Describe the most significant written document, report or presentation which you had to complete.
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Share various reports or deliverables you are responsible for providing in your role.
"Most recently, when rolling out a new performance evaluation plan to leaders in the company, I prepared a power point presentation that shared all of the information such as information of the new process, forecasted the success of the change and a timeline of events to implement the practice. Key deliverables and action items were provided in a meeting to the leadership team. A follow-up meeting is scheduled during the launch."
What do you do to show people that you are listing to them?
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I've found gaining trust and support from the person you are communicating with is very simple. All you have to do is be engaged in their conversation. Ask questions to the points they are saying. Avoid trumping their points with your own views. If you can restrain yourself in that area it's easy for people to communicate with you and share what they are truly feeling about the organization or their problems.
"People want to be heard. When speaking, I often utilize nonverbal cues such as nodding my head and making strong eye contact. Additionally, I will repeat what they said back to them and use clarifying words such as 'yes' or 'good point'."
Show that you have done your research in preparing to meet with the company. Speak to top leaders, their website, leading industry news, etc. Reiterate the company mission statement and values, typically found on their website/about us page. Tie your research back to the person asking.
"You make products that bring joy to many people and value sustainable practices in your services and organizational methods. Company XYZ is up 25% from last quarter, and I am impressed by the recent launch of ABC product last month. Very exciting things to come! I was also happy to see that you have been with the company for five years and have had progressive growth in your career working here, starting as an HR assistant and now the HR director."
Demonstrate to the prospective employer that you have career aspirations aligned with the role you are applying for.
"I value progressive career development and want to see myself in a Director role within the next 5 years. I'm willing to work hard to learn this role and how I can add value to the organization throughout my development."
An interviewer wants to know you actually enjoy your career and job. They will be looking for reasons why you are passionate about this career. Knowing you are passionate will likely mean you will be a great asset for their company!
"Being better than I am today motivates me everyday. I am inspired and motivated by the leaders around me and I work hard to continually improve my skills to develop my leadership abilities."
6. Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work. A critical skill required for almost any job. Being organized is a must. Have a well-thought out plan for how you stay organized. Demonstrate this in a confident manner to the employer so they know you are serious about organization! Here is an answer example: "Success is often met with strong planning. While it is important to go into each day with a plan and meet deadlines, it is equally important to adapt to ever changing priorities. Using sound judgement and time management are two great ways I make certain to meet business deadlines."7. Tell me about your last experience recruiting, interviewing, or hiring an employee. What about promoting an employee? Share your recent experience in the hiring or promotion process. The interviewer is looking for a few specifics that demonstrate you really have experience in this field. Here is an answer example: "Interviewing, recruiting and promoting is a large part of the HR role. On a weekly basis, I am involved in the interviewing, recruitment and selection of qualified associates. Just this week, we proudly promoted one of our talented employees to a new role that they have earned and are excited to continue to help support their success wherever possible."8. Tell me about the methods you use to find qualified job candidates. Share an experience in which one of these methods helped you find a great employee. Demonstrate the various recruiting and interviewing methods utilized in your hiring practices. Here is an answer example: "There is no one magic bullet when it comes to finding talent. In partnership with my recruitment team, I utilize online recruiting methods (ie. Indeed, LinkedIn, etc.) and offline avenues such as career fairs and referral programs. Recognizing that great talent typically knows other great talent, I recently implemented an associate referral program at my company to attract top talent in recommending other candidates to open roles. Utilizing this program, we have now hired 5 great new leaders within the organization."9. Why are you the best candidate for us? Be prepared to quickly articulate your top skills and why you are the best match for the company. Here is an answer example: "I am passionate about the work this company does and am confident my ability to make a difference through value-driven HR support will help your organization succeed."10. What is the most difficult part of being a HR Specialist? This could be a trick question where the interviewer is looking for a slip-up. Avoid sounding negative about a task within your job that may represent a large portion of your work. Keep your answer simple and something less relevant to your role as an HR Specialist. Here is an answer example: "While people are your greatest asset, they also will surprise you with various challenges along the way. Effectively adapting to handling issues that arise while continuing to meet HR deadlines is an important part of our work. Whenever possible, I learn from difficulties to be better at my ability to be a polished HR professional."11. What is the most rewarding part of being a HR Specialist? Share what you enjoy most about your work. There must be a reason why you love the job and want to work for this organization! Proudly state what those reasons are. Here is an answer example: "It is a pleasure to be apart of the success of someone else's career in a company. HR invests a lot of time in the people it supports and it is the ultimate reward to witness someone advance in the company and do well."12. Why did you choose to become a HR Specialist? Communicate why you chose a career in HR and reiterate what you love about your work. Being able to display a passion and excitement for why you love your career is a key any interviewing personnel will look for in picking their next candidate. Here is an answer example: "I have always been passionate about helping people and my work in HR allows me to make a difference in the many lives of associates who make up the organizations I work for."13. Share an experience you had in dealing with a difficult person and how you handled the situation. Share how you overcome difficult situations. You should have two difficult experiences you dealt with in your career before your interview. This will help you recall those experiences when questions like these are asked. Here is an answer example: "All companies have challenging associates and I have had my fair share. In my current role, we had one associate who behaved like a bad apple and it brought down the team. I partnered with their manager to implement a performance improvement plan and take measures for corrective action where needed. Our intention was to provide guidance to help the associate turn their behavior around and in line with the company standards. Unfortunately, this associate was unable to do so and weeded themselves out, looking for other work."14. What new or unusual ideas have you developed on your job? How did you develop them? What was the result? Share your ability to innovate HR practices in your company and how you execute them. Here is an answer example: "Being on the leading edge of HR practices is important and keeping on top of industry news helps me bring fun practices to my work. Learning about the business helps me be a better HR specialist, and often, I will help leaders think through problems with creative solutions. We partner in the roll-out and an effective metric to measure the success"15. Tell me about a time when you changed hiring practices at your current or former employer. 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 improve a hiring practice. Touch on the steps you took to implement the change and how you measured the success of the improvement. Here is an answer example: "The standard hiring practices at Company XYZ were enabling the organization to hire qualified candidates based on their experience. Too often, when new hires arrived, we found they lacked the behaviors that would enable them to be successful within our culture. I took the initiative to implement 'Behavioral Interviewing Questions' in our hiring practices.
To implement, I gained buy-in from our hiring leadership by including them early in the process of creating the questions. We worked together to create a training certification that would equip leaders with the skills to effectively behavioral interview candidates, and we measured our success by monitoring turnover, retention and time-to-hire metrics. We changed the process and therefore, changed the results."16. How do you manage your time? Share your approach to time management to be effective in meeting your business responsibilities. Here is an answer example: "Time management is an important part of meeting deadlines and being successful in my role as an HR professional. While there are general activities that are ongoing in my role, I manage my time based on pressing projects and the needs of the people I support in my role. When necessary, I adapt and ensure flexibility in my time management."17. Do you have experience laying workers off? How do you feel about it? Articulate your experience in this area and your approach toward the duty. Try to keep emotions out of your answer. Chances are interviewers will want someone less-sympathetic and just willing to do their job if layoffs arise. Here is an answer example: "Yes, there are times when it is a necessary business decision to lay off workers. As an HR professional, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure this happens in the most professional and respectful manner possible. It is my role to ensure parties on both sides of the table are equipped with the information and tools they will need throughout this process."18. What was the most useful criticism you ever received? Show your ability to receive and adapt to feedback and criticism. If possible, reflect upon your ability to actively seek this out as a form of self-improvement. Here is an answer example: "Often times, I seek out feedback from my peers, leaders, and mentors as a way to continually improve. One of the most useful criticisms I have ever received has been honest and straightforward about how to adapt my talents to better support the team."19. When you have been made aware of, or have discovered for yourself, a problem in your work performance, what was your course of action? Can you give an example? Employers will be interested in your ability to self correct and improve upon your work. Confidently express the course of action you have taken to improve your performance. Here is an answer example: "I tend to hold high expectations for myself and my work. At times I have discovered an area that I did not feel strongly confident on, I have sought out the resources available to me to improve my performance. This includes mentorship, finding someone with expertise in a subject area and partnering with my peers."20. Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision. Employers will be interested in learning about how you go about making decisions in critical times where you may be under pressure. Provide a specific example that will meet these requirements.
Often in business, teams are working under critical deadlines and have to make important decisions with ambiguous information. Many times, you have to do the best with the information you have. Here is an answer example: "Last week, in my current role, I had to make a decision quickly on an associate's employment who has been struggling with performance issues. Looking at the facts, it was determined that the associate did not receive adequate coaching. Rather than terminate their employment, I made the decision to help the manager put them on a performance improvement plan. It was delivered last week and is going well."21. In what ways, could you improve upon yourself? You will want to best show the value you place on continuous improvement and development as a person and professional. Take the opportunity to share with prospective employers how you have worked to develop yourself, whether large or small. Here is an answer example: "Because I have career aspirations toward being a leader in the HR industry, self-improvement is largely important to me. Currently, I am attending a course to obtain my certification in HR (PHR, SPHR, etc.). I regularly network with relevant networks and associations in the HR field through LinkedIn or SHRM. Most importantly, I am an avid reader of books in the HR field, industry news and any items that will accelerate my knowledge of the larger business world."22. What do you enjoy most about being an HR Specialist? At the heart of it, prospective employers will be interested in why you do what you do. Communicate your answer honestly and with conviction. When possible, take the opportunity to tie it into the work of the organization you are interviewing with. Here is an answer example: "Making a difference in the lives of people and helping them professionally or personally is the most rewarding part of what I do as an HR Specialist. HR is largely centered around supporting people. People's ability to surprise you, in both rewarding and challenging ways, is what I enjoy most about my work. I am also passionate about the creative and technology industries, which is why I am so interested in working for your company."23. Tell me about your new employee orientation programs. Employers will be interested in your understanding of employee onboarding and as an HR professional, your involvement in them. Here is an answer example: "Employee orientation programs are a critical tool in effectively equipping new associates for success in their new roles in an organization. In my experience, I have designed and coordinated orientation programs, both basic and advanced. The programs typically consist of general company information, specific site-related training, product or service training and a peer mentorship program. They vary from one day, two weeks to the first three months of employment. We are constantly evaluating the success of our onboarding and making improvements wherever necessary."24. 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? Prospective employers will be interested in your ability to identify areas for improvement and learn from your mistakes in a positive, constructive way that aides in your development and that of the organization you support. Here is an answer example: "People are any organization's most valuable asset. Hiring top talent derives from an effective hiring process, and there have been times my team or I have missed the mark. Early in my career, we relied heavily on assessing a candidate's previous employers and education and missed an opportunity to weigh their experiences or how they executed work equally. Our team changed the process to change the result. We learned that asking better questions would help us better assess candidates. We worked together to come up with interview questions that were used to make better hiring decisions."25. When hiring, is it important for you to contact references? Prospective employers will be interested in your diligence around the hiring process, including reference checking. This shows your ability be thorough in hiring and seek out recommendations from those who have professional or personal experience with the candidate.
When hiring, a critical component of the hiring process is seeking out and checking references. This gives the interview team an alternative perspective of the candidate being considered, from a source that has had professional or personal experience with them. If the interview team has uncertainty about any aspect of the candidate's qualification, contacting references provides additional insight that might be useful in coming to a determination in the hiring decision. Here is an answer example:
Author of Human Resource Specialist Answers and Questions
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 08/11/2014 Last modified on: 08/22/2018
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