20 Job Interview Questions and Answers for a HR Position – CV Nation

20 Job Interview Questions and Answers for a HR Position

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The ultimate guide to HR interview questions, with 20 job interview questions and answers for people at all levels of human resources, including HR officers, HR assistants, HR coordinators, HR managers, HR generalists and HR directors.

As a HR professional, you’re probably familiar with job interview questions. But you may not be very experienced at being on the other side of those questions.

In this guide, we cover the 20 most common job interview questions for people who work in HR. We also explain the best way to answer those questions and include sample answers.

1. Tell Us a Bit About Yourself

While this question is usually asked as a bit of an ice breaker at the start of interviews, you can use your answer to demonstrate why you’re the best person for the job.

Focus your answer on your career as a HR professional. Don’t bring up your personal life unless it’s relevant to your career or you’ve been specifically asked about it.

You may want to touch on your current job, your previous HR experiences, your passion for HR and how you got into human resources.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I’m a Human Resources Manager with over 12 years’ experience in HR. I started my human resources career as a HR advisor, before gaining promotion to the role of HR manager, a role I have been employed in for the last eight years.

I got into HR because I’m passionate about the people of organisations. I’m proud of the fact that, during my time in HR, I have been able to make positive impacts on employees and their working conditions.

A large aspect of my job in recent times has been the development and implementation of change programmes. For example, I executed Example Company’s diversity & inclusion programme, which has seen the company recruit more people from diverse backgrounds.

2. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?

This question is all about determining if you are aligned with the company’s values and culture. It also enables the interviewer to see if you’ve done your research and actually targeted the company.

Make sure you do your research before attending the interview. Learn about the company and you’ll be in a much better position to answer this question. Research may involve studying articles about the company, looking at their website and examining the job description.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I am an admirer of your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Having implemented many initiatives to support diversity in the workplace, I feel that I am aligned with your company’s values. When I saw this position advertised, I was excited about the prospect of using my HR experiences and skills to add value to your team.

3. Why Do You Want to Work in HR?

This is a question that may be asked to entry-level professions and those who are seeking their first HR role. The question is designed to see if a career in HR is right for you.

Frame your answer to this question in a way that shows you understand HR and what will be expected of you. You could also show your keen interest in HR to demonstrate your enthusiasm.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I want to work in HR because I am passionate about the people of organisations. I believe it would be very rewarding to help improve employees’ working lives.

During my last role as an administrative assistant, I gained experience helping the HR administrator with job interviews and recruitment activities. I thoroughly enjoyed this work, which helped me decide I wanted to pursue a career in HR.

4. Describe a Programme That You Developed and Implemented?

This is a question that may be asked to those pursuing senior HR roles, such as HR manager and HR director roles.

HR professionals often develop and implement new programmes. These may include training programmes, diversity programmes etc.

Interviewers ask this question to see if you’re adept at delivering programmes that add benefits to organisations.

Here is an example answer to this question:

While employed as HR Director at Example Company, I developed a new training programme for over 500 employees. The training programme was aligned the business’s long-term goals and focused on new product areas that the company was expanding into. This programme involved comprehensive assessments of employees to gauge their progress and improve their performance.

As a result of the training programme, 24 employees progressed to leadership roles, including four who went on to secure executive positions within the company.

5. What HR Technologies Are You Proficient With?

HR departments use many software packages and technologies to automate processes and improve the efficiency of daily tasks. Interviewers will want to know that you’re familiar with certain technologies, or at least that you’re capable of learning to use them.

Here is an example answer to this question:

Having been employed in HR for five years, I have become proficient with many common software packages and technologies. These include Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which I have used to filter and rank applicants’ CVs based on specific requirements.

In have also used Gusto to manage HR activities, Bamboo HR to process requests and Bullhorn to generate reports.

I consider myself a tech-savvy individual, so I am confident that I can easily get to grips with any types of software you use in your HR department.

6. How Do You Evaluate Employee Relations?

This is a question that is designed to assess your HR expertise. Are you aware of the importance of strong employee relations? Have you got a track record of enhancing employee relations?

Here is an example answer to this question.

I evaluate employee relations by conducting one-to-one meetings with employees and gathering data related to employee relations. I also make use of technology and systems that enable me to analyse data relayed to employee relations.

In the past, I have improved employee relationships by improving channels of communication between internal departments and establishing career development initiatives. While employed at Example Company, I implemented a system to manage the analytics of employee feedback and engagement. This was crucial in facilitating the improvement of employee relations.

7. Describe a Time You Complied with an Order You Did Not Agree With

With this question, interviewers want to see if you can find a balance between following orders and acting on your own initiative. Of course, you wouldn’t want to provide an example of a time that you followed a disastrous order to the letter. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to state that you completely ignored a manager’s order.

Here is an example answer to this question:

When I was employed as HR advisor at Example Company, I did not agree with the way we were gathering data on employee relations. I believed we could use better techniques and obtain more useful insights. However, I continued to follow my senior’s order, while politely introducing him to techniques I had utilised in my previous job. My manager took my suggestions onboard and we eventually implemented them into our data gathering process.

8. What is Your Biggest Weakness?

When answering this question, avoid describing a weakness that recruiters and hiring managers may see as red flag. Instead highlight a weakness that doesn’t necessarily prevent you from performing your tasks as a HR professional. For example, it wouldn’t be wise to highlight your inability to communicate with employees and colleagues.

When describing your weakness, touch on the steps you have taken to improve on the weakness. This way, you can turn a negative into a positive by demonstrating your ability to learn new skills and overcome obstacles.

Here is an example answer to this question:

One of my biggest weaknesses is public speaking. In my last role as HR officer, I was required to deliver a number of presentations to large audiences. I felt very apprehensive about this and believe I could have done a lot better. After realising public speaking was a weakness, I undertook training in confidence and public speaking, which I continue to do to this day.

9. Describe an Experience You Have Had Establishing New Strategy

One of the key aspects of HR is developing new strategy in line with business objectives and the company’s business plan. It’s possible that interviewers will ask you about strategy, especially when interviewing for more senior HR roles.

Here is an example answer to this question:

When I was employed as HR director at Example company, I formulated and implemented the HR strategy in line with company’s business plan. The strategy successfully aligned the business with its employees, which contributed to the company’s success. This strategy also shaped HR processes and incorporated the input of the Executive Leadership team.

10. How Would You Manage a Conflict Between Employees?

If you work in HR, there’s a good chance you may have to get involved in conflicts between employees. Interviewers may ask you a question about this to learn about your conflict resolution skills.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I manage conflict between employees by initially trying to get them to work things out between each other. If conflict still exists, I listen to both sides of the argument and try to open dialogue between the employees, before determining a way to resolve the issue in line with HR policies.

11. What is Your Leadership Style?

If you’re interviewing for senior HR roles, such as HR manager and HR director roles, you will likely be asked a question related to your leadership style.

Interviewers ask this question to determine what type of leader you would be. Of course, you may use more than one leadership style. Most leaders don’t adhere to only one style. If you utilise more than one leadership style, be sure to touch on that in your answer.

View our guide to the five main leadership styles.            

Here is an example answer to this question:

I would describe my leadership style as authoritative. I believe this style has been most beneficial to me over recent years in terms of improving productivity and meeting targets.

However, my leadership style could also be described as transformational. I have headed a number of change initiatives in recent times. These include managing a complex project to overhaul Example Company’s HR processes and develop new workplace cultures.

12. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Do you plan on staying at the company for some time? Or will you move on to greener pastures after a few months. This is what interviewers are trying to determine with this question.

Of course, most company’s want to recruit people who they believe have a future at their company.

Here is an example answer to this question:

In five years, I see myself having progressed to the role of HR manager within your company. I am excited about the prospect of career development that exists within your company. As I have a strong work ethic and an ambitious mentality, I believe this will enable me to progress to more senior roles within the organisation.

More HR Interview Questions

13. Tell Us About Your Experience in Talent Management
14. Are You a Team Player?
15. What Are Your Key Strengths?
16. Tell Me About a Time You Reduced Costs and Improved Efficiency?
17. What Would You Do if a Manager Gave You an Order That Went Against Policy?
18. What Do You Know About Our Products/Services?
19. How Do You Maintain Your Professional Development?
20. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

Hopefully you’ve found this guide to HR job interview questions and answers helpful. When applying for jobs, you’ll need a strong CV, so feel free to check out our free guide on how to write a CV.

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