How to Answer HR Interview Questions

During the job application process, hiring managers will ask you common HR interview questions to test your knowledge, experience and interest for the role. The interviewer uses your responses to verify the claims on your resume and your understanding of the job requirements. Practicing HR questions and answers can help you stand out from other candidates. This article explains popular HR interview questions and answers to help you land your dream job.

Why interviewers ask specific HR interview questions

A career in HR is a people-facing role that requires exceptional interpersonal skills and good communication. Most of the questions interviewers ask will test your ability to work with different individuals. HR questions will evaluate your conflict resolution skills and leadership style. You can prepare for the interview by practicing to answer these likely questions. To impress during the interview, you should also research the employer to understand their company culture. 

Common HR interview questions 

HR interview questions will test your soft skills and evaluate your understanding of the company culture. But, you can prepare for these types of questions and improve your chances of getting hired. 

Use the following examples to prepare for your HR job interview: 

Tell me about yourself

This question helps the hiring manager identify your educational and professional achievements that apply to the job. The best response will match your skills and experiences to the role. 

A good response can describe your duties and responsibilities at your current company. You can also mention two or three of your best accomplishments and how they relate to the position you are applying for. 

Example: ‘I have worked in HR for the past five years. During that time, I organized 21 recruitment exercises where my employer hired over 100 junior and senior-level staff. I have also trained over 200 existing and new employees, helping to improve company culture and reduce employee turnover. I also managed the payroll of over 250 employees and created a survey to measure job satisfaction, resulting in a 55% increase in productivity and performance.’

What will be your strategy for the next 60 days if you are hired?

Interviewers use this question to test your understanding of the job requirements. It’s not advisable to describe a strategy since you don’t have complete knowledge of how the company works. 

In your response, mention the steps you will take to understand your role, how to fit into the company and the best way to channel your skills to help the organization achieve its objectives. 

Example: ‘My first 60 days will be spent understanding how the organization works and how I can use my skills and experiences to improve employee welfare. I will meet the heads of the departments that will work with me and get feedback on the issues their teams are facing and suggestions on how to make things better.’

Why do you want a new job?

It’s better to avoid negative comments about your previous or current employer when answering this question. Instead, you can mention achievements at the former job and your readiness for bigger challenges. 

Example: ‘At my current job, I have excelled at every aspect of HR. I conducted over 200 interviews, organized 55 training sessions for new employees and supervised their orientation and onboarding. I also managed the payroll for two years and successfully resolved over 30 employee disputes. The job has become less challenging and I believe I need a new environment that presents more opportunities to use my expertise.’

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question seeks to identify your core skills and level of integrity. Instead of acting like a perfectionist, try to be honest and talk about your best skills and real weaknesses. 

Without bragging, describe how your skills helped former employers to reach their goals. Make it more impactful by expressing the lessons and experiences you gained from your weaknesses. 

Example: ‘My greatest strength is the ability to work with different people regardless of their level at the company. One weakness I had was subjective judgment. When I was new on the job, it was difficult for me to side with junior level staff when they had disputes with management. This led to threats of a strike at one point. I now know that every issue must be seen based on their merit, not the position of the people concerned.’

What do you like about your current role?

This question can help you showcase your achievements at your current job and how it has prepared you for new challenges. In your response, describe the positives of your job but mention qualities relevant to the position for which you are applying. Don’t be overly enthusiastic about your current employer so the interviewer doesn’t get a wrong impression. 

Example: ‘The best thing about my current position is equality. The company provides an equal opportunity for every person regardless of their race or religion. As long as you qualify for the position, you have the same chances of getting hired.’

What do you know about our company?

Employers ask this common HR interview question to gauge how passionate you are about their company. The question provides an excellent opportunity to impress the hiring manager if you researched the company and carefully read the job posting before the interview.

Example: ‘I have used your products for the past seven years when I had my first child. It was fascinating to learn that a company could care so much about their customers. The attention to detail and the level of research that went into the products was exceptional. Later, I learned you have one of the best welfare programs in the industry and the company also trains its staff yearly for free. This seems like a great place to work.’

How do you relate to different people?

An HR position requires working with different people from every department of the organization. Hiring managers want candidates who can interact with various personalities without issues. 

Example: ‘Working with different people requires empathy, emotional intelligence and an in-depth understanding that people are different. I try not to judge, and I give employees as many chances as possible to prove themselves. Most of the time, people have a lot of things going on in their lives that make them react in certain ways.’