Posted April 11, 2014 by

Breaking through an HR position: The three most important interview questions you ought to know


A job as HR professional is one of most respected and of importance in an organization.  They are in charge of some vital tasks such as identifying and hiring new talent for the company, and coordinating between the management and the employees. If you are studying human resource management and are looking to make a career in this field then you better go through this post which is rich with the things you need to know for your first interview.

The future prospects for HR professionals look bright

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for HR managers between 2012 and 2022 shows an average growth of 13%. Since human resource professionals are required in every industry and sector there is no doubt to the fact that this is an evergreen profession with diverse scope. Besides, they are generally amongst the better paid professionals, and therefore for those whose first concern before choosing a career is money, HR is an appropriate choice.

However, if you are seriously considering making a career in this field, then there are certain things to keep in mind.

  • A big part of the HR’s job is to deal with people, whether it is prospective employees, existing employees or management. Therefore, if you are a person who finds it tough to get a conversation going with people then this job could be a huge misfit.
  • You should be good at keeping secrets. You will be handling a lot of confidential data on the behalf of the management.
  • Good organization skills are mandatory as there will be lots of files and records to take care of.

Once you are sure about your suitability to this profession, here is what you should expect in an interview for the position of HR.

Q. What qualifies you for a role in HR?

A. This perhaps is the most simple yet so important question. The answer will set the tone for rest of the interview. Instead of reading out your resume, the employer actually wants to hear your experiences and the traits that you think relate you with a career in HR. Yes, your educational qualifications matter, but besides that, what special do you think makes you a fit for the role.  It could be a need to connect with people, or your networking capabilities, or your ability to handle the toughest situations with ease and comfort.

Q. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

A. This is one of the most ubiquitous questions to be asked and surprisingly there are so many people out there who still get it wrong. The first thing you should know is that when any employer asks you this question, it’s in relation to the role you are applying to. Sometimes it might come as a direct question, while on other occasions, it might come disguised in other forms such as, “What makes you a strong candidate for this role?” or “Why should we chose you?”

While answering the question identify the different qualities that a perfect HR manager would need and relate them with your personality. If you have any extra certification or educational qualification that can strengthen your candidature, you can discuss it also during the interview.  The interviewer might ask you to cite examples where you have put your strengths to application for your benefit.

The tricky part comes when you have to answer about your weaknesses. Every human has weaknesses. The trick is to show your weakness in a positive light for the job. For instance, you can let him know that you get a little bit too attached to employees while solving their problem, which could be a problem sometimes, but on most occasions helps you understand their issues in a better way.

Q. Why did you choose HR as career?

A. Another question that tests your seriousness about making a profession in this field. Never give direct answers like “I love working with people” because hundreds of candidates before you have given the same answer. If you are really passionate about HR jobs, then it shouldn’t be a problem to cite examples where you put to use your abilities in a manner which is relatable to the desired skills for an HR job. A good way would be to identify work areas that an HR manager has to perform, and relate them with your interest.

Once you are able to ace these questions confidently in the interview, the rest becomes more of a formality. Of course, you should have an idea about the different roles and responsibilities of HR Manager.

This video from the guys at have put up a nice video describing what entails the job of a HR manager:

A critical question comes at the end of the meeting, when interviewer asks, “Do you have any query or questions for me?” This is NOT a courtesy call. The employer actually wants you to ask him well-structured questions which will not only demonstrate your due diligence, preparation and seriousness, but also show your active listening skills.


Saurabh Tyagi

About Saurabh Tyagi: Saurabh is an expert author, with an experience of over 4 years in writing content for articles and blogs. All through these years he has developed a special interest in career and employment related trends. This article is a product of his understanding about the HR job market, and how one can excel as a human resource manager. With so many exciting HR manager job opportunities out there, this will serve as an appropriate resource for students who are just starting out their career in this profession.



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