40 HR Director Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 11 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you are looking for a job as an HR director, a recruiter may contact you to schedule an interview for an open position. While you may have experience interviewing candidates as an HR professional, you may not have interviewed for a new role in your field recently. Reading interview questions and answers can help you feel more confident when meeting with hiring managers and may improve your chances of getting a job offer. In this article, we share 40 common HR director interview questions and four example answers you can use as a reference when preparing your own.
General HR Director Interview Questions
Hiring managers often start the interview by asking some basic HR director interview questions to get to know the candidate and their interest in the position. Here are 12 questions an interviewer may ask you:
Can you summarise your qualifications for me?
Where did you learn about this position?
What interests you about this position?
What do you know about this company?
What motivated you to leave your current or most recent position?
How long do you plan to stay in your next role?
What do you consider your greatest professional strength?
What is one area of your career in which you want to improve?
What is your greatest career achievement?
What is your ultimate professional goal?
If we hire you, when are you available to start?
Do you have any questions about this organisation or position?
Questions About Background And Experience
Learning about a candidate's academic and professional background can help a hiring manager decide if the candidate meets the qualifications for the role. Here are 12 questions an interviewer may ask about your experience:
What do you enjoy most about working in HR?
What do you find most challenging about working in HR?
Can you detail your HR management experience?
What makes you a suitable candidate for this job?
Have you ever worked in other industries?
What do you think are the most important skills for an HR director?
What HR software are you comfortable using?
Do you have experience creating HR documentation?
Do you have any relevant certifications that can benefit you in this role?
How do you stay current on HR news and employment law?
How would you describe your work ethic?
How do you think your colleagues at your most recent job would describe you?
In-Depth HR Director Interview Questions
A hiring manager may ask a candidate challenging or role-specific questions to determine their suitability for the position. Here are 12 in-depth interview questions an interviewer may ask you:
Can you tell me about a time you overcame a significant challenge?
Can you tell me about an instance in which you reprimanded an employee and how you managed it?
What do you think are the most effective feedback mechanisms HR teams can use?
What is your approach to developing conflict resolution policies?
How do you ensure you align your policies with organisational goals?
Can you tell me about a significant change you have made to improve an organisation's HR policies?
What do you consider when developing benefits packages?
How would you handle a situation in which there are no relevant HR policies in place?
What are some steps you have taken to improve organisational culture in past roles?
Can you explain the steps you take to develop a new HR policy?
What are some ways you have influenced a positive change in an organisation's culture?
Can you tell me about a time you created an HR policy that was not effective and how you managed it?
Interview Questions With Example Answers
You can use interview questions and answers as a reference when preparing for your HR director interview. Here are four common interview questions for HR director job candidates, details about why hiring managers ask them, suggestions for how you can respond and example answers to help you craft and practise your own answers:
1. What do you look for when recruiting a candidate?
A primary responsibility of an HR director is determining suitable candidates for roles within the organisation. While HR directors may not interview candidates directly, they typically create the organisation's hiring policies to help recruiters make smart decisions about a candidate's eligibility. You can answer this question by explaining what you look for in a candidate, how you might select one and how these factors influence the hiring and recruitment policies you create.
Example: 'When I hire candidates for a role, I look for expertise, culture fit and their growth potential. First, I assess whether a candidate's skills and experience match the job description. Next, I select the candidates who stand out with their research and enthusiasm. Often, these are individuals who understand the vision and direction of the company. Lastly, I look for candidates who feel motivated to develop professionally. These are candidates who are teachable and invest in their own learning, too. As an HR director, these three principles will inform my hiring policies.'
2. What KPIs do you use to measure the effectiveness of your team?
When applying for a leadership position, interviewers often want to see your ability to set clear goals for your team. Answering this question can help you exemplify your sense of responsibility and accountability. In your answer, consider presenting yourself as a dependable leader who can work independently to manage a team.
Example: 'I believe KPIs are a great tool to integrate individual goals with the organisational mission. For me, it is important to meet with my team members individually to discuss their career goals and aspirations. This gives me helpful information I can use to develop and manage my team. Next, I speak with key decision-makers to understand their hiring and training needs. I try as much as possible to quantify these measures so that I can evaluate individual KPIs and project-based KPIs regularly.'
3. What does organisational culture mean to you? What can HR do to influence it?
HR directors often have the responsibility of promoting and maintaining healthy organisational culture, which can have a positive impact on professionals' experiences within the organisation. Factors of organisational culture include values, ethics, management styles and communication techniques. When answering this question, consider describing what you like about the organisation's culture and how you plan to influence and manage it.
Example: 'In my experience, organisational culture shapes the way people feel and think about an organisation. From my research, I found that this company has an energetic culture that encourages collaboration and innovative ideas. As an HR director, I believe it is my duty to promote these values while safeguarding co-workers who feel unheard or voice their disagreements. I believe HR can protect the interests of employees and the business with policies that support respect, integrity and diversity.'
Related: What Is Organisational Culture?
4. Share an experience in which your ability to consider the costs or benefits of a potential action helped you choose the most appropriate action.
The choices you make as an HR director have an impact throughout an organisation. Recruiters may want to test your decision-making process and your ability to choose between alternatives by asking this question. When you answer it, demonstrate your analytical and communication skills.
Example: 'I believe there is no one candidate that is perfect for a role. Every individual brings with them their unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Thus, during the hiring process, it is important for me to consider the costs and benefits of each candidate. I do not hesitate to interview someone who may be underqualified for a role if the candidate shows potential and a willingness to learn. In my last role, I hired three candidates who did not initially meet the qualifications for the positions but developed their knowledge and skills and succeeded in their jobs.'
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