HR Interview Questions: Examples and Answers

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 January 2023

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.

Do you have an HR interview coming up? Along with reviewing your skills and experience, the interviewer will want to assess your self-confidence, interpersonal skills and communication abilities. To make a good impression, it will help to brush up on the questions they are likely to ask.

In this article, we will look at a set of the most frequently asked HR interview questions for experienced candidates as well as freshers and help you prepare for these by providing some sample answers.

HR interview questions

Practice answering these general HR interview questions to prepare for the big day.

  • Tell me something about yourself and your educational background.

  • What are your strengths? How do you think they will be an advantage for this position?

  • What are your weaknesses? What are you doing to improve?

  • Would you call yourself an organised person? How so?

  • Do you have good time management skills? Tell me how you use them on a typical day.

  • Do you believe in working hard or working smarter? What is the difference between the two?

  • Are you open to working on weekends or doing night shifts?

  • What is your chief motivation in life?

  • Do you have any hobbies? What are the things you enjoy doing the most?

  • Do you see yourself still working in HR three years hence?

  • What do you consider to be a good work ethic?

  • Would you call yourself a team player?

Related: Top 16 Interview Questions and Answers

HR work experience questions

Interviewers will ask these HR interview questions to find out if you have the necessary skills and experience to be a good fit for the position you are applying for in the company.

  • Why did you choose to work in HR?

  • What do you like the most and the least about working in HR?

  • What responsibilities have you had in your current position?

  • Why are you leaving your current company?

  • Tell me what you know about our company.

  • In your opinion, what are the biggest issues that HR professionals face in present times?

  • Have you had to deal with conflict with your co-workers in the office? What did you do?

  • How do you deal with criticism from your seniors in the workplace?

  • What was the most difficult thing you had to do as an HR professional?

  • How open are you to relocating or travelling for work purposes?

  • Tell me about an instance when you had to work under pressure.

  • Give me three reasons why we should hire you.

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How to Get the Job

Job specific HR interview questions

By asking job specific HR interview questions, the interviewer will assess if you understand the job requirements.

  • Why do you want to work for us?

  • What do you know about our work culture?

  • What makes you suitable for this position?

  • What do you know about the work responsibilities of this job?

  • How would you describe your managerial style?

  • On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your communication style?

  • Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict with a client. How did it go?

  • Tell me about the software packages you have worked with.

  • How good are you at adapting to new technology and picking up new skills?

  • What do you do to keep up with new developments in the HR field?

  • Do you think you will be able to mentor your juniors in the office?

  • How good are you at interviewing job applicants?

  • Did you ever have to fire someone from a position? How did you handle it?

  • Tell me about your biggest achievements as an HR professional.

Related: 9 Common Mistakes to Avoid in an Interview

Examples of HR interview questions and answers

Prepare for your HR interview by practising these sample answers to some frequently asked questions.

If we hire you, what value can you bring to the position?

The interviewer will ask this question to discover how much you know about the requirements and responsibilities of the position. Take it as an opportunity to explain how your skills and experience can make you a perfect fit for the job.

Example: "To begin, I have the educational qualifications, job skills and work experience necessary for this position. I have also read your mission statement and your company values align with mine. That will make it easier for me to fit in and work together with my new colleagues to reshape and improve our industry. I have received awards in my previous job for my leadership, teamwork and motivational abilities. I will channel that experience here to select and implement the right methodologies to help employees meet work challenges and earn more profit gains for the company."

Related: Interview Question: “Why Should We Hire You?”

In your opinion, what can we do to improve our work culture?

A company's HR department is responsible to an extent in developing its work culture. With this question, the interviewer wants to find out if you have researched their company culture in depth. Take your time to answer thoughtfully, incorporating the company's history, policies and work aspects in your reply.

Example: "I know your company has an open-door policy which makes it easier for new and experienced employees to communicate and share ideas with one another and with company executives. Such accessibility between different work departments has given your company an edge over the competition and made it possible for it to make rapid progress in the industry. You already have everything well in hand. If I were to improve one thing, though, it would be to have formal mentorship for newcomers, especially freshers, to ensure smoother work transition."

What will you do to avoid laying off or firing an employee?

As an HR professional, you may have to lay off or fire employees from the company. When you answer this question, you need to demonstrate that you will make the difficult decision after careful deliberation and after exploring other options.

Example: "While it may be unavoidable in certain circumstances, it is never an easy matter to fire someone from their job. I will do my best to find other alternatives, such as shifting them to another department or to another work position. I will also discuss with the management if we can retain them by retraining them in the skills we need."

Can you give an example of a successful HR initiative that you took part in?

HR professionals often have to plan and implement HR initiatives and assess the outcome of these initiatives. You can make a good impression by explaining how you logically thought out and carried out the work to a successful conclusion.

Example: "The HR department of my present company wanted to find ways to improve work productivity. I suggested instituting a work from home policy for two days a week. The HR department agreed to this and it was well-received by the employees. The managers reported an increase in productivity in the weeks that followed. Many employees said that they liked the arrangement as it allowed them to avoid long hours of commute. They were also able to work more effectively and spend more time with their family."

Let us say that your superiors want to implement a new idea, but you know it is untenable. What will you do?

With this question, the interviewer wants to assess your level of confidence as well as your communication skills. They also want to discover what is more important to you, being ethical or being a yes-person. It is your chance to show how you can stand your ground on issues that matter and communicate diplomatically with authority figures.

Example: "I think it is very important to provide correct advice, and it isn't ethical or honest to go along with something that you know is wrong or practically unworkable. It might also lead to serious problems that in the long run might threaten my own position. So, if I know the idea is untenable, I will say so politely and provide concrete examples to explain why it is so. I will also suggest changes that might make it workable or offer alternative solutions."

You may be overqualified for this position. Will you be able to adjust?

This is a straightforward question that you will need to answer in a straightforward fashion. The interviewer wants to make sure that you will be able to work in a position that might not require the full use of your talents. You may also have to work with less experienced and younger people.

Example: "Yes, it is true that I have more educational qualifications than you might need for this job. However, I don't think there is any such thing as being overqualified when it comes to doing a job. I believe in doing everything I undertake as well as possible and in learning from it. I also try to get along with everyone I work with, regardless of their age, position or experience."

If we hire you, how long can we expect you to work with our company?

Since companies invest time and money in hiring and training candidates, they want them to remain and work for them for several years at least. Keep this in mind when you answer this question.

Example: "I'm looking for work stability and growth opportunities, which I think I can get with your company. So, I hope to work with you and make useful contributions in the coming years."

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