HR Interview Questions – Top 7 Asked & Answers

BY Abby K.  |  September 15th, 2020  |  No Comments
Abby K.
Abby, our Professional Best Friend to our clients, always has a smile and a “Hey! How are you?” at the ready.

While finding out about an applicant’s skills and experience is essential, asking more general questions can help interviewers gauge whether or not the applicant is right for the position or not.

Typically, HR will interview applicants early on and, based on their answers, decide whether or not to send them to the next round of interviews. For this reason, HR interview questions are essential to finding the perfect employee for any given role. To ensure that you ask the right questions—as well as know what to look for when applicants respond—here are 7 of the top asked interview questions.

Tell Me About Yourself

Ah yes, the quintessential interview question. “Tell me about yourself” at first glance seems like an easy question, but many applicants fail to answer it adequately. HR should ask this question for every interview, as it gives the applicant the chance to summarize their experience, knowledge, and skills. By offering a snapshot of who they are, where they went to school, and their past job experience. It’s the standard “get to know them” question.

A good answer will: speak to their qualifications concisely. Bonus points if they can relay why they chose that degree/profession and what makes them excited about working within the field.

What Were Some Aspects of Your Previous Job You Enjoyed, and One Thing You Didn’t Like?

This question is an excellent way to see whether or not the applicant is indeed a good fit. For example, if they list several reasons for why they liked their last job and none of them apply to the role they are applying for, that might be a red flag. If they list multiple reasons for not liking their last/current job and those situations/tasks frequently occur within the position they are applying for, that is also a sign they might not be right for the job.

A good answer will: illustrate enthusiasm for their previous role. Even if it wasn’t the perfect fit for them, if they can name at least a few good things they took away from the experience, that’s a good sign. This shows that even if it wasn’t the ideal situation for them, they still grew. Watch out for them talking badly about coworkers or management with the second part of the question. It’s a bit on the unprofessional side to speak ill of a past employer—especially during an interview. If they can articulate why they didn’t like that specific thing and how they would have changed their company to improve it, that’s a bonus.

Why Are You Interested in Applying For This Position?

HR teams must always be wary of someone who is applying for a job out of need, not want. The right applicant should fulfill both of those categories. They need the job because, well, we all need jobs to pay our bills. But they should want to work with your company and be enthusiastic about the opportunity to be employed there.

A good answer will: have multiple reasons for why they are interested in the position. For example, they love what the company does, the values they stand for, and the culture. Brownie points if they can bring up examples of past work or specific actions the company has done that aligned with them.

Tell Me About a Time You Had to Solve a Difficult Problem at Work or Work Past a Conflict With a Coworker.

Everyone has experienced some variation of conflict with a coworker or while at work in general. So, everyone should be able to come up with at least one example for this question. The reason for the HR department asking this is that it gives the interviewer an inside look as to how the applicant deals with conflict, specifically how they react to and go about solving the issue in a respectful manner.

A good answer will: demonstrate empathy and not point fingers. Many times, when conflict arises in an office, it’s because expectations weren’t clearly outlined, or there was some sort of communication issue. See if they acknowledge their role in creating conflict and how. Bonus points if they speak on how they made sure the conflict didn’t occur again.

What Do You Know About Our Company?

If you have experience with interviews, then it comes as no surprise just how often applicants will completely flub this question. This isn’t supposed to be a “gotcha” question. An applicant, at the very least, should know some basic info about the company they are hoping to be employed by.

A good answer will: go beyond just the surface level info of the company. The more specific they are, the better.

What Are Three Words Your Past Managers Would Use to Describe You?

This question will give you general ideas on their work ethic and the attributes that make them a unique employee. While some people have a hard time complimenting themselves, an interview is no time to bashful. They should be trying to sell themselves as best they can, and this is a great question for an applicant to pitch themselves.

A good answer will: include some examples of why they believe their past managers would associate those adjectives with them. For instance, if they say they are punctual, they may cite that they always hit their deadlines and made it a point to get ahead of their work.

Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

An interview is a two-way street. Not only are you trying to decide if they would be an asset within your company, but they are trying to figure out whether or not they want to work there, too. Therefore, make sure to always end the job interview with this question.

A good answer will: illustrate that they are interested in learning more about the job and the company and that they have put some thought and consideration into their questions.

And there you have it. Asking those 7 questions will help you choose the right person for the role you’re hiring! Happy hiring!

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Abby K.
Abby, our Professional Best Friend to our clients, always has a smile and a “Hey! How are you?” at the ready.
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