In the early stage of a job interview, these HR interview questions play a crucial role to analyze the candidate completely. These will help you reveal the positives as well as the negatives of an interviewee.
We have laid out the most commonly asked questions for a personal interview. Along with the questions, this article has some useful tips & a sample answer attached with all of the questions.
The reason behind asking these is to have a better idea of each candidate’s traits & abilities to understand them. These hr interview questions will help you to observe each candidate who has applied for the role.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs.
Do you remember this famous quote? With its reference, we want to say you should hire someone who brings their own ideas & opinions to bring more betterment to your organization. And these questions will let you find the best of the best out there which will be excellent for your organization.
List of HR Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- What makes you interested in this particular job opening?
- Please specify your work experience related to this role.
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- Tell me about the time when things didn’t go according to the plan & what did you do to manage it?
- How would your boss describe you?
- What is your greatest weakness? Also, tell me what are you doing to overcome it?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What is your ideal work environment?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Do you have any questions?
Top Commonly Asked HR Interview Questions with Some Tips for HRs
1) Tell me about yourself.
This question is generally asked the candidates to make a quick assessment of their soft skills. What they say in response to this question can be a turning point for them. It’s the most crucial question that is asked at the beginning of the interview & it decides the further course of the interview.
- You should make sure they are talking about the experience & accomplishments that relate to this job role. If they’re talking on personal topics a little bit then it’s okay.
- The point of this question is to assess the confidence level & communication skills, so see how the candidate is delivering his speech.
- See if they are able to relate their experience with this job you’re offering & if yes then look how well they’re doing it.
- Candidates must communicate well about their personal traits & how it will make them perform at their best for this job role.
- If the candidate fails to answer based on the above points, this points out they are not fit for this role.
Sample Answer: “I like to keep learning new things & keep myself updated according to ongoing trends in the industry. I’ve started my professional journey at International Org as a software developer intern during my engineering graduation from DCX University. I’ve learned about Java, Python, coding & development with other related work of this field. In addition to these, I also worked in teams that helped me to build communication skills as well as coordination & collaborative skills. From developing applications to testing them at their final stage, I’ve gained experience in different kinds of work during my internship. This is why I believe my studies & the experience I have makes me best fit for this role.”
2) What makes you interested in this particular job opening?
The answer to this question will tell what makes them apply for this job role & which aspects of this job role interest them the most. This is one of the important hr interview questions.
- Look if they’ve understood the position & the work they will need to carry on.
- You can ask consecutive questions to get a more clear picture of the candidate’s ideas in this regard.
Sample Answer: “This job aligns with my interests & knowledge, plus there are new things that I want to learn that are coming with it. I have enough experience, that I’ve gained as an accounting assistant at XYZ Co., to get started with this position professionally. If I get this opportunity it will help me to achieve growth & will enable me to contribute towards mission & vision of this organization.”
3) Please specify your work experience related to this role.
This question helps HRs not only to know about the work experience the candidate has but also to check its relevancy. For example, if the candidate is applying for an editor position in your magazine, it is crucial to ask about their experience. Their experience level in this field will decide their chance of acquiring the position at your company.
- Before interviewing candidates make sure you understand the details of the job opening yourself first. This will help you examine the candidates better.
- Again here you need to check their professional background to find out their compatibility with this job role.
- Let the candidates describe their experience & expertise with the help of explaining their accomplishments or achievements.
Sample Answer: “I’ve worked as an editor at The Celebrity for 2 years. During my tenure, I have created content, story ideas, edited the stories written by in-house writers & managed writing staff for the magazine. I was successfully able to handle all of the tasks I was in charge of. In 2020, my team & I formed a strategy by working closely with advertisement & marketing teams. We planned stories & advertising of the magazine after thorough market research on trending topics, and target audience conducted by the marketing team. We then prepared the stories & the advertisement department publicized them to the target audience effectively. As a result of such coordinated efforts of different teams, sales of the magazine was increased by 40% in that year.”
4) Why do you want to work here?
It is asked to know what the candidate likes the most about working in the company. It ensures the candidate is genuinely eager to work where they’re applying for a job.
- The response of the candidate with respect to this question should be checked.
- You have to look if they understand the company’s vision & mission as well as how they can contribute towards it.
- The candidate must have an idea about the work carried on by the organization.
Sample Answer: “For a very long time I was following your company & I know it’s one of the best companies in the banking sector. Your company offers the best work experience for its employees & provides them fabulous growth opportunities. Your organization’s vision is to enhance the customer experience so as to make them empowered. I am sure that with my skills & knowledge in this field, I can make contributions towards this benevolent vision. I also believe working in this company will be very beneficial for my career as well as my personal growth.”
5) Why do you want to leave your current job?
This inquiry focuses on getting an idea about the reason behind their exit from the existing job. The main thing to know is if there are any red flags behind it. How they are expressing the reason & their attitude while explaining it will clear the whole picture at once. For instance, if a candidate starts saying bad things about the previous employer/company then it’s a big red flag. Sometimes in reality some real problem they want to leave, that being said it doesn’t mean they show a negative attitude. This is why this is among the most crucial hr interview questions.
- Judge the candidate’s attitude while they’re answering. If they are speaking about the previous company then it’s not a good sign.
- The candidate must explain the problem in a positive manner, then only they can be hired.
Sample Answer: “I am grateful to my previous employer for giving me the opportunity to grow as well as establishing various soft skills. Even so, I want to join a bigger firm to make use of my best skills & to make further growth in my career.”
6) Tell me about the time when things didn’t go according to the plan & what did you do to manage it?
Things generally run smoothly according to the plan, but that’s not the case every time. Management plus problem-solving abilities of the candidate can be assessed with the help of this question. When things went sideways, how did the candidate handle the situation, knowing about this is necessary. Nobody wants to hire a person who cannot handle a difficult situation with a cool mind.
- Answer given by the candidate will reflect his/her thought process & problem-solving abilities.
- Check how they handled an adverse situation.
- If they are answering by following the STAR technique then it is a plus point. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action & Result.
Sample Answer: “When I was new in the previous company, I was assigned to manage a project for an important client of the company. The project was to develop a website for the client within 3 months. I agreed to complete the project within that period when I was asked by the client without consulting it with my team members. When I discussed the project with my team members they told me it would take more than 3 months to get the website running. We started working on that project and also tried to complete it on time but as expected we couldn’t. I explained this whole situation to my boss & he agreed to talk with the client. ‘The client was a bit upset but agreed to give us more time to get it completed’ – boss told me. After this incident, I understood the importance of proper communication plus I realized miscalculation of the required time can lead to problems. I learned from this setback & never repeated those mistakes again.
7) How would your boss describe you?
It’s definitely a tricky one for the candidates. This question will help you get clear insights into the candidate’s professional relationships & behavior at his previous organization. If the candidate has a good track record of his work along with a good professional relationship, they will answer it confidently without any doubt. If the candidate is dubious then it might signal a red flag, or in simple words, his relations or work is the question.
- This question gives candidates a chance to speak for themselves on behalf of their previous employer & let them showcase their accomplishments.
- Notice what is the attitude of the candidate while giving a response to this question.
Sample Answer: “He would say I am a humble & a reliable person. Due to my nature of treating others with respect & care, he always appreciated me. Since I am focused to complete my work with full responsibility, he regularly assigned me important projects to handle. This year he praised me at this company’s anniversary while giving his speech. He said ‘Max is one of the most reliable employees in this company.’”
8) What is your greatest weakness? Also, tell me what are you doing to overcome it?
Consider this as one of the prime questions that hold great potential to reveal the candidate’s nature. With no doubt, this question is commonly asked in an interview. The ideal candidate is the one who not only acknowledges his/her weakness and honestly accepts it but also tries to get over it. Indeed, it’s one of the trickiest hr interview questions.
- If the candidate is not clearly speaking about their weakness or divulging it is a red flag. It indicates that they are not open to constructive feedback.
- In case the candidate is highlighting a weakness that can affect the work in a negative way. The candidate is not eligible for recruitment.
Sample Answer: “Earlier I used to be less confident about assigning work to others. I am more of a self-dependent person from the beginning that’s why I tried to complete the projects on my own. That worked for me when the projects were used to be small. But when I started to receive bigger projects then I became overwhelmed with it. Then I learned to delegate some tasks to my peers/subordinates to manage & work on the project with more care. That really helped me a lot. Now I am able to confidently delegate the tasks to others & accomplish the projects more productively.”
9) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
For ascertaining the candidate’s interest level in the field where he/she has chosen to work. It helps HR to ensure the candidate will stick to his/her field & chase the path of growth there. Apart from this, HR can decide if their company is the right fit for the candidate after listening to their ideas.
- You should listen carefully to the narration made by the candidate & where the whole story is flowing.
- When candidates are genuinely interested in their field, they will answer passionately with great enthusiasm. You can definitely consider these types of applicants for the job role.
- If the candidate’s answers are leading off-track with current job interest then it indicates they won’t stay for long.
Sample Answer: “I’ve set a major goal & that is to excel my skills as a marketer in this company. I would like to employ multiple trainings that your organization provides to enhance my skills & growth within this organization. In the next five years, I see myself leading the marketing division of this company. I am excited to make meaningful contributions towards the growth of your organization as well as my career.”
10) What is your ideal work environment?
The reason why interviewers ask this question is to know if the employee will like the environment that your company provides. If their expectations match with the available working environment then it is certain the candidate will perform at his/her best capacity. This question clarifies if the candidate is culturally fit or not where they are applying.
- If the candidate focuses on characteristics like cooperative, supportive, open communication, growth-oriented & so on, then it’s excellent.
- Usually, there is no correct answer to this question. But, one thing to remember is to look if the candidate has realistic expectations with regard to vacations, benefits & the likes.
Sample Answer: “In my opinion, an ideal work environment is about synergy & progress. It always sustains prospects of growth with the help of teamwork, & knowledge sharing. When I researched about your company, I found out that you offer the same, which for me is very suitable to give my best. In such a great environment I can work with others and also nurture my skills to achieve excellence in my career.”
11) What are your salary expectations?
Salary is the most crucial topic of an interview. So the response to this question can make or break the decision of hiring someone. The main motives behind this are to know if a candidate’s expectations are too high and, to know if the candidate knows about their value. This is one of many commonly asked hr interview questions.
- Check if they’re specifying a salary range rather than a fixed number. That’s a signal that the candidate is ready to negotiate.
- Salary is what decided on the basis of skills, knowledge, achievements of the candidate & on the position itself. So try to understand all the factors & make an informed decision on the salary you decide to pay.
Sample Answer: “I want to mention that I am flexible with my salary range. I have experience in this field for 2 years & know about the industry, so I expect a salary between X to Y range. But, we can have a discussion on it later on the basis of roles & responsibilities of this role.”
12) Do you have any questions?
Now it’s your turn to answer the candidate’s questions since they are entitled to have an opportunity to ask their queries. You have to evaluate their intelligence & interest levels by considering what they are asking you. It will also help them to clarify any doubts they might have.
- Look if the candidates ask about the company’s work culture, challenges of the position, & the likes. Also, what they seek in an employee like skills, experiences & so on.
- Make sure you prepare completely for what the candidate might ask you.
Sample Answer: “Can you please tell me what are the ideal qualities you are looking for in this job role & what will be my duties? I also know you have a fantastic work culture as I’ve researched about it, can you please elaborate more on it?”
So these were the most commonly asked HR interview questions to find out who is the best among the ones who’ve applied.
After questioning these hr interview questions you will figure out if you want to move forward with the interviewee or not. Those who will answer these perfectly can move ahead with them in the further interview rounds without any issues.
Also, we want you to check out an Applicant Tracking System which enables you to discover & hire the best talent. With an ATS (or hiring software) recruiters can manage the whole recruiting process plus automate manual tasks like job posting easily.