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."
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.
"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."
Be prepared to quickly articulate your top skills and why you are the best match for the company.
"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."
Demonstrate the various recruiting and interviewing methods utilized in your hiring practices.
"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."
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.
"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."
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!
"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."
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."
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."
Share your ability to innovate HR practices in your company and how you execute them.
"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"
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'."
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.
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.
"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."
Employers will be interested in your understanding of employee onboarding and as an HR professional, your involvement in them.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
Share your approach to time management to be effective in meeting your business responsibilities.
"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."
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."
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training. Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, employee welfare, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.