Interview Preparation: HR Interview Questions
Each interview has a distinct focus; however, some HR interview questions are so common, it is advisable to prepare for them adequately. To achieve success, you need to develop a strategy and not babble out scripted answers. Here, we will look at some of the most common HR interview questions and the things that you must consider while formulating your answers. Work through each HR interview question by coming up with original answers. This will help you sail through the interview. It is a good practice to write down potential answers, or still better, say them aloud in the company of a friend or relative.
It should be noted that these interviews are different from technical interviews, where the primary focus lies solely on educational qualifications and expertise. Soft skills are relegated to the background. Comparatively, you do not have to prepare in an in-depth manner for technical interviews because your CV says it all. The primary HR interview question that matters most is the last drawn CTC (cost to company) and the expected CTC. Technical interviews are conducted to recruit candidates in the IT, Engineering, and Science streams.
Let us have a look at questions posed during traditional interviews.
Question 1: Where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now?
Purpose: At the start of your career, employers want to get an understanding with regard to goals, ambition, inclination, and drive. Hence, they ask this HR interview question.
Answering Tip: You need to decide for yourself how much details you would like to share. If you plan to become an independent entrepreneur 5 years from now and need experience through that job, do not reveal such a goal. However, if you aim to be a VP by the time you are 35 years old and are being interviewed in an environment that is merit based, proceed further by telling the interviewer. You may also opt for a subjective answer such as gaining sound experience in your field and honing your skills to become more competent.
Question 2: What is your proudest accomplishment?
Purpose: This HR interview question, often viewed as “most prominent accomplishment,” is one of the most predictable questions during an interview. Interviewers would want to know how you tackled a significant task. Hence, give them an organized and well-articulated account of some major accomplishment.
Answering Tip: This HR interview question is largely behavioural, which means you are being asked to elaborate on an example from your work experience. Pick out an example or short story with regard to handling a major project that was significant to both you and your previous employer. Begin the story by stating the context. Recount the story and the role you played such as problem solving, setting up a process, and overcoming obstacles. At last, reveal the result, and state the outcome that made your chest swell up with pride.
Question 3: Give an example when you had to come up with out-of-the-box solutions
Purpose: This HR interview question serves as a code that searches for creativity, innovation, and initiative in the prospective employee. Interviewers want to gauge your creativity levels as well as how you thought of it, and most importantly, how you benefited from that particular insight.
Answering Tip: This is one more behavioural question, and the selected example or story is vital. Your example needs to be relevant to the job you are applying for, without diminishing the significance of your story. Inform interviewers how you developed a creative solution to a specific problem, enhanced an internal process, or made a sale by thinking out of the box.
Question 4: Name one negative quality your previous boss would say about you
Purpose: This HR interview question tries to gauge your weaknesses.
Answering tip: The best way to discuss about any probable weakness is to show how you can transform it into a strength. However, do not say that you work hard or are a perfectionist to the core because these answers are transparent and tired. Come up with anything that was related to your previous job with regard to any point as a development area in your performance appraisal.
Question 5: How can you contribute to our company in ways other candidates cannot?
Purpose: Some HR interview questions are more relevant than others are. This question is one of them. It is an alternative way of questioning, “Why should we select you for the job?”
Answering Tip: This HR interview question has two nuances. The first involves drawing a comparison with other candidates, which can be difficult but not impossible. The second nuance focuses on showing how special you are by highlighting your strengths. Your answer should state your primary selling points that are specifically related to the requirements of the job. Take into account things you can offer such as prior experience related to the present job, specialized expertise, knowledge gained, skills, commitment to the job, or future potential.
Question 6: Tell me more about yourself
Purpose: This HR interview question is commonly asked as an icebreaker.
Answering Tip: Some candidates falter at this question. Do not narrate your life history. Choose 4-5 primary things about yourself that hold relevance to the job applied for. This may include special skills and qualifications, details about your work experience, or passion for the chosen role and profession. Practice answering confidently to create an impressive opening answer. Give a brief (and not comprehensive) overview of yourself by not exceeding 2 minutes while answering.
Question 7: Tell us something about your strengths
Purpose: This HR interview question is asked so that the interviewer knows what sets you apart from the rest of the candidates vying for the same job.
Answering Tip: Your answer should primarily focus on how you could contribute to the applied role as well as what you can offer to your new organization, if selected. Most candidates say that they have extensive experience and excellent communication skills. However, these are not enough. You need to back up each answer with a pertinent example from prior roles. An excellent way of answering this question is matching your strengths to the present job role. Companies hire candidates who love to solve problems; hence, your answer should be customized taking this into account.
Question 8: Do you need to clarify anything?
Purpose: This final HR interview question offers the candidates the opportunity to build a strong rapport with the interviewer.
Answering Tip: You can ask a broad range of questions to the interviewer. Therefore, prepare in advance. By asking the right questions, you demonstrate genuine enthusiasm and interest for the offered role. You can ask questions such as the challenges faced by the company, where is the company heading, and more details about the team that you will be working in. However, ensure that the questions do not sound rehearsed. It is necessary to question your interviewer naturally and authentically. In addition, refrain from asking questions whose answers you already need to know before the interview with regard to the company details.
These were the most common HR interview questions and tips to answer each question effectively. Therefore, do not panic or falter when you are asked something out of the blue. Stay calm, composed, and focused, and you will answer any question logically, successfully, and coherently.
In the competitive job scenario, one should not leave any stone unturned to grab the attention of employers, and a cover letter can help you achieve this. A cover letter puts forward your qualifications, intentions, and your skills in a crisp and appealing manner. For the best first impression, you should make sure that your CV is accompanied by a Cover letter.
Here are some of other major reasons why you need a cover letter along with your CV.
Your Resume is not just a document stating your academic record, work experience, or your skills; it is your key to the best of the jobs in the industry. Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to your Resume even if you are an experienced professional. Even after being in the business for a long duration you might still need help with your ResumeI'm Still Quite Interested