37 Interview Questions for an HR Manager (With Sample Answers)
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After working in human resources (HR) for some time, you may wish to seek a managerial position in the field. During your job search for an HR manager position, it may be beneficial to practise your interviewing skills. A good understanding of the types of questions you might be asked in your next interview can help you impress your interviewer and secure the position. In this article, we provide some sample interview questions and answers to prepare you for an HR manager interview.
General interview questions for an HR manager
Below are some general interview questions for an HR manager:
Can you tell us more about yourself?
Why are you interested in this position?
What do you know about your company?
How do you see yourself contributing to the company?
Why are you leaving/did you leave your current/previous position?
Personality interview questions
Especially because HR is a human-oriented role, employers often ask questions about candidates' personalities to make sure that they can be a good fit for the organisation. Below are some examples of such questions:
Use one word to describe yourself and make us remember you.
Tell us about your three strengths and/or three weaknesses.
Tell us about a time when you needed to learn a new topic quickly and how you managed to learn it.
Please give us a short description of an ideal workplace for you.
Tell us about a time you failed and how you overcame it.
Tell us about a time when something or someone made you upset and how you handled the situation.
Industry knowledge interview questions
The following are examples of interview questions that are specifically related to your interest and viewpoints on human resources:
What do you like most about working in human resources?
Why did you choose a career in human resources?
What are your future goals as an HR manager?
What do you see as the major event, trend or change that can revolutionise human resources in the next five years?
Do you have any mentors or people you look up to in the human resources field? Who are they and what did you learn from them?
What human resources subjects interested you the most during your college days?
Can you describe the reasons you think you're the best fit for the HR manager position in our company?
What are the typical daily tasks of an HR manager?
Technical interview questions
Below are some interview questions that are specifically related to your experience and background in human resources:
What educational background do you have in human resources?
How many years of work experience do you have in HR?
How can your previous experience help your future projects?
What is the most important thing that your experience in HR has taught you?
What experience do you have leading a project team as a manager?
How familiar are you with using software systems and tools in HR?
What experience do you have with handling conflict in an organisation?
In-depth interview questions
Here are several in-depth questions that interviewers may ask you:
How can you persuade others in the organisation to adopt your ideas and practices in HR?
Have you ever deviated from the company's policy while carrying out your duties as an HR employee?
Have you ever addressed a dysfunction within a project team and how did you solve it?
What is your process of judging candidates for a position?
How do you ensure members of a team you're leading work together as a unit and also cooperate with you on the project?
6 sample answers to in-depth interview questions
Below are sample answers to more in-depth HR manager interview questions:
1. Give us a concrete example of a time you successfully resolved a conflict in the organisation.
This question aims to evaluate your problem-solving and conflict management skills. Notice the word "concrete." In your answer, make sure you provide a specific example of how you handled conflict in your previous workplace instead of giving a general answer.
Example: "During my first year of experience as an HR coordinator at Max Enterprise, I encountered a conflict between an employee and their line manager. The employee was frustrated with the manager's micromanaging techniques. The manager was aware of this and came to me to mediate the issue.
First, I set up a grievance hearing meeting with the employee and listened to their concerns with an open ear. Then, I set up a separate meeting with the manager to address the issue and come up with techniques on how they can practise delegation and trust. Next, I let the employee know about the new delegation practices that the manager has adopted and urged them to cooperate with these practices. This successfully resolved the conflict and increased satisfaction on both sides."
2. How would your current and previous managers describe you?
Interviewers usually ask this question to have a better idea of the candidate's personality and their honesty and interpersonal skills. Answer this question as truthfully as possible and show some awareness of your weaknesses and how you intend to work on them.
Example: "During my last performance appraisal, my manager gave me an exceptional rating. They said that I can manage employees and coordinating projects. But they also mentioned that I need to be more proactive with problems and solutions that could arise. I was busy with ongoing projects and couldn't focus on thinking ahead. I improved on that by dedicating a specific day in the week to meet with team members and executives to discuss strategies and plans for the future."
3. What experience do you have with cost reduction efforts?
With this question, the interviewer wants to see how experienced you are in reducing cost while increasing efficiency and output.
Example: "I have wide-ranging experience with cost reduction with my current and previous employers. On one occasion, I did extensive market research to carry out a training software programme for employees at a price that was far lower than the one we were using. This saved the firm around $15,000 and increased employee productivity by 45%."
4. How would you contribute to a complex project that has halted and needs kick-starting?
This is a very specific question about an issue that the employer may be currently facing. It's important that you give a general process of how you would approach this situation and give hypothetical solutions to the problem.
Example: "In this situation, I would first address why the project has halted. After examining the root of the problem, I would devise strategies to counteract it. For instance, if it halted because there was a shortage of qualified employees, I would deduce what skills and knowledge employees require to complete the project and draw up a job description. Then, I would assess the employees in the organisation and see if they're suitable to work on the project. If there aren't any suitable internal candidates, I would recruit new talent that fits the job description."
5. What is your recruiting approach and how do you find suitable job candidates?
With this question, the interviewer wants to know how you handle one of the most important job duties of an HR manager, recruiting new talent. Your hiring approach may show the employer if it fits in with their company's own hiring philosophy.
Example: "I ensure I hire professionals who have the required skills, experience and education for the job. In addition, I also assess candidates' personalities to see if they fit in with the organisation's culture. I also take into consideration what the company is able to offer a new employee who is coming on board and whether they can help each other meet their goals.
To find suitable job candidates, the first step I take is to check the company's job candidate database when it's time to fill a position. I also go online to look for the right candidates by perusing their CVs on job sites."
6. If your colleague asks you about a solution for a problem you haven't experienced before, what would you do as an HR manager?
This type of interview question seeks to analyse whether you can think of innovative solutions quickly and provide support to employees within the organisation.
Example: "First, I would listen carefully to the colleague's problem. Then, I would repeat the main points of the problem back to the colleague to make sure that I understood it completely. If the problem includes other individuals in the organisation, I would tell the colleague that I would find out more about the problem and discuss it with others involved. If it's a legal issue, I would tell the colleague that I need some time to conduct some thorough research.
I would reassure them that I would be in touch with them about the solution shortly and provide ways that the colleague can contact me. Once I've found a solution, I would get back to them and see if the problem can be fixed."
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