8 essential interview questions for HR professionals
The fact that you are a seasoned HR professional with a rich experience of interviewing candidates doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is going to be smoother if you’re sitting on the other side of the table.
As an experienced professional applying for any middle or senior level HR positions, you must be dreading the interview round, one of the most important steps to crack during the entire selection process. Handling tricky HR interview questions, specially designed and developed for the experienced professionals, requires a certain level of preparation to skillfully navigate the interview.
Here we have compiled a list of 8 most important HR Interview questions that can help you ace the interview as an experienced working professional.
1. What is the one thing that you enjoy most about working in HR?
With this question, the interviewer is trying to understand the profession that inspires you most. To be able to answer the question, you need to draw parallels from personal experience and discuss the various aspects of HR that you personally find most rewarding, e.g. talent acquisition, employee retention, team-building exercises etc
2. As an HR manager, what will be your strategy to drive results?
This is one of the frequently asked interview questions from the prospective HR managers where the interviewer is trying to assess your abilities beyond the realm of typical hr functions like resolving employee disputes and administering benefit.
To appropriately answer the question, you need to highlight your efficient people management skills and talk about how you can drive business results through the same.
As experienced HR personnel, you also need to discuss the ideas you wish to implement, their impact on business functions and thought to process on how you would measure success in short & long run.
3. What makes you interested in HR manager profile?
The key here is to keep your answer focused on how your personal attributes, skill sets, and previous work experience in a similar function makes you an ideal HR candidate. While you answer the question, remember that the interviewer won't be much interested in knowing about your career progression or your comfort with taking new challenges as the HR manager, if you can't add value to their firm.
4. How do you differentiate Personnel Management from HRM (human resource management)?
While the above two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two that you should be able to articulate well if asked at the interview. The good answer to this question would be an explanation of how personnel management is a part of wider HRM function. While the HRM manager needs to typically works around devising various strategies in sync with larger business objectives such as to improve employee performance, personnel manager needs to work more around day to day HR functions such as rewards, bonuses, compensation, employee motivation, etc.
5. What do you think are some of the essential qualities that a successful HR person should have?
The above question is a smart way to know more about your personality, traits, and values. To ace this question, it is important that you identify chosen attributes and discuss why you believe they’re important.
6. Describe a difficult HR situation you had with previous employer/manager and your approach to handling the same?
This is a frequently asked HR interview question to understand your ability of conflict resolution. A good answer to this question would be the description of the specific action you took to overcome a particularly difficult situation, your level-headed approach, and positive results in the end.
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7. Give three areas that you feel need the most improvement, based on your understanding of common HR practices?
This is the way of asking your ideas and thoughts on current trends and best practices in the industry and to assess your own understanding of common HR issues. As you answer this, make sure to focus on areas of improvement that you think will benefit businesses and organizations in terms of important HR functions such as retention, efficiency, and long-term career development of employees.
8. What is your expected salary?
This is one of trickiest HR interview questions that need to be dealt with care. When asked about the expected salary, don't jump at a figure immediately. It is always wise to mention a range that is not too vast. Another smart way to navigate this question is by turning the ball back into the court of the person sitting in front of you by enquiring about the type of salary the company offers for the required position/profile.
Some of the other important HR interview questions that you should prepare the answer for before walking in the interview include:
a. What are the biggest challenges of working in HR in your opinion and how do you deal with them?
b. What is your understanding of management and what is your own management style?
c. What makes you the ideal person for this HR job?
d. What is your biggest achievement to date?
e. Explain the difference between salary and incentive?
f. What was your motivation to get into HR?
g. Share your thoughts on why HR is an important function in any organization?
h. List down your strengths and weaknesses as an HR professional?
i. Where do you see the HR industry in the next years?
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