A screening interview with the human resources (HR) professionals determines how far you will go in the interviewing process and thus is a crucial step to get the job. HR Interviewers usually ask generic questions which can help them to reiterate your strengths and highlight your applicable skill set. It’s always a good practice to do your homework before proceeding for the interview. Here are the top 5 HR interview questions and answers.
HR professionals love this question, so use your ability to leave a great impression. However, answering such open questions is not easy. If you are not prepared or you get nervous, the first thing you are going to transmit is doubt or lack of preparation, something that interviewers don’t appreciate. Some interesting answers can be –
✔ “I like learning new things.”
✔ “I like to take initiatives.”
✔ “It motivates me to work as a team.”
✔ “I find it exciting to face new challenges and explore new opportunities.”
✔ “I am totally committed to my work.”
It is always a good idea to support your statements with examples. Cite suitable examples to make your interviewer believe in you.
Make it a point to never badmouth your previous organization or your manager as it will leave a very bad impression on the interviewer. It will showcase your disloyalty towards your organization and the lack of professionalism. For such HR interview questions, always cite professional reasons, like –
✔ “My work expectations have changed and this offer is better suited to what I want.”
✔ “I desire to take up more responsibilities and grow in my career.”
✔ “I want to improve my work/life balance.”
✔ “I want to grow as a professional and your company is a perfect place.”
✔ “The opportunity you propose is interesting.”
Before appearing for an HR interview, always make a list of your real strengths and abilities, those that you have been acquiring through your professional experience. Highlight the skills and competencies which you think are the most relevant to the job you are applying for. Do not boast about yourself, just tell your strengths in a subtle way. For example-
✔ “I am a multitasker.”
✔ “My greatest strength is my ability to stay focused on my work.”
✔ “Time management and organizational skills are my biggest strengths.”
✔ “I have the ability to resolve the difficult situations without hampering the work.”
✔ “I am a good listener. I pay careful attention to what I am being told about and thus complete the projects efficiently.”
It is the most sensitive topic to talk about. Avoid the clichés. The interviewer doesn’t want to listen to any sugarcoated stuff as your weaknesses, which are anyway the exaggeration of your strengths only. Do not call yourself excessively perfectionist/too organized/workaholic. Interviewers like honest candidates and it will be in the best of your interests to cite examples about how your certain trait hampered your working and how you overcame it by actively working on it. Some good answers for these HR interview questions can be –
✔ “I was not good at gauging how long a particular task will take, but I have worked hard to improve my time management skills and now I do not have any issue in completing my work on time.”
✔ “I do feel demotivated sometimes, but the supportive and friendly work environment and a helping hand from my seniors help me overcome this.”
✔ “I can’t sit and focus for extended hours in a go, I like to reward myself with a chocolate break or a coffee break while working.”
✔ “I am not very assertive or authoritative by nature, I can’t talk to the people in a bossy way.”
✔ “I am a bit shy by nature and it takes me some time to open up with people.”
This is the trickiest part. The interviewer would like to see how you value your work. Your confidence is measured here. Do a proper research on the market, your experience level and the size of the company you are interviewed for. Some replies can be –
✔ “As per my research and experience, I think (Amount XX) per annum is justified.”
✔ “This profile is not similar to my current profile hence I would like to discuss my responsibilities first and then we can come to a fair salary for this position.”
✔ “I am a fresher and learning is vital to me then compensation at this stage. I need salary according to the industry norms.”
✔ “I would really appreciate it if you make me an offer on what you have budgeted for this role. I am sure that the compensation you have in mind is as per the general norms of the market and industry.”
✔ “Here’s my understanding of what’s competitive.”
Always carefully research the company, its products, its partners or its clients before appearing for an HR interview. Your answers to HR interview questions should be adapted to the company and the position in particular. Avoid responding in a general way.
✔ Respond in a concise manner and try not to digress.
✔ If you are doubtful about any question, ask the interviewer to repeat it.
✔ Read more about personal interview questions and answers.
All the best for your interview!
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