MockQuestions

Human Resources Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Human Resources interview, here are 40 interview questions and answer examples.

Human Resources was updated by on March 2nd, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 40

How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments as an HR professional?

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know what motivates you to achieve in the workplace. We all want recognition in some way for our accomplishments. Perhaps you enjoy financial perks, public attention, kind words, added responsibilities, or title promotions. Share with the interviewer how you would like recognition for your hard work in their HR department.

Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

Next Question

40 Human Resources Interview Questions & Answers

  • Accomplishment

    1. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments as an HR professional?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know what motivates you to achieve in the workplace. We all want recognition in some way for our accomplishments. Perhaps you enjoy financial perks, public attention, kind words, added responsibilities, or title promotions. Share with the interviewer how you would like recognition for your hard work in their HR department.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "The success of our workforce is a direct reflection of my success as an HR professional. For that reason, I prefer that our employees receive accolades for a job well done. For instance, if our group exceeds company targets, I would rather see a collective reward. This method of recognition is my preference."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I appreciate you asking this question since, as a human resources professional, this is a question that I ask every new hire as well. I want to know how to keep everyone motivated on the job. I am an eager achiever and find that the best way to be recognized for a job well done is to hear words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work matters."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Adaptability

    2. What new human resources topic is piquing your interest the most right now?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you are in the know of trends in the human resources industry because they will expect you to be innovative and forward-thinking with their organization. Every year, there are hot new topics that come to light, resulting in changing patterns for companies and new opportunities for HR professionals to learn. Talk to the interviewer about one issue that has caught your attention these days that you believe will impact the work of a Human Resources department in the coming years.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "In school, I did a short case study on permanent employee flexibility and the impact on the workplace, the employee, as well as a company's bottom line. Permanent flexibility refers to flexible work arrangements that leverage modern digital work lifestyles. With the rise of remote workers, we are changing the traditional landscape of how we deliver work."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Being on the leading edge of HR practices is important, and keeping on top of industry news helps me bring fun and modern practices to my work. Learning about the business and its industry helps me be a better HR specialist, and often, I will help leaders think through problems with creative solutions. Lately, one topic that has caught my eye is the 'gig economy' and how the landscape of full-time employees has changed significantly. I plan to attend an HR conference in February, where I will learn more about this trend. From my research, I know that the gig economy will see much of the workforce shift from full-time jobs to freelance workers. A recent study from Intuit estimates that by 2020, 40% of workers in the USA will be independent contractors."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Adaptability

    3. What role do you prefer to play as part of a larger team? Do you have the ability to be flexible and adaptive when working as part of a team?

      How to Answer

      As a Human Resources professional, you know that you need to have the ability to lead a team and take direction from others as part of a team. Your interviewer will ideally be looking to hear that you can comfortably handle any role you would play as part of the team at their organization. As you answer this question, talk about your experience in comfort in any roles within a team and give examples of times you've played different roles on teams throughout your career. No matter how you answer this question, make sure that your interviewer gets a clear understanding that they would be hiring the ultimate team player if they offered you the job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "As a new graduate, my preferred role in a team setting would be the implementer who gets things done. I can take direction, do my research and get working on a project in short order. I am a very open communicator that wouldn't hesitate to ask clarifying questions and give regular updates on my progress. I would also bring the ability to adjust on the fly if needed. I also have some team leadership experience during my college years and in my participation in various athletics throughout my youth."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "As a natural leader, I do prefer to be the leader and manager of larger work teams and project teams. I take a hands-on approach when leading teams and always try to lead by example in the work that I perform with the team. I have a great ability to coordinate the actions and work of others on the team to ensure that tasks stay on track. With that said, I am also very comfortable in being the worker bee and taking direction as part of a larger team effort. In my current role last year, I did just that as part of a team that was put together to develop ways for our product line to expand into new markets. As the HR chair at that team table, I was tasked with the workforce aspect of that project and ultimately reported up to the chair of that work team."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    4. How do you treat candidates not selected for the job? Walk me through your process.

      How to Answer

      During talent acquisition campaigns, human resource professionals speak to many candidates in a day and often interview handfuls of people for one role. Show the interviewer that you treat your applicants with respect and are unafraid to be forthright with them when they don't get the job. Your interviewer wants to see that you have a professional level of compassion for those not hired while also keeping an eye out on the future with potential silver medalist candidates that were not offered the job.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "It is essential to me that I treat every candidate with care and respect. Even if they are not right for the job, it does not mean that they won't be a fit for a similar role with our company down the road. Because of this, I must close off with them professionally, which keeps the door open for future conversations. I handle the dispositioning of candidates that interviewed for positions over the phone. I always encourage hiring managers to disposition candidates that they personally interviewed to give direct feedback to candidates. With candidates that weren't interviewed, I send an auto-response from our ATS that includes a link to our career site for them to stay in touch with future openings we may have."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Part of being a successful HR professional is to gain and keep the respect of your talent pool. When I disposition a candidate, I will notify them by email. Our company has a canned email response for rejection notices; however, I always personalize these. I want these candidates to know that I value their time and expertise."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    5. Tell me about a hiring mistake you made. Were there any details in the hiring process you missed and realized later? What did you learn from this situation that you can bring to our organization as our next Human Resources professional?

      How to Answer

      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. As you answer this question, it is okay to be open and honest about a mistake you made during your career during a hiring process. As long as you can talk about correcting the mistake and learning a lesson moving forward, your interviewer will respect your honesty. Briefly discuss the situation, how you course-corrected, and what you learned in the process to bring to this organization's HR team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Being new to HR, but having reviewed many hiring case studies during my post-secondary education, I see the potential for hiring mistakes to happen when there is not a consistent question set asked of every candidate. Also, when a company focuses too much on personality tests such as Meyers-Briggs, it can lead to missing clues on other topics such as innovation, desire for growth, productivity, and teamwork. I aim to keep a well-balanced focus when it comes to interviewing and candidate selection strategies with this organization."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "People are an 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. This heavy focus caused us to miss 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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Career Goals

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

      How to Answer

      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 those that other HR experts have recommended. 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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I am just starting to get my feet wet in the HR industry but have found some helpful online resources like The Muse for career-building advice and Harvard Business Review for news and interest pieces on a variety of industries. I am always open to recommendations if you have some for me!"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "It's important that I continually educate myself and remain up to date on changes and hot topics in the HR industry. Top resources that I turn to include my memberships in the national and local chapters of SHRM, the TLNT blog, and the CPSA Knowledge Center online. I want to take time this year to expand my HR knowledge by attending a couple of advanced courses on diversity, culture, and sensitivity. Do you have any further recommendations for reliable human resources information?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "It's important for me to be on top of the HR trends and educate myself on new interview techniques and the new HRMI. I like to read the TLNT blog, and I'm also considering enrolling for SHRM-CP certification and becoming an SHRM member. They have their very own monthly magazines. I do follow them closely on LinkedIn as well."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer. You are right that it is important to stay on top of the ever-changing human resources industry. You demonstrate you are committed to continually learning about the industry by referring to multiple sources of reliable information. In your second last sentence, I suggest replacing the wording "I'm also thinking of enrolling"¦" with language that indicates a stronger commitment to earning the professional certification, such as "I am considering enrolling for"¦" or "I plan to enroll for"¦".

  • Communication

    7. As a Human Resources representative with our organization, how would you show people that you are listening to them?

      How to Answer

      As an HR professional with this organization, you must build trust and gain the support of the employees you will be working with in this role. Part of creating this trust is to have open communication lines and show that you are available to listen. You will want to ask discovery questions and avoid trumping their points or belittling their stance to 'protect' the company. Take a few minutes to share with the interviewer your approach when it comes to active listening.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I show people that I am listening by repeating back parts of what they say, asking for clarification when needed, and then offering valuable information when needed. I plan to build a connection with your team by practicing these habits as well as never interrupting or assuming that I know what they need or where they are coming from."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "People want to feel listened to and important. In conversation, I 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 affirmations such as 'yes' and 'good point.' It's important that those I represent feel they can trust me, and they can bring any concerns and questions my way without judgment or repercussion."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "As a legal administrative assistant, I deal with clients every day. To ensure they enjoy our services and make them come back, I value communication as the key to understanding one another. To show people that I am listening, they would have my undivided attention. When they are speaking, I would be actively listening without any interruptions. I would make them comfortable when they are talking to me. I would give them an honest answer even if they do not like what I have to say."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It seems you are very skilled in communication and building rapport/trust with others. Good work :)

  • Compatibility

    8. If we hired you as our next Human Resources professional, what management style would you bring to our team?

      How to Answer

      Whether the position you are interviewing for actually has direct reports or not, any HR professional has managerial duties, and your interviewer is looking to hear from you what you feel your style of managing. Before your interview, you need to research the different management styles and consider what style would best describe the type of manager you are. You can always be a hybrid of the different management styles. In the end, make sure that your interview walks away from your interview, knowing what type of manager they would be hiring if they offered you this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I have had some formal education on servant leadership, and I know that I've always appreciated managers that are encouraging, supportive and motivating. I believe that success is built upon strong relationships and strong workplace relationships rely on building trust and showing respect for others."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I would consider myself a democratic manager that also has a visionary outlook for my staff and those that I work with. I'm a firm believer in valuing the ideas of all members of a team, and I always allow my colleagues and reports to have a strong voice when important decisions are made. This can help bring new ideas that I hadn't considered and encourage staff to work harder when they have a stake in the game. If hired at your organization, you would be hiring a leader that believes in empowering their team and helping to create a forward vision for them."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Compatibility

    9. In a utopian world, what does a perfect Human Resources department look like for you?

      How to Answer

      By asking a very open-ended question like this, your interviewer allows you to talk about what an ideal HR department would be for you to join. Be cognizant that it also allows them to gain some insight into what really motivates you and makes you tick on the job. As you answer, be open and honest with what you feel makes for a top-performing HR department and talk in detail about the little things that make a huge difference. If possible, try to envision how you can help make this utopian vision a reality with this organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I believe that a perfect Human Resources department is diverse and has an inclusive culture. It is a department that is relied upon to partner with leaders and employees throughout the entire organization. From what I've heard about this organization during my application process and during this interview, it sounds like I would have the opportunity hear to join a great department that fits exactly what I'm looking for in a future employer."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "If I had the magic wand to create the ideal HR department, my creation would start with a team of individuals that works cohesively and helps each other grow and thrive over time. We would be highly specialized in our areas of expertise while also continuously growing and expanding our knowledge base. To our internal and external customers, the team would be highly competent and work proactively to provide excellent service to all that we work with."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Compatibility

    10. In your eyes, what is the ideal size of an HR department that you would join?

      How to Answer

      While this is certainly an open-ended question with no right or wrong answer, your research into the organization you are interviewing with will help you closely match your answer with the department you are looking to join. Be sure to put some serious thought into whether you like a small department where the staff are jacks of all trades and handle all aspects of the Human Resources realm or a large, highly subspecialized department. Also, think about whether you yourself like to be in a more generalist type of role or a more subspecialized role. Any way you answer, be sure to sell your answer to your interviewer to show that you are the right candidate for this job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "In looking for a breakthrough Human Resources role for myself coming out college, I've put a lot of thought into this question. At your organization, I would really look forward to working with a close-knit team that allows me to grow and build skills in all HR functions. A smaller team would also allow me to work closely with everyone, thus helping me learn and develop into my own in a short time."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Having worked for the last six years in a small HR department of 5 employees for an organization of 250 people, I'm excited to bring my talent to a larger and more specialized team at our organization. In my current role, I have developed a well-rounded HR skill set that includes payroll, recruiting, employee relations, benefits administration, and staff training. Upon beginning a career search for a position at this level, I was very excited about your opportunity and knew I would make a great fit with your team!"

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Competency

    11. How do you use social media and other online tools in your recruitment processes?

      How to Answer

      A great HR representative will utilize many tools during recruitment processes, reaching more qualified candidates and lowering their time to fill rate. The fastest acting HR professionals know which talent sourcing tools are available, helping them succeed and meet their organization's workforce needs 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 lean on resources other than yourself to reach the finish line.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "It's important that I look at a candidate's social media profile, ensuring that I have the full story, before calling them for a pre-screen interview. Primarily, I use LinkedIn to search for new candidates. I also use LinkedIn to look at the profiles of the candidates I am entertaining. I like to look at their recommendations and connections and ensure that their work timelines match their resume. Other tools I use include Indeed and popular job search boards, and my company's talent portal. For hard-to-fill positions, sourcing from social media sites can often convince the passive candidate that wasn't actively looking for a new job to explore my opportunity."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I am still shocked to hear that not every human resources professional utilizes social media in their recruitment process. I begin with LinkedIn, using their Recruiter program. From there, I will also search for potential people to poach from Facebook and even Twitter. Other tools that I lean on regularly include our company's applicant tracking system pool. I will also ask for referrals quite often, from existing employees and eager new hires."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In Today's World, I think Linkedin is the best social media platform. Their recruitment program is amazing, but at the same time, I have faced challenges using the same in the past for my previous employer. Not Many people update their profile or, in fact, check their account, for that matter. So I personally don't just rely on Linkedin but also I like to post on job hunting platforms like Indeed and Glassdoor. Networking, I feel, is very important when recruiting, especially for hiring someone who has limited social media exposure."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good job! You have identified numerous online resources you use in your recruiting process and included an alternative method of sourcing talent that may not have a presence online. This question also provides an excellent opportunity to seek recommendations from the interviewer.

  • Competency

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

      How to Answer

      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 to prove that you will be able to confidently use metrics in your process in this Human Resources role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I plan to use data and analytics when it comes to benchmarking and helping my organization to forecast their hiring needs. I will also use analytics when taking on a new job opening or hiring campaign. I will first calculate how many new applicants I will need to attract, how many of those I need to shortlist, and how many I will bring into a final interview before my company can make a final hiring decision."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Many human resource professionals rely on the existing processes of their organization, which is an important factor; however, it should not be 100% of the work. I analyze data from our company's previous hires, successes, failures, employee attrition data, and more. Then, I make hiring recommendations based on what I see to be working for our organization in the future. Most recently, I helped reduce our unnecessary workforce spend by replacing four low-performing employees with one full-time employee and one part-time staff member. My director was thankful that I took the time to analyze the issues before recommending a solution that was not as budget-friendly or effective."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Competency

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

      How to Answer

      There are many ways that an HR professional can influence the recruitment processes of an organization and help them through challenging talent acquisition projects. When asked this question, you can be sure that your interviewer is looking to hire a skilled human resources professional who will partner with their company and its stakeholders. If hired for this role, you 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 and give some examples of new ideas that you've put into place surrounding full-scope recruitment processes.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I have learned of a few great resources that I plan to lean on, and I will share those with my employer. Utilizing what I know about HR and learning my new employers' industry will be important steps to take, ensuring that I play a big support role. I am an excellent researcher and will provide market analysis and other important data critical for making sound hiring decisions. During my internship, I had the opportunity to revamp job descriptions for job postings to help attract more candidates to apply for positions."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "It's vital that I act as a solid hiring partner to my company. I support the management team by helping them with interview questions and candidate attraction strategies. I teach them the red flags to look out for in a job seeker and even help them through salary negotiations. Many of my superiors lean on my expertise when it comes to competitive hiring."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Competency

    14. Do you have any experience in the administration side of benefits for an organization?

      How to Answer

      If asked this question during your interview, your interviewer is looking to hear if you have any experience in the administration of benefits at any point during your career. Remember that the administration side can entail creating, managing, or updating benefits like health insurance, vacation time, leaves of absence policies, and retirement accounts. If you have experience, that is great! Be sure to talk in detail about what that experience entailed and your role in the process. If you don't have direct experience on the administration side of benefits, that is okay. Just be sure to talk enough about your benefits experience to give your interviewer the sense that you would be comfortable and confident if called upon to handle these duties in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Being new to the career, I don't have direct experience in administering benefits. But, I have had great exposure to the fine details that go into health insurance plans, retirement options, and time away from work policies. I am confident in my managerial skills to be able to handle any benefits administration duties that would be required for me in this role."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current role as Human Resources Director, I am directly involved in the administration of the full scope of benefits for my organization. I sit at the table during health, dental, and vision premium negotiations with our TPA. I also helped research and enroll in a great 401k program for our staff that continues to be a win-win for our employees and the organization. Another large project I led last year was revamping our paid time off accrual policy to stay competitive with other businesses in our area to help retain workers."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Competency

    15. What experience with different compensation models would you bring to our team as our next Human Resources professional?

      How to Answer

      If you bring prior HR experience to your interview with this organization, your interviewer can't get a feel for the compensation models you are familiar with by looking at your resume. As you answer, be open and honest about the models you are familiar with and talk in detail about the models and why they worked. If you have experience designing a compensation model, be sure to talk about that experience and the role you played. As well, talk about any experience you have in participating in compensation surveys and benchmarking. If you are a new graduate, don't hesitate to talk about the different models of compensation that you are familiar with and when each one is most effective. Another good point to make in your answer is your familiarity with the Fair Labor Standards Act and how it applies to wages.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I feel very fortunate to have studied compensation models during my college coursework and feel that I have an excellent baseline of knowledge in joining your organization. I understand that a large portion of your production staff are compensated on an hourly wage and are subject to federal overtime laws. I also understand that you have salaried management staff as well. In my internship, I was exposed to benchmarking wages for salaried staff by analyzing data in a large industry-specific compensation study that led to a significant increase in salaried wages for the organization to remain competitive."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current role, I feel very fortunate to get to work with hourly workers, commissioned sales staff, and salaried employees. This experience has given me a very well-rounded experience surrounding compensation. Two years ago, I led a team of leaders in revamping our commission model to include a base salary with key sales goals and numbers paid on top as commission. This new model significantly helped us retain our top performers and recruit new top talent to the organization. I have a solid knowledge of the FLSA and how businesses have to compensate workers fairly under the law."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Competency

    16. What would you consider to be your forte within the functions of Human Resources? How could this benefit our team?

      How to Answer

      The HR field is a very subspecialized field, where professionals need to hold skills in many different aspects of the work. By asking this question, your interviewer wants to know what you consider your strongest suit within the field and how these skills will help benefit their organization if you are hired. Before your interview, put some serious thought into where you feel that your skills would shine the best with this organization and where you honestly find the most satisfaction in your work. As you answer, talk passionately to ensure that your interviewer sees the dedication you will be bringing to their team.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Looking for my first formal role as an HR professional, I would consider my forte to be payroll and benefits. Before obtaining my Bachelor's degree, I have a good amount of experience as a payroll specialist, and this experience is what drove me to grow within the HR field. If hired to join your team, I'd look forward to bringing the payroll skills I have to your team and growing and learning in more areas of the field."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "If you were to hire me to lead your Human Resources team, you'd be hiring a very well-rounded HR professional. I find the most gratification and success in organizational leadership, where I work closely with high-level managers and leaders on leadership coaching, mediation, and strategic planning. I work very well with leaders, managers, and supervisors to help lead organizations into the future, and I'd love to bring these skills to your team."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Critical Thinking

    17. Give an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision during your HR career. What decision making processes did you have to use in this situation?

      How to Answer

      When asked this question, your 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 your choices as the next HR representative with this organization. Talk to your 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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "One thing that I learned in my internship is that human resource teams are often working under critical hiring deadlines for multiple positions for a variety of departments. I believe that these situations require a lot of fast-moving parts and very decisive behavior from various stakeholders. During my time in this internship, I was able to act as an assistant during a major hiring spree, where we hired 55 production staff in just three weeks. It was incredible to see how well the HR team could make decisions while remaining in agreement and well organized. I am confident that this experience gave me solid footing for making a similar decision in this role."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Two weeks ago, I had to make a decision quickly on an associate's employment who has been struggling with performance issues. After reviewing their file, I determined that the associate did not receive adequate coaching. Rather than terminate their employment, I decided to help the manager put them on a performance improvement plan. I put the plan together in just a few hours but was very diligent in my methodology. I checked in with the manager earlier this week, and the performance improvement plan has been effective already."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Diligence

    18. Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work as an HR professional.

      How to Answer

      Proper planning and organization is a critical skill required for almost any job. As a human resources professional, you must be three steps ahead of everyone else, have your documentation in check, and be highly prepared for the unexpected. Have a well-thought-out plan for how you stay organized so you can reiterate to your interviewer that they would be hiring a highly organized HR professional at their organization. Confidently demonstrate this plan to the employer so they know you are serious about your professional approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I use my Google calendar religiously and also utilize many productivity apps such as Evernote and Trello. I will approach organizing my work the same way I approached my university career and my extra-curricular activities. I can prioritize by the due date as well as by bottom-line return. I have great focus but am also able to shift when a new need arises."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Success and strong planning go hand in hand. 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. Human Resources departments are there for the people, and people are unpredictable. I plan my day in my Outlook calendar and color code tasks according to urgency and department. I also lean on tools such as Slack to communicate with my team, cutting down on emails and saving everyone time. When multiple tasks are due in one day, I will ask for assistance if needed, stay late, or arrive early. Rest assured, I am highly organized and responsible with my duties."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "To make sure no important tasks get missed, I create a routine. By being organized, I set up calendars and to-do lists. I quickly go over what is essential and what needs to be done first from the to-do lists. I try not to multi-task because I can make a mistake and not get the best quality of work done. I take breaks in the middle to make sure I do not wear myself out. I also make sure my workspace is clean and neat so that I can see everything that needs to be done and found."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wow, you sound very organized and focused. This is a wonderful answer and very specific.

  • Diligence

    19. If hired on our Human Resources team, what weight do you put on a candidate's professional references when considering them for a hire?

      How to Answer

      At some point during your interview, your interviewer will be interested to hear about your diligence surrounding all aspects of 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. As you answer, be sure to reiterate that reference checks are just one small important piece in making a hiring decision.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I believe that reference checks are one important piece of the interview process when considering candidates for hire, but I always warn hiring managers that a solid reference should not be the sole reason for hiring a candidate. I feel it is best to obtain professional references before the final interviews, perhaps when the decision is down to the top two or three candidates. In addition to reference checks, I also think it's important to look at a candidates' online presence on Google, social media, and LinkedIn."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "When hiring, I believe a critical component of the hiring process is seeking out and checking references. This step gives the interview team an alternative perspective of the candidate being considered from a source that has had professional or personal experience with them. Contacting references provides additional insight if the interview team has uncertainty about any aspect of the candidate's qualification. This information might be useful in coming to a hiring decision. For these reasons, I am sure to check the reference for every candidate after our second interview. This action ensures that I have a well-rounded view of their strengths before moving into final interviews."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, absolutely. An interview would give you half an hour or 1 hour with the candidate. Whereas references tell you about the candidate's character, They've spent so many hours with them that it gives an insight into what kind of person our candidate is. The question I like to ask most is, "what is it like to work with this candidate?" It sometimes tells you the values candidate has, and also, it's just a way of cross-checking the experience and knowledge the candidate possesses."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      It is clear you recognize the importance of checking a candidate's professional references and are diligent in the hiring process. Good job! To make your answer even more memorable to the interviewer, include some additional information about your process related to reference checking. Is there a specific stage of the hiring process when you prefer to perform these checks? Do you conduct reference checks for every position? Do you have one question you ask of every reference that you find particularly useful?

  • Direct

    20. Do you have any questions for me regarding this role or this organization?

      How to Answer

      During an interview, It's always a great idea to come to your interview with a list of well-thought-out questions for your interviewer. Since you are interviewing for the role of an HR professional, this is an excellent opportunity to show your interviewer that you have insightful questions. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure that your queries are not mundane or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers for from merely watching a video on their company site! As you think about questions to ask, it doesn't hurt to ask why the position is vacant and how long of a timeline they are looking at for filling it. You should also look to gain insight on future goals for the person that takes this role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I appreciate you opening the floor for questions. I am wondering what your timeline is for a decision on this opening? Also, what was the biggest struggle the last HR Assistant encountered in this role, and do you foresee this struggle continuing?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I would like to ask if there is anything in my human resources background on which you need clarification? Also, after discussing everything today, is there any particular reason why you feel that I would not be the best fit for this HR specialist role?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Experience

    21. What do you feel are the keys to building a strong organizational culture?

      How to Answer

      To help build a complete organizational culture that includes strong values, vision, behavior, and environment, Human Resources are often relied upon to lead the charge. In your answer, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have a strong focus on helping to build a stable and rewarding culture in all that you do as an HR professional. As you answer this question, speak from the heart about the major contributing factors in building a strong culture at an organization. To really sell yourself to your interviewer, be sure to talk about the impact you can have on their organization's culture.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I am a firm believer that a strong workplace culture starts and ends with a strong vision moving forward and strong values in place that allows staff to thrive. That's why I put so much focus on hiring the right team members who share the organization's common vision. If people believe in the mission, they are more likely to be high-performing employees. To do this, I use pointed interview questions that really dig into a candidate's personal values. As well, I have utilized a few different assessments during the interview process that highlight a candidate's values."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

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  • Experience

    22. Do you have experience using an ATS? Which applicant tracking systems do you know best?

      How to Answer

      Most companies use an ATS, or applicant tracking system, to aid in their recruitment efforts. Most modern systems collect and store job applicants' resumes, personal information, interview notes, documentation, and candidate history. When a job seeker applies online to one of your job postings, their application, documents, and records will automatically populate into your company's ATS. This system allows you to quickly see how well they match the role to which they have applied. Some of the most popular ATS programs will enable you to email a job seeker directly from the system and even book interviews or push out bulk SMS messages. Popular ATS' include Taleo, Bullhorn, Kenexa, WorkDay, and JazzHR. Discuss what you know about ATS features and which systems you have used the most.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I am familiar with an applicant tracking system and how an ATS works to post positions and filter job applicants, thus making the work of a human resources professional much easier. I have heard of Bullhorn and Taleo most frequently. I am a quick study and highly competent with technology and any software I need to utilize in my work. If you could share with me which ATS you use here, I am happy to start with some online tutorials to learn the basics of navigating your system."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "For the past three years, I have used Taleo, first as an HR assistant and then as an HR specialist. When I sent my application to your company online, I noticed that your talent portal is also run by Taleo. The features I use most in this system include the quick applications overview, email templates, and social job sharing feature. If I were to be hired on your HR team, I would be able to hit the ground running with your ATS."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Experience

    23. Have you every been involved in cost reduction efforts during your HR career? What was the effort and how did you effectively handle it with success?

      How to Answer

      When organizations look to reduce costs to help their bottom line, the Human Resources team is often part of that process. Whether it is in labor costs or other expenses, your interviewer is ideally looking to hear that you know how cost reduction could impact your work with their organization. If you have direct experience in cost savings initiatives within the HR field, be sure to talk in detail about that experience, what you learned and why the effort was necessary. If you don't have direct experience with cost-saving initiatives, there is no need to fret. Just be able to talk about ways that a Human Resources team can help reduce costs for an organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "While I haven't been directly involved in cost reduction efforts from an HR perspective as a new graduate, I am fully aware of the impact that HR costs have on the bottom line of an organization. Even small things like recruitment costs can have a major impact on overall budgets. If hired for this role, I would always keep a watchful eye to ensure that dollars were spent in the best way possible to get the most return for money spent."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Yes, I have been involved in many throughout my career. Most recently, the pandemic's impact on my current company was huge and some drastic efforts needed to be taken to survive. First, we implemented a hiring freeze that took effect for over three months. Once production began ramping up again, we took a very calculated approach to evaluate what critical positions we needed to recruit now and which ones could wait until further out. I worked very closely with our senior leadership team in a committee-style approach to making these decisions. Without these efforts, it would have been challenging for the organization to survive in such a drastic downturn."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

  • Job Satisfaction

    24. What do you enjoy most about working in the Human Resources field?

      How to Answer

      At some point during your time with them, your interviewer will be interested to learn 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!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "What I believe I will enjoy most about my career in human resources is having the opportunity to learn about people's strengths and then assigning them to meaningful work. We all want to know that our work has meaning, which is a big reason why I applied to your organization. Your mission to change the lives of others through technology resonates with me deeply."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Making a difference in the lives of people and helping them both professionally and personally is the most rewarding part of what I do as an HR Specialist. The human resources profession 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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I love being a part of the Talent Acquisition team, as it is really fascinating to know that I helped develop a team. This job profile provides endless learning opportunities. You get to sit with hiring managers from different departments to frame job profiles and learn about specific functions and processes. Moreover, these experiences keep me updated with the latest technological advancements. For example, I worked with a construction firm, and talent acquisition for that firm was a continuous challenge that I absolutely loved. It's not just knowing about the job profile, but about knowing how government works, the laws, and the demographics of the new project. I really like to keep myself updated in different industries as well. I'm really excited to know more about financial portfolios and how they manage them. And best way to know about all this is to know what exactly the job responsibilities entail in that industry."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer! The interviewer will get a sense of the aspects of the job you like the most and your motivation for pursuing a career in the HR industry. To strengthen your answer, I suggest you conclude by making a connection back to the organization with which you are interviewing. For instance, you could tie your passion for HR into the values and mission of the organization. Or include a reason you are interested in working for the company.
      *Good job adding an example from your career to support your interest in HR and indicating you wish to learn more about the industry. Remember to practice your response aloud so that it feels natural and comfortable.

  • Job Satisfaction

    25. Why did you choose a career path in Human Resources?

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, be sure to put some serious thought into what led you to a career path in Human Resources. As you answer this question, try to communicate why you chose a career in HR and bring to light what you would love most about your work with the organization you are interviewing with. Being able to display a passion and excitement for your job will help your interviewer 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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "As a people influencer that grew up leading teammates in athletics and my classmates in projects, studying to be an HR professional was a pretty easy decision for me. A successful Human Resources team is what gives a company life. The heartbeat of everything a company does comes from the team built within. Not only is this rewarding, but it is also challenging. The industry is always growing and changing, from compliance, legislation, and new technology. There is always something to learn."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "My work in HR allows me to make a difference in the many lives of associates by helping them to grow and improve themselves professionally. I have the opportunity to make genuine, meaningful connections with others every day. I also love that I can become a true partner to the organization with which I am working. During my first two years of college, I became very close to the HR team at the organization I was working with. During my time getting to know them, they convinced me that my desire to work with people to find solutions would lead to future success in Human Resources. During my sophomore year of college, I ended up changing majors to pursue this career path, and I'm so fortunate that I made that decision at a young age."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Leadership

    26. How would you find qualified candidates for our open positions? If possible, share a time that you used a unique approach to recruit a great candidate.

      How to Answer

      At some point during your interview as the next HR professional at their organization, your interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate the various recruiting and interviewing methods you have used in your hiring practices in the past. Take the time to walk them through your process, including the tools you lean on to make successful candidate matches. To solidify your answer to this question, be sure to research the organization and the types of positions you would be recruiting for in this role to talk about some unique ways to successfully recruit top talent to this team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "The methods that I plan to execute to find qualified job candidates include optimized job postings, a strong social media presence, sourcing the existing ATS database, as well as ever-valuable employee referrals. I look forward to earning many hiring successes in this role with your organization."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st 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 through job boards such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter. I also utilize many of the LinkedIn premium features for candidate matching and messaging. Offline avenues include career fairs and referral programs. Recognizing that great talent typically knows great talent, I recently implemented an associate referral program at my company. The purpose of this program is to attract top talent by encouraging recommendations from existing employees. Through this program, we have now hired five exceptional new leaders within the organization. I think a referral program would work great for the niche positions that I would be recruiting here."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Leadership

    27. Do you have experience guiding candidates through job offers and negotiations that you would bring to our organization?

      How to Answer

      One exciting part of your job as part of the HR team at this organization will be making job offers to eager candidates. As you answer this question, be cautious about how you answer, as many things can get in the way between a job offer and its acceptance. Your interviewer knows that it's up to you to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Part of the experience that your interviewer will be looking for is the ability to control conversations regarding salary offers and counteroffers. Discuss any experience you have with job offer negotiations, giving a real-life example if possible.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Although I am new to real-time job offer negotiations, I did study a few cases while obtaining my degree. I also observed three job offer conversations during my internship. One example that stood out to me was a job offer with a $10K salary gap. The company raised its offer another $5K plus an added week of paid vacation time. It was a perfect compromise, and the candidate signed the offer right away. I also was exposed to an employer that had little wiggle room for negotiation, and they held this philosophy to ensure internal equity. In this system, job offers were made by calculating salary using a formula that considered the number of months and years of direct experience in relevant work."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I keep my directors and candidates close, to ensure that proposals do not go sideways due to bad communication or unrealistic expectations from either party. This year, I have worked on 18 different offers, managing negotiations from salary to start date to benefits. I keep up to date on market trends, what our company's competitors are offering. I know what employees are earning based on their location, education level, and years of experience. I am 100% comfortable taking full control during job offer negotiations."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Leadership

    28. Do you have experience leading terminations as a Human Resources professional?

      How to Answer

      Coming into your interview with this organization, be prepared to articulate the full scope of your experience in handling employee terminations. Show the interviewer that you can be objective about this task in working with supervisors and managers. Also, highlight the importance of proper documentation and decision-making while still delivering the message to the terminated employee with empathy.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Although performing terminations has not been a task on my plate as of yet, I am aware that this will be part of my job as a human resources professional. When tasked with leading this process, I know it would be my responsibility to ensure that the manager and the HR team had all documentation necessary to justify the terminations. Then, if required, I would ensure that all parties in senior leadership were aware of the decision. When it would come time to notify the employee, it would be important to deliver the message in a way that is clear and forthright while remaining empathetic."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Yes, there are times when it is a necessary business decision to terminate workers. As an HR professional, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure this happens professionally and respectfully. My role is to ensure parties on both sides of the table have the information and tools they will need throughout the termination process. When appropriate, I am a big proponent of providing outplacement services to those employees who are unexpectedly let go or laid off."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Leadership

    29. Do you have experience preparing or leading new hire orientation?

      How to Answer

      New hire orientation is how an organization welcomes a new employee into its company. The purpose of this orientation is for your new hire to feel comfortable and to adjust and onboard as quickly as possible. The better your onboarding process, the less likely the employee will quit. New hire orientation could include safety training, walk-throughs of various departments, job shadowing opportunities, employee benefits reviews, introductions to multiple stakeholders and co-workers, an overview of the company culture and history, and any other information required for their success. Talk to the interviewer about your experience putting together new hire orientation programs or leading them. Talk in detail about any roles you have played regarding new hire orientations, so your interviewer gets a feel for how well you'll be able to handle this if hired at their organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "While finishing my degree, one of my class assignments was to create a mock orientation for new hire onboarding. I presented my ideas to the class and received the highest mark in the entire class. My orientation included safety training, walkthroughs, job shadowing, and team-building exercises. I look forward to learning more about your new hire process and how we can work to improve it every year."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "During my HR career, I have led many different aspects of the employee orientation process. I strongly believe that a flawless orientation and onboarding process will greatly increase an employees' desire to stay with their new employer long-term. At my current company, when I first joined, their process was pretty weak. I took about a month to dive into the orientation and revamped the program entirely. I have included more information on the organizational structure, expectations, and company culture. Now that the new hires feel more comfortable and welcome, our tenure rate has increased by about 18%. I am very comfortable leading large group orientations. I frequently do so for groups of up to 30 people."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Leadership

    30. Do you have experience in orienting new staff to employer health benefits?

      How to Answer

      Employer health benefits can become very complicated, where there can be a lot of small print and information that both new and current employees misunderstand. This confusion can worsen 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. Be sure to reiterate your vast experience in this realm or your willingness to master this to prove you'll be an asset to new and existing staff at this organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I recently took an online course called 'The Benefits Guide' as a way to better understand how employee health benefits work. While obtaining my associates' degree in human resources, I felt that this area of knowledge needed supplementation, which is why I took the initiative to complete this course. I feel much more confident in my knowledge level now. If hired for this role with your organization, can you talk a bit about the role I would play in the benefits orientation process?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "At my current company, we recently changed benefits providers. This ended up leaving many employees feeling a bit confused about the changes. I took it upon myself to spend a couple of hours with the insurance providers' representative as they walked me through everything I needed to know. I spent a few days studying the packages and options, preparing myself to best answer any questions that would come my way from our employees. Once I felt 100% confident, I held an informational session for anyone who cared to attend. We had nearly 100 employees show up to the session, where I walked them through every facet of their new benefits plan and answered all questions. Now, I have a much clearer understanding of how employee health benefits work, and I feel very confident in my abilities in this area of HR."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Leadership

    31. What experience in coordinating interviews and documenting the candidate journey would you bring to our team as our next HR Representative?

      How to Answer

      A significant part of working as a Human Resources professional is coordinating the candidate flow of all recruitment efforts. In asking this question, your interviewer would like to understand your experience in managing the interview process and taking care of the documentation and other action steps that are critical to successful onboarding. Walk your interviewer through your process, and be sure to include any software, tips, tricks, and tools that you use along the way. As well, be sure to reiterate the need for open lines of communication in this process.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I will keep close track of all talent acquisition activities by utilizing every facet of your HRMS software. While completing my Human Resources degree, I learned how these robust systems keep track of important activities, allowing busy HR professionals to better focus on making strong candidate connections. Could you share with me the tools you use to coordinate the talent management process?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current position, I am responsible for the talent acquisition of approximately 60 new hires every year. This volume means that my success requires complete organization, and every step needs immediate documenting. I lean on Sage People, a cloud-based HR system that allows me to track every action we take with a candidate. I book interviews and track them in Outlook, which everyone on our team uses. I have excellent follow-up habits, which is a must to staying organized and well-coordinated."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Management

    32. When interviewing a candidate as a Human Resources representative, what do you feel is the most important question you could ask?

      How to Answer

      There is a world of essential interview questions that you could ask an interviewing candidate as an HR professional. The most crucial first step is 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. While this is certainly an open-ended question with no right or wrong answer, be sure you pick a question that shows your interviewer that you can dig deep into the candidates you interview. As you answer, talk with confidence and explain why the question you chose is important.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I have a no-fail question that I plan to ask in most interviews, and it's 'Why would you accept this job over any others you are entertaining?' By asking this question, I am really looking for the candidate to express a genuine desire in the role I am interviewing them for and a clear desire to work for my organization. If they cannot show enthusiasm for the position and my company, I will eliminate them from the competition right away."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "One question that I always ask, no matter the role, is 'Describe for me in detail your ideal opportunity.' This question puts the responsibility on them to tell me, very specifically, what they seek in a job. I ask them to include the workplace environment, team size, location, type of industry, and more. If their response feels like a solid match to my organization, only then will I move them to the next stage of interviews."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Performance

    33. Describe the most significant written document, report or presentation which you had to complete. What skills did you take from this that you can bring to our Human Resources team?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to see that you can write critical internal documents and create presentations for a variety of uses if you were to join their organization. If they propose this question to you, there is a strong chance that researching and presenting data could be a large part of your role as a Human Resources professional in this role. You could also be leading onboarding programs and orientations. Talk about the various reports or deliverables you are responsible for providing in your current position, and also discuss any public speaking or presentation experience.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "During my Bachelor's program, I completed a major paper on strategic HR management and planning. I then had to turn the paper into a 30-minute class presentation. This project accounted for 30% of my final grade, and I am happy to say I received an A on the project. I enjoyed the research and data that went into putting the project together, and even more so, I liked the public speaking and presenting aspects. I feel confident now when it comes to leading groups, meetings, and critical HR discussions and would look forward to bringing these skills to your organization."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Recently, I rolled out a new performance evaluation plan to leaders in my company. I prepared a PowerPoint presentation sharing critical information such as new processes and their intended impact. I also forecasted the success of the changes and a timeline of events to implement them. I also scheduled a follow-up meeting after the launch to discuss any roadblocks that may be present."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Scenario Based

    34. Talk about a time when you dealt with a difficult person in the workplace. How did you handle the situation? Were you able to correct their behavior?

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer would like to know how you overcome challenging situations with difficult people by asking these questions. They want assurance that you have the knowledge, abilities, and influence required to course-correct unwelcome behavior from employees or close colleagues in the workplace. Talk about a time when you dealt with a problematic person swiftly and professionally. Be sure to touch on the positive outcome that came about due to your calm, cool, and collected demeanor.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I have helped with problematic behavior and attitudes a few times during team sports, group projects at school, and even in one volunteer opportunity. Last summer, I volunteered at an outdoor camp for youth, where I noticed one of the camp leaders using inappropriate language around our guests. I brought the situation to the camp director, making a clear and concise report of what I had witnessed. Because I was able to be so specific about the person's behavior, the director could have a frank yet constructive conversation with this individual. This person turned their behavior around immediately. If hired on the Human Resources team at your organization, you will find out quickly that I have an alligator thick skin and an ability to handle difficult colleagues with ease through my calm yet direct communication with them."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "All companies have challenging associates, and I have had to work with my fair share throughout my career. In my current role, we had one associate who behaved unprofessionally, which brought down the entire team. I partnered with their manager to implement a performance improvement plan and take measures for corrective behavioral action. We intended to guide and help the associate to turn their behavior around. We must uphold company standards and ethics across the board. Unfortunately, this associate was unable to do so within our 30-day timeline, and we arranged for the associate's termination."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Scenario Based

    35. Tell me about a time when you positively influenced hiring practices at your current or former employer. What prompted you to take this action?

      How to Answer

      Possessing the skills to change or improve a hiring practice in the workplace is valuable to any employer. To help your interviewer realize that they'd be hiring an agent for change if they offered you this position, talk to your interviewer about when you recognized a need to change or enhance a hiring practice. Touch on the thought process you used to determine the need for a change, the steps you took to implement the change, and how you measured the success of the improvement.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Being new to my career, my experience taking the reigns with hiring practices is limited; however, I come with some great ideas. I am currently working towards being Gallup certified, allowing me to lead better interviews that focus on behavior, situational, and topical questions; therefore, better vetting candidates. Another area where organizations can use a refresh every year or two is how they write attractive job descriptions and advertise them to attract the top talent. This is something that I would always keep a watchful eye on."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st 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 more behavioral interview 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 to equip leaders with the skills to interview candidates effectively. Then, we measured our success by monitoring turnover, retention, and time-to-hire metrics. We changed the process and, therefore, improved the results."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Stress

    36. What do you find to be the most difficult part of working in Human Resources field?

      How to Answer

      As you answer this question, try to avoid sounding cynical about a work-related task, especially one that may represent a large portion of your work. Keep your answer simple, and be sure to approach it positively by talking about how you work to make this difficult aspect of your work more manageable. For instance, maybe the hardest part of your work is having termination meetings, but you do your best to ensure the employee leaves feeling supported and respected. Your interviewer will expect you to talk about some aspect of the job that you don't find enjoyable, so come prepared to talk about one aspect that you find difficult.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I anticipate that the most difficult part of working in human resources will be keeping up with ongoing changes in law and legislation, ensuring full compliance. I plan to meet this challenge by reading HR-related journals regularly and attending continuing education conferences and workshops. As well, I really believe that networking with HR professionals would be key to staying abreast of any changes in laws and regulations."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "While people are your greatest asset, they also will surprise you with various challenges along the way. Effectively adapting to new issues while meeting HR deadlines is an important yet challenging part of my work. I make sure to actively learn from these difficulties to be better as a polished HR professional. To work my way around this issue, I find that having blocked time on my calendar for urgent, high needs items is key to being successful with new issues that arise."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Teamwork

    37. If hired to join our HR team at this organization, how would you build relationships with your new colleague and supervisors?

      How to Answer

      At some point during your interview, your interviewer would like to know how you plan to kickstart relationships with your new co-workers and those you guide in an HR function with their organization. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. Discuss how you ensure an active line of communication with your co-workers, team, and management right from the start. Also, don't forget to mention the importance of building trust and gaining the respect of your colleagues from the start in your new role.

      Here are some ideas for getting started on the right foot:

      - Be willing to accept feedback and help
      - Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way
      - Do not have an air of entitlement or act as though you know the ins and outs immediately
      - Avoid all company gossip at all cost
      - Ask meaningful questions as a way to make connections
      - Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)
      - Come dressed appropriately

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "When I have a new team to get to know, I will hold a team-wide meeting and allow the associates to ask me any questions they want. During this meeting, I give a glimpse into who I am as a professional and a person to try and build close connections. I also let them voice their biggest concerns and present ideas about what we can do to fix them. This introduction builds a form of trust that I believe is critical for a healthy human resources connection."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "As a Human Resources professional, I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job, I am my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for themselves. I also understand that people like to talk about themselves. I can create new relationships with others by taking the time to get to know them personally. In turn, I would always be open about who I am and what drives me in my work. Hopefully, I can find common ground and make a lasting connection with all that I would be working with in this role."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In five years, I hope to be given an opportunity with this company by leading, training, and recruiting top talent to achieve personal growth and accomplish the business' goals and objectives. To ensure HR is up to date, I hope to attend conferences, workshops, and training sessions to gain knowledge-a mutual benefit for both ends."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You have some specific plans, which is fantastic! Good answer.

  • Tough

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

      How to Answer

      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. This means that a company is losing staff due to natural reduction, including resignation, retirement, or relocation. As you answer this question, it is important to remember that 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 the primary causes of employee attrition. Your interviewer is ideally looking for your ability to recognize and understand their pain points.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I think resignations and retirements would impact employee attrition rates. Every company must work hard to plan for a strong future workforce by hiring according to attritions rates and trends in data. I learned about this while earning my bachelor's degree and am eager to apply what I know to reduce the impact of attrition on your company. In today's day and age, attrition is caused by many new things that employers really didn't see 20 years ago. Employees seeking a flexible work environment, better work-life balance, and more opportunities for advancement are causing employers to be more flexible in how their workforce operates daily."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Employee attrition rates refer to staff reduction due to unforeseen or natural circumstances such as increasing retirement rates. I have helped my current company overcome attrition by working with them on proactive workforce planning. When a company sees where their employee attrition rates are going, they can act ahead and plan rather than being reactionary. While retirements are a great and rewarding aspect of attrition, I focus on employee turnover rates and long-term retention of staff to help keep attrition rates as low as possible. "

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

  • Tough

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

      How to Answer

      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 and has become a buzzword that many people don't fully understand. By proposing this question to you, your interviewer is ideally looking to hear that you know what innovation indeed is. Include an example of a time when you introduced an innovative initiative in the workplace or exercised a creative idea that made a positive difference. In the end, make sure that your interviewer walks away from your time together, knowing that you would always keep an open mind new and innovative processes in their Human Resources department.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Innovation means introducing a new process or breakthrough in the workplace. In the HR realm, I see many opportunities for innovation. For instance, I could work with the company's applicant tracking system to search for hidden talent when tight hiring deadlines. I can create ways to accurately track HR projects, such as creating onboarding programs using cloud-based software. I can think of many ways to make it easier for all stakeholders to participate in talent acquisition projects. I look forward to exercising my creativity and introducing innovations, once hired."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "To me, innovation means presenting a new idea or making an existing idea better. It's important to be innovative in the workplace, but often it's a misunderstood concept. An example of when I was innovative was when our company was facing budget cuts. I suggested that we begin to operate as though the cuts were already made in an attempt to preemptively save funds. We cut back on unnecessary workforce spending, such as overtime hours. The concept worked well, and we were able to eliminate many unnecessary expenditures while completely avoiding layoffs."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on September 5th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "UBS is the biggest wealth hub in the world. Being a 150-year-old bank, maintaining the consistency to serve all the millionaires and billionaires of the world without losing their trust is a great thing. No one would like to work for a company that doesn't care about its employees. I was impressed by your company's longstanding dedication to offering talented individuals a challenging, diverse, and collaborative working environment where passion, commitment, and hard work are valued and rewarded."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great way to show off your research -- nice answer.

  • Trust

    40. Talk about a situation in your career that tested your ethics. What did you learn from that situation that you can bring to our Human Resources team?

      How to Answer

      As an HR professional, you are constantly trying to balance your employer's best interests and its staff of employees. Added to that, you need to maintain compliance with state and federal employment laws. Given this delicate balance, your interviewer knows that you have been tested ethically at some point in your career, and they'll be looking to hear that you will bring a strong ethical mindset to their organization. Before your interview, think of a time where you were faced with an ethical dilemma. As you answer this question, talk about what the issue was, how you mentally worked your way through it, and what the great result was in the end. Whether you talk about a legal issue, a confidentiality breach, or an employment fairness practice, you will sell your interviewer on your ability to be non-partial and clear-minded.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "During my internship, I worked with a strong HR manager that put me to work on a project of blinding resumes and applications that were coming in for their open positions at the organization. The organization had a history of hiring only men for their roles, and it was a new initiative to expand the diversity of their workforce. Within a few weeks of implementing the blinding of information, several hiring managers approached the HR department very mad about this new process. I learned a lot on how to handle this sort of situation by working very closely with the HR manager for the next couple of months."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "A couple of years ago, I had an employee approach me with some verbal abuse and bullying issues that were happening with their department supervisor. The employee reiterated several times that he had taken this issue to the plant manager, but only to have it ignored. The employee was hesitant to approach me in fear of losing their job, but I assured them that whistleblower law would protect them. It was first important for me to talk to many people and gather as much information as possible. In this process, I also talked with the plant manager about what had been brought to them. In finding that a long period of verbal abuse by a supervisor had taken place, we set forth immediate disciplinary action against the supervisor. More importantly, I worked with the plant manager on reassigning the employee that approached me to a new department to help curb any retaliation by others in the department. The ethical dilemma for me personally thinking about how to make this situation right for every person involved, and I truly believe those results were achieved."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on August 26th, 2021