When we analyze the success stories in business, we find one thing they have in common: right people always stand behind the success story. People, not products, or brands. Without right employees it would be impossible to leave a mark in any market.
Human resources is likely the most important department of every business, since HR managers choose the staff, motivate them, reward them and lead the people towards the goals of the corporation. That’s not an easy task….
If you want to get a job in HR, you’ll need to get ready for a difficult and lengthy interview. Prepare for a set of behavioral, technical and personal questions. Let’s have a look at it in detail.
Personal questions- start of every interview
At first, they will ask you several typical interview questions, such as:
- Why do you want to work for us?
- Why did you decide for human resources?
- What do you plan to accomplish on this position?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- Can you tell me something about your past working experience?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
These questions are typical for the screening phase. Recruitment process for HR positions often consists in two, or even three rounds of interviews. So this is the first one. Interviewers ask simple questions, in order to find the following:
- Level of your communication skills
- Your motivation to do the job
- Your IQ and emotional intelligence
- Listening skills and ability to talk to the point
One thing to remember at this point: Dozens of applicants apply for every single position in human resources. This field is extremely popular, especially among young graduates. Therefor, the company (or recruitment agency) typically needs to conduct several rounds of interviews, and screen out a certain percentage of applicants in each round. You should learn to control your non-verbal communication, to show motivation and enthusiasm, and demonstrate clear understanding for the role. That’s the only way how you can advance to the second round of interviews. Do not forget that good HR worker is a good listener at first place….
Behavioral interview – second part of interview process
They are going to inquire about your behavior in various work-related situations. The main goal of this stage is to forecast how you would act in various job related situations in the future. Answers to behavioral questions reveal a lot about your personality, formulas of thinking, points of view as an HR employee. Let’s check some of the typical questions for behavioral stage:
- Describe a time when you had to meet a tight deadline. What was the situation? What steps did you take to ensure you would meet the deadline?
- What do you consider your biggest success, and biggest failure in life. What did you do to achieve the success?
- Describe a time when you were under pressure, either in work, or in school. How did the pressure influence your performance, and what did you do to handle the pressure?
- Describe a conflict situation you had with another person. What caused a conflict? How did you solve it?
- When in your last job/study did you go above and beyond of what was expected of you?
- Describe a disagreement you had with your boss. What was it about?
When answering the questions, you need to remember a couple of things:
- Say something. Some people claim that they don’t have previous working experience, or that they can’t talk about the past. However, this is a big mistake. If you do not answer the question, you can not expect to get any positive points for your “answer”.
- Choose a situation with positive outcome. For example, when the interviewer asks you to speak about a conflict you had with a colleague in the past, it is a good idea to choose a situation when you eventually resolved the conflict….
Technical questions – last part of an interview
You’ll get a training (orientation) in most companies. They will show you how to perform your duties, including leading the interviews. However, as someone who can bring some value to their employer, you should have your own opinion and knowledge of HR. You should be somebody. That’s why they ask technical questions, to see what you know, and what you can do, how you approach HR, and so on….
Actually, the technical part is the most important part of the interview process and will decide the winner from a few shortlisted candidates. Let’s have a look at the questions.
- If you shall characterize people living in the US (or another country), what would you say?
- Tell me something about your former boss. What were his strengths and what were his weaknesses in your point of view?
- Imagine you should choose a new general manager for our company. How would you proceed? Outline the basic steps you would take and problems you may face.
- We are talking here together for a while. Can you tell me something about me? What do you consider my strengths and weaknesses as a hiring manager?
- What do you think motivates the workers in our company? How would you motivate the people without offering a raise?
- How would you estimate the following: emotional intelligence, communication skills, listening skills, ability to duplicate, attention to detail.
- Can you describe the difference between behavioral interviewing and STAR interviewing. Which one do you consider better, and why?
- Here is an interview question (interviewer tells you some question). What do you think we try to find out when asking this question?
- What do you think are the three primary factors job seekers look at when deciding to accept, or reject a job offer?
- Do you have any experience with assessment center? Have you used any form of personality testing before?
- Here are two resumes of applicants for managerial position. Please, have a look at them and tell us which one would you prioritize, and why.
- There are many “boring” positions in our company, consisting in nothing but repetitive tasks. How would you motivate people that hold these jobs?
As you can see, the HR interview is not easy. After all, interviewers have to choose one or two winners from dozens, or sometimes even hundreds of applications. Plus it goes about an important role. Taking all of it into account, the interview has to be difficult, so they can really pick the best person for the job. The best thing you can do is to practice answers to interview questions and use our website HumanResourcesInterviewQuestions.com to help you.