Top HR Interview Questions and Answers

Top HR Interview Questions and Answers

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Updated on Jun 7, 2023 12:44 IST

Any recruitment is incomplete without an HR round. Whether you are a fresher or experienced executive, it is imperative that the HR round will be a critical part of your overall evaluation. In the initial stage of hiring, the HR professional may ask you tricky HR interview questions to assess your basic skills for the role you have applied for as well as to clarify the different points mentioned in your resume.

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Many candidates who are good at technical skills may fail to clear the HR round of their dream job. One mistake that most candidates make is to think that they can just crack the human resource round of the interview without preparation, and they will get away with it. However, you must understand that nothing beats preparation and you must plan how to answer the tricky questions so that you can respond to them confidently.

Here we have compiled the top HR interview questions with sample answers that interviewers may ask you.

Top HR Interview Questions and Answers

HR Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers

Freshers are beginners in industry, due to which they have no prior work experience related to the profile. In such case, most HR interview questions are generic for most freshers.

Q1.Why do you want to join our organization?

Ans. You must know everything about the organization before replying to this HR interview question. Give the best answer by highlighting all the main points which you like about the organization.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

This question is asked to determine if you would fit in at the company.

Tips: 

  • Just do Google search
  • Visit their website and read the ‘About Us’ section
  • Check out their social media accounts and read everything about the company and the projects undertaken by it.

Sample Answer: 

This organization is internationally known and is consistently listed as one of the top places to work. I have gone through the employee testimonials and learned how you encourage your employees through education and training. I would like to be a part of a team that is innovative and resourceful and grow within the company by learning new skills. I think that I would fit in perfectly within this organization and make an immediate impact.

Q2.What motivates you?

Ans. This is a frequently asked open-ended question that you should be ready to answer in your next interview. While you may be motivated by several things, identify those motivators that are most relevant to the position you are interviewing for. 

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer will determine if your sources of motivation align with the role or not. It also helps them assess whether you are passionate about the position and how you ensure that you are always doing good work.

Tip: 

The best way to answer this question is to be specific and illustrating the response with an example. You can identify the past experiences that made you feel motivated and excited to be doing your job.

Sample Answer: 

My capability to work hard and deliver the result on time motivates me. Moreover, excitement for new challenges, working towards a goal and, team effort motivates me.

Some other answers are: 

  • learning new things
  • learning new skills
  • improving processes
  • coming up with creative ideas
  • leading a team 
  • completing a difficult project
  • being a part of a team

HR Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced Professionals

The following HR interview questions are suitable for experienced candidates since they have industry exposure. Due to this reason, they are asked questions that revolve around their work experience.

Q1. Take me through your resume?

Ans. This is the first and the most famous question asked in many HR interviews. Knowing how to answer this question can help you create the right first impression rather than making the wrong one. 

What the interviewer really wants to know: 

Interviewers ask this question so that you can summarize your resume and touch on the things you find the most important.

Tips: 

  • Start by telling your most important accomplishments first. 
  • Give an in-depth response to this question within two minutes. 
  • Highlight those parts of your resume that you believe deserve attention.
  • Don’t provide your interviewer with too much information but also make sure that you don’t miss the important details.
  • Although you must have already prepared the answer to this question, make sure that you do not sound robotic and provide the answer with an easy, clear, and confident tone. 

You can craft your answer using the following: 

  • Briefly mention your education, experience, family, strengths, and hobbies. 
  • You can also tell your interviewer about your last educational institution (university, college, or high school) and your major subject. 
  • Next, mention your job history. If it is long, then you can only mention the two most recent positions. 
  • You can conclude by saying: I am looking for a chance to apply my technical expertise and my creative problem-solving skills at an innovative company like yours.

Explore courses relates to Human Resources: 

Popular HR Management Courses Popular Recruitment Courses
Top Management Courses Top HR Leader Courses

Q2. Is there any gap in your career?

Ans. If there is a gap, then accept it and say yes. You need to be honest, positive, and smart to answer this question. 

What the interviewer really wants to know: 

The interviewer will want to know why you left each job mentioned on your resume. If you have left each position to pursue another opportunity, then it is understandable. However, an interviewer will likely have more questions if you have been out of work between positions.

Tips: 

Try to identify the things/realization of your passion/knowledge/skills you gained during that time. You can show that time as a period of personal and professional growth rather than just a gap.

Structure your answer well and start by telling why you were unemployed during that time, then go on to explain what you did, and then explain why you think this is the right opportunity for you. Try to shift the focus away from a gap in work to what you learned that will make you a great candidate for the job. Whatever the reason is, be open and honest with your answer. 

Some of the most common reasons for CV gaps are: 

  • One of my previous roles was made redundant.
  • I’ve been looking for a job.
  • I had to take time off due to illness.

Sample Answer: 

I wanted to take a break after years of non-stop work to reassess where my career is heading and how I would like it to progress when I return. Now, I am fully charged to take up the responsibilities.

Also Read>> 10 Must-Have Soft Skills For Top Managers 

Q3. Tell me something about your previous organization?

Ans. You must be confident and excited while answering this question. Even if you didn’t enjoy your job, don’t mention it at the interview. Tell what you learned and how you enriched your skillset by working on different projects.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

By asking about your previous organization, often the interviewers will not be interested in your likes or dislikes. Instead, they will try to understand your character by observing the attitude with which you respond to such a tricky question. It will also tell if you can be a good fit at their organization.

Sample Answer: 

My previous organization was forced to make budget cuts and lay off employees from the department. Sadly, I was the team member who was hired last. But, I am proud of the work that I did at my previous company and I can provide you with a positive recommendation from my former manager.

Q4. Has there been any time your decision was challenged by your coworker?

Ans. Interviewers may ask such tricky questions like this right in the middle of questions about skills and experience to evaluate how comfortable you appear when you answer it.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer wants to know how you would handle challenging and stressful situations.

Sample Answer: 

Yes, many times. I like to be with those people who challenge my decisions. It helps me rethink it that sometimes leads to reaching the best option.

Q5.Why should I hire you?

Ans. This is one of the most commonly asked HR interview questions. If an interviewer asks this question, then focus on your theoretical knowledge and work experience. Plus, mention all your abilities that organizations require from their employees. You can summarize the top three or four best reasons to hire you, which may include your: 

  • Industry experience
  • Technical skills
  • Soft skills
  • Key accomplishments
  • Awards
  • Education 

What the interviewer really wants to know:

By asking this question, the interviewer is asking your status as the best person for the position. They want to know what differentiates you from other candidates and what would they gain by hiring you over others?

You can craft your answer using the following examples: 

  • You can do the work and deliver exceptional results.
  • The combination of the skills and experience that you possess makes you stand out from the crowd.
  • You will be a great addition to the team.
  • Differentiated experience in this field.
  • Unique skills that make you stand out in the competition.
  • You have a deep belief in the company’s mission.

Also Read>> 6 Best Online HR Certifications in India for New-Age Professionals

Q6.What are your salary expectations?

Ans. To answer this question, you can provide a salary range if you don’t feel comfortable providing a specific number. The employer may opt for the lower end of your range, so make sure that both the numbers in the range are close enough.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

Interviewers may ask you this question to get a sense of whether or not they can afford your help. They may also want to know how much do you value yourself and your work.

Tips: 

  • Offer a range
  • Say you are flexible
  • Provide numbers you would be happy with
  • Highlight your skills
  • Be prepared to negotiate

Sample Answer: 

I would like to learn more about the specific duties required of this job. However, I do understand that positions similar to this one pay in the range of INR X to Y. 

With my experience and skills, I would expect to receive something in the range of INR Y to Z. I’m open to discussing these numbers with you.

Q10. Aren’t you overqualified for this position?

Ans. Answering this question can be difficult if you have not prepared yourself for it in advance. To answer this question, talk about your most pertinent skills and experiences that qualify you for the position. Positively provide an answer and assure the interviewer that you are perfectly qualified for the position and not necessarily overqualified.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer will want to make sure that you will stay in the position and not quickly change and move to a more desirable job that better suits your experience and skills.

Sample Answer 1: [For Freshers]

I hold more degrees than you need for this position. However, since I am a fresher, I only have theoretical knowledge but not any practical experience in any job. In my view, the experience is more important than knowledge. So, I don’t think that I am overqualified for this position.

Sample Answer 2: [For Experienced Candidates] 

I have worked at a higher level, but this job is exactly what I was looking for. I have been looking for something challenging but a little less intense, so I can spend more time with my family. My experience will be an asset to the organization and will help me be successful in this position.

Q11. How will you manage a team under pressure?

Ans. The ability to handle pressure is vital in almost all walks of life. Performing well under pressure can differentiate an excellent employee from an average employee. Many jobs involve such situations where quick decisions are needed. If you can think logically and act correctly, then you can prove to be an asset to the organization.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer will determine how you will react in stressful moments and how your reaction may affect your teammates as well as the company.

Sample Answer: 

The pressure is an unavoidable aspect of the workplace. It is a positive force for me and I am ready to put my strength to face challenges. Throughout my career, I have done some of my best work under pressure. I am on the lookout for challenges that push me to give my best and to quickly come up with the best solutions.

Q12.Why did you stay with this company for quite a long time?

Ans. You will have to answer this question with honesty. Your answer must reflect your specific circumstances but avoids negativity (even if you disliked the company).

What the interviewer really wants to know:

  • Are you on good terms with the company you are leaving? 
  • Does your reason seem valid or reasonable?

Sample Answer: 

I stayed with this organization for quite a long time as I was continuously developing my skills, handling bigger projects, and new challenges. I want to grow further, which is now only possible with a new company.

Other answers: 

  • Looking for more money or a promotion.
  • Needed a change
  • Left the job to take care of a family member

Q13.What do you do to increase your skills and knowledge?

Ans. Acquiring knowledge and skills above and beyond the basics of your domain can give you a professional advantage. You can tell them about the courses, seminars, and training that you attended, to develop your existing skills or acquire new ones. You can tell the interviewer about the blogs you keep reading to gain the knowledge in your field.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The reason for asking this question is to determine if you are willing to improve and grow as a professional.

Sample Answer: 

Enhanced industry knowledge gives me a professional advantage in the chosen industry. Thus, I keep myself up-to-date with the new technology developments. I took some courses in my previous job because it was free and I could do it during work hours. The courses offered me a good opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set. (Name the courses and tell the interviewer what basic skills you have learned) from them. 

Q14.How do you tackle the situation when someone takes credit for your work?

Ans. Unfortunately, such situations occur at the workplace and it is a difficult situation to navigate. An interviewer may want to know how you deal when someone else puts their name on your work or idea.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer will try to find out of you can handle such tricky situations delicately or not. 

Sample Answer: 

It is best to talk to the person and solve the problem immediately as sometimes it’s a simple oversight on his/her part. But, you have to remain calm and ignore whining or finger-pointing when discussing with your coworker.

Q15.What are your weaknesses?

Ans. You have to be smart while answering this question. This question is your chance to acknowledge that there are specific skills you are working to improve. Don’t say anything that can affect your selection. 

What the interviewer really wants to know:

Interviewers may ask about your weaknesses to find out whether you are willing to use your weaknesses as a chance to grow in your career.

Tips: 

  • Instead of disguising a strength as a weakness, try to tell and address those skills or traits that you could improve.
  • Make sure that you provide a thoughtful and honest answer that points to weaknesses that are small and easy to improve. For instance, time management and public speaking, self-criticism, and not asking for help are common problem areas that will not reflect too poorly. 

Sample Answer: 

Sometimes, I try not to ask others for help and try hard to accomplish all the tasks myself. It can sometimes lead to being overwhelmed. I am working on this weakness and trying to be more confident about asking others for help when needed. I have realized that offering help to others makes it easier for me to ask them for a favor. 

Q16. Do you have any problem working in a team?

Ans. To answer this question, you need to give examples of how you have worked in a positive way with your team and demonstrate your team working abilities. 

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer will try to determine whether you can work with others and how well you will perform in a team environment.

Tip: 

Regardless of the job you are applying for, you must show the interviewer that you can get along with other people. 

Sample Answer: 

I am comfortable working in a team. In my previous job, I have worked independently as well as with teams and have achieved success in both. While some tasks are needed to be fulfilled independently, other jobs need teamwork to get completed. While I can be a leader when required, I can also be a team player if the situation demands. 

Also Read>> Top 10 HR Trends Redefining the Norms of Future Workplaces

Q17. What do you do when you are messed up at work?

Ans. Your strengths should be those skills that can be supported through experience. For instance, if you mention communication as a strength, then you may want to support it with your past experience where you used communication to achieve a goal.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The main reason for asking this question is to understand what you can do for the organization and why you should be hired instead of someone else. It also helps to assess whether you are a good fit for the role you are interviewing for.

Sample Answer: 

My strength is effective time management. I have learned to fully use my calendar and task list to keep myself on track. It has also improved my ability to stay focused on my work. I am not easily distracted, which ensures that my performance is very high.

Examples of Strengths:

  • Communication skills
  • People skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Taking initiative
  • Honesty
  • Leadership skills
  • Patience
  • Integrity
  • Self-motivation

Q18. What are the most important things to be a role model for the team?

Ans. To answer this question you need to explain what steps you would take to improve yourself so that you are in a better position next time.

What the interviewer really wants to know:

The interviewer wants to know how you deal with rejection or failure.

Sample Answer: 

If I don’t get selected, I will continue to look for another job in the same field to use my experience and utilize my skills. I would do my best to learn from the situation in order to improve. I would consider what I was lacking that another candidate may have brought to the organization to improve.

Q19. Why did you decide to apply for this role?

Ans. If you are truly motivated to get hired for this job, then you must show that this application was a conscious decision on your part.

What the interviewer really wants to know: 

This question will assess your interest in the role.

Sample answer: 

I have been following this organization’s success for some time now and I think it would be the best environment for me to apply the skills I acquired during my internship/Bachelor’s degree. I keep checking your careers page regularly and when I saw this job vacancy, I thought it was finally time to apply. 

Q20. What did you like most about the job description?

Ans. You need to carefully go through the job description. Make sure that you read through the specific job duties to get a clear idea of what is expected from you. 

What the interviewer really wants to know: 

This question is asked to evaluate how much the candidate has understood the role.

Sample Answer: 

The job description was very well-written and gave me an idea of what the role is about. What I liked the most is that this role involves collaboration. Collaborating with others will give me the chance to work as part of a team where we can exchange knowledge and opinions as well as to be quicker and more effective in our work. 

Q21. Do you have any questions?

Ans. You must always be prepared to clear any doubts, regardless of the stage in the hiring process. 

What the interviewer really wants to know: 

HR professionals often ask this question to gauge if the candidate is truly interested in knowing more. You must ask smart questions about the company and the role. You can prepare a list of a few questions to ask in the interview. 

Sample answer: 

  • You can ask what will be the next steps in the hiring process? 
  • Ask questions about the job and the desired qualities.
  • You can ask about the company, industry, and future projections.

Conclusion

These are a few frequently asked HR interview questions and answers along with tips that can help you to craft your own responses. You may not be asked exactly the same questions, but if you have answers in mind for these, you will be prepared for just about anything that the interviewer may ask you during the HR round. 

FAQs

What is the purpose of the HR interview?

The HR interview round is conducted to assess and evaluate personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities to handle the role you have applied for. An HR professional will ask you different questions to check if you are the right fit for the role or not. It is usually the first round where you may be required to give a summary of your resume and ask any questions and doubts at the end.

What can I expect from an HR interview?

You can be asked the following set of questions in an HR round: u2022 Tell me about yourself. u2022 Why are you leaving your current job? u2022 What do you know about the company? u2022 Why should we hire you? u2022 What questions do you have for me?

How do I clear an HR round?

The following steps will help you clear your HR round: u2022 Be on time u2022 Be confident u2022 Show your strengths u2022 Highlight your accomplishments u2022 Be honest u2022 Show your interests u2022 Do your research about the role and organization you are interviewing for u2022 Ask questions at the end

What questions should I ask HR?

You must ask smart questions about the company and the role. You can prepare a list of a few questions to ask in the interview. Some of the questions that you can ask may include: u2022 What will be the next steps in the hiring process? u2022 Ask questions about the job and the desired qualities. u2022 You can ask about the company, industry, and future projections.

What are some tips to pass the HR interview?

Tips to pass the HR Interview: u2022 Make sure what you say in the interview is in line with what's on your resume. u2022 Prepare to answer about strengths and weaknesses. u2022 Don't talk negatively about your previous company. u2022 Research about the company. u2022 Practice with mock interviews.

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