's a great idea to specifically mention them to the interviewer. Your expressed interest in those particular internal opportunities will solidify the fact that you are, indeed, seeking a long term fit with them.

  12. Why did you choose to become a human resources professional?

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      Communicate why you chose a career in HR and bring to light what you love about your work. Being able to display a passion and excitement for your job will help the interviewer to become more excited about your application. Discuss why you love your career, and be specific. Try to avoid cliche statements such as 'I love helping people.' You want your answer to be unique and to stand out.

  13. We want to foster innovation within our workforce. What does the term innovation mean to you?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      With ever-shifting workforce trends, a company's human resources team must be adaptable, creative, and innovative. The term 'innovation' is often overused in business these days and has now become a buzzword that many people don't fully understand. The interviewer would like to know what you feel innovation indeed is. Include an example of a time when you have introduced an innovative initiative in the workplace, or when you have exercised a creative idea that made a positive difference.

  14. Do you have experience coordinating interviews, and documenting the candidate journey?

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      By

      A significant part of working as a Human Resources professional is coordinating the movement of talent acquisition projects. The interviewer would like to understand your experience when it comes to managing the interview process, and taking care of the documentation and other action steps that are critical to successful onboarding. Take the interviewer through your process, and be sure to include any software, tips, tricks, and tools that you use along the way.

  15. What does the term attrition mean, and what are the biggest causes of employee attrition rates?

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      Attrition is the speed or rate at which something declines. In human resources, you may hear the term 'employee attrition rates' as an important KPI. What this means is that a company is losing staff due to natural reduction, including resignation, retirement, or relocation. Keep in mind; this term refers to natural reduction. Employee attrition rates would not include mass layoffs, for instance. Discuss with the interviewer that you understand what attrition means, and what the primary causes of employee attrition are. The hiring authority is looking for your ability to recognize and understand their pain points.

  16. Do you have experience choosing, introducing, and explaining employer health benefits?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Employer health benefits can become very complicated. There can be a lot of small print and information that is misunderstood by employees. This confusion can become even worse when changes are made to existing benefits packages, further impacting existing employees. Talk to the interviewer about your experience with choosing employee health benefits packages, and explaining the ins and outs of these benefits to employees.

  17. When interviewing a candidate, what is the most important question you could ask?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      There is a world of essential interview questions that, as a recruiter, you could ask a job seeker. The most crucial first step is for you to ensure that the opportunity you are presenting is a fit for your candidate. If you do not vet your candidate correctly, they could be a big disappointment down the road. This mistake could make you appear unprofessional, inexperienced, and unable to make critical skills matches. Show the interviewer that you are capable of digging deep into your interview process.

  18. If you were to be hired, what are your salary expectations?

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      The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

  19. Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue?

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      A true creative minded person will have outside activities aside from what's happening in the workplace. Tell the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you express your creativity.

  20. What is the riskiest decision you have made? What happened in the end?

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      As a successful professional, you have the knowledge to calculate risk in your industry. Tell the interviewer about a work-related risk you have taken and what the outcome was. Start with an overview of the decision you needed to make, and explain why the situation was risky. Describe who the situation affected, as well as the possible outcomes. Complete your answer by sharing how the decision paid off, or by mentioning any recognition you received for your success.

  21. We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?

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      To many employers, the number of years' experience is flexible - so long as you have the results to show for the years that you do have. Talk to the interviewer about your major career successes. This is the time to sell yourself. Make no apologies for your lack of years!

  22. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.

  23. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?

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      By

      When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you are able to be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.

    READ: View All Human Resources Interview Questions

  24. HR Consultant

  25. Discuss a time when you explored organizational gaps and created new opportunities for employees.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Often, meeting organizational gaps may not require a workforce increase. Sometimes, these issues can be solved by creating new opportunities and thinking outside of the box. Discuss with the interviewer a time when you met the needs of a company, addressing a specific gap. Organization gaps can include skills gaps, profit gaps, or performance gaps.

  26. How would you uncover the core competencies of a candidate?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      As an HR Consultant, you may be responsible for hiring new talent which means interviewing a ton of candidates! The interviewer wants to gauge how good you are in uncovering a candidates' skills and talents. The better you are with discovering a candidate's core competencies, the faster you can select new hires, moving the interview process along. Discuss what you look for when meeting new candidates, and what tools you use for discovering their potential.

  27. Do you have experience using HR data analytics for the purpose of compensation benchmarking?

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      Compensation benchmarking, or salary benchmarking, simply put is the process of matching the pay of private jobs to similar roles from other companies. For instance, you are comparing how much your competitor will pay for an electrical engineer with five years' experience so that you can ensure you are paying competitively. The practice of benchmarking ensures that you are never out of touch when it comes to your company's offering and that your company can more easily attract top talent. Also, when you accurately benchmark, you can better plan for annual employee increases. Discuss the tools that you may use in this process.

  28. What type of long-term incentive programs have you leveraged to drive employee performance?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Employee performance can be a tricky subject. A top employee can become an underperformer in a snap, and employees who are not doing well could suddenly have a stellar month. The interviewer would like to know if you have knowledge and experience with long-term incentive programs, to encourage high-performance, along with consistent results, from your executive teams. Some examples of long-term incentive programs include stock options, cash bonus', or performance shares.

  29. Are you familiar with the term 'outplacement'? Have you ever utilized outplacement services?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      Outplacement support is when an organization will help a former employee transition to a new job after they have been terminated or laid off. These outplacement services occur through an independent consultant or agency and may include solutions such as resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile creation, career coaching, and interview coaching. Discuss your experience working with, or offering outplacement services.

  30. How do you ensure a professional yet fair approach to disciplinary action?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The hiring authority is not looking for an HR Consultant who will throw the hammer down or overreact when situations arise. When it comes to disciplinary action, show the interviewer that you are capable of being diplomatic and fair while remaining effective in your role. If you have an example to give, this is a great time to discuss what you have done in the past.

  31. Have you ever had a particular circumstance where you needed to deviate from HR policy? How did you approach the dilemma?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Many organizations find it challenging to be flexible, so this question is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company with which you are interviewing. As an HR professional, do you prefer an environment where rules are set out, and everything is black and white? Or, do you feel that there should be wiggle room depending on particular situations and personalities? Discuss a time when you have deviated from HR policy. You do not want to talk about anything illegal, or actions you took that may have been detrimental to your company. This question offers an excellent opportunity for a 'feel good' story.

  32. When a major HR problem arises, what is your first reaction?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      When things go south in the workplace, the HR professional is often the first place a company will look for answers. You have to have it under control, and be ready to step into action at any given moment. Your job is people, and people are unpredictable. The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very systematic approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting impulsively when an HR related problem occurs.

  33. Do you feel employees should be paid based on performance, or should they be rewarded for years of experience?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The interviewer would like to know your thoughts on paying employees based on work performance, versus compensating them based on years of experience and loyalty. As millennial employees continue to dominate the work scene, more and more employees are requesting compensation based on delivered results. Do you feel that they should be paid based on tenure, or results? Discuss this with the interviewer and back your answer with an example, if possible.

  34. How do you keep up with changes in legislature and human resource law?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      You likely know that with labor and employment laws continually changing, it could be a full-time job to keep yourself up to date on the changes. If you serve an international team, this question can become even stickier. Show the interviewer that you have an interest in keeping up to date on changes in your industry. Perhaps you have a Google alert set up, a couple of specific resources you lean on, or even an HR lawyer for your company that keeps everyone abreast of changes in your region.

  35. Tell me about the most significant people issue you have encountered in your HR career.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      The way you respond to this question will show the interviewer the complexity of problems you broach in your role as an HR Consultant, which will quickly reveal your level of expertise in your field. If the most significant people issue you have is that someone calls in sick all the time, you are likely a junior level HR professional. If you are continually dealing with issues related to labor laws and relations, the chances are that you have a deeper level of experience. Discuss the most significant people issue you have dealt with, and include how you repair or approach the situation.

  36. Tell me your most proven strategy for motivating under-performing employees.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      No matter how incredible the workplace culture and overall opportunity, every organization will have the odd dud that doesn't want to perform. Those individuals likely face termination. What the interviewer wants to see is that you can develop those employees that have potential, but for some reason, are performing under expectations. This underperformance could be a result of a personal issue or a demotivating factor within the workplace environment. Discuss how you would tackle such a problem. Some ways to nudge an under-performing employee include: - Scheduling a one-on-one meeting, with direct evidence prepared - Working together on a step-by-step performance plan - Offering further on-the-job training or job shadowing opportunities - Providing outside resources such as counseling services or mentorship opportunities

  37. What is your perspective on work-life integration?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      'Work-life balance' has become one of those phrases often used in interviews, but what does it mean? True work-life integration takes genuinely meeting the complex needs of your employees while listening to the changing workforce demographics. Discuss how you feel an employer can meet the needs of an employee by acknowledging the critical synergy between family and work life.

    READ: View All HR Consultant Interview Questions

  38. Behavioral

  39. Describe a time when you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not feel like doing.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By Christine Pasqueretta

      Show the interviewer that you will still get the job done even when you aren't excited about the task at hand. Think about a time when there was a work-related task that you did not want to do. Perhaps the dreaded file room needed to be purged of outdated files to make room for the new. 'Describe a time when...' means that the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this behavioral-based interview question. This style means forming a response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer. Tell the interviewer about the overall situation, what your task was, and explain why you were not excited about it. Be sure to tell the interviewer that even though you were not enthusiastic about the mission, you made it happen promptly, knowing that it would help the organization as a whole. Give as much detail as you can regarding the actions you took to reach the finish line.

  40. Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By Christine Pasqueretta

      The interviewer wants to hear more about your decision making and critical thinking skills. Keep your answer career-based and discuss a decision you made where you may not have had all of the pertinent information. Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer. The interviewer would like to see that you can use logic to make a sound decision. Show that you are capable and confident when it comes to independent thinking and decision making.

  41. How do you handle working with little to no supervision?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By Christine Pasqueretta

      Little supervision often comes after some time, when trust is well established between yourself and your employer. The interviewer would like to know if you have worked in an environment that offers little amounts of supervision. Primarily, they are looking for proof that you can be productive even when nobody is watching or supervising you. Since this question is framed as, 'How do you...' it is acceptable to use a hypothetical story example, giving a general overview of how you would react in this situation. However, if you want to use a real-life example, try forming a response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer. Be sure to ask the interviewer about the level of supervision in this particular role. You want to make sure it's a good fit for you.

  42. Which statement sounds more like you: 'I hate to lose' or, 'I love to win'?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By Christine Pasqueretta

      There isn't necessarily a wrong answer to this question; however, the interviewer would like to see that you are not a sore loser. Speak a bit about your competitive side and show that you offer a great mix of the two options.

  43. Tell me about a time when you used good judgment and logic to solve a problem.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By Christine Pasqueretta

      The interviewer wants to hear about a particular situation where you used good judgment to solve a work problem. Be sure to showcase your logic and reasoning abilities. Share a brief overview of the problem, discuss the pros and cons of each decision you could have made, and tell the interviewer why the solution you chose was the best. Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

    READ: View All Behavioral Interview Questions

  44. Accomplishment

  45. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The interviewer would like to know which career accomplishment you value the most. Talking about your most significant achievement will give the interviewer a definite idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

  46. Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer, that you were able to overcome.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Every place of employment will have its challenges. Talk to the interviewer about a specific issue that you were able to overcome in your previous role. Be sure to remain positive. Avoid complaining or saying negative things about your last employer or co-workers.

  47. Tell me about a time that you have helped a co-worker accomplish an important goal.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      It is imperative to be goal-oriented and determined but even more critical is to support your coworkers in their professional endeavors openly. This support is how teams succeed! What do you do, outside of your own goals, to ensure that everyone on your team is successful? Assure the interviewer that you are always willing to keep the team, or company as a whole, in mind.

    READ: View All Accomplishment Interview Questions

  48. Communication

  49. After receiving information from your supervisor, how do you ensure you properly communicate this information to your team?

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      The interviewer would like to know more about your ability to communicate third-party information to your team. A huge part of proper communication is the ability to listen to the original set of data and relay it accordingly. Miscommunication can be costly, so it is an immensely vital skill to be able to convey information carefully and accurately. Discuss with the interviewer how you go about doing so.

  50. What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the apps you know and assure them that you can learn their internal system, should it be new to you. This question is an excellent opportunity to ask what programs you will be using in this new role. When the hiring authority divulges this information, ask if there are resources available for you to get a head start. This initiative will impress the interviewer and show them that you are not afraid to put a bit of hard work in before you even know if the job is yours!

  51. How would you handle working for a boss who was a poor communicator?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Nobody wants to work for a boss that is a bad communicator, but it can happen at times. Also, you may have a boss who is a great communicator and then has a blip from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of handling all types of communicators in the workplace. Show that you remain professional, calm, collected, and focused despite someone's else's communication style.

    READ: View All Communication Interview Questions

  52. Management

  53. As a manager, how have you built successful teams in the past?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      You, as a manager, can only be as successful as your team. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to build exceptional teams in the past. What is your formula for success?

  54. What type of employees do you find difficult to manage?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The interviewer would like to know more about the types of employees that you find difficult to manage. As a manager, you will be required to lead a great variety of personality types. Discuss with the interviewer the types of personalities that you find most challenging to manage, and why.

  55. What type of goals do you like to set for yourself and your team?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The interviewer would like to know more about your goal setting techniques and process. What types of goals are you most keen on setting for your employees? Talk to the interviewer about the kinds of goals that you find most important.

    READ: View All Management Interview Questions

Human Resources Authors