One part of the interview process that applicants underestimate the most is the HR interview. Answers to HR questions are also the ones the applicants regret the most after the interview. How could you not remember that excellent example from your previous job, which showed how well you deal with mistakes?
Below we will discuss some typical HR questions and give advice on how to answer them.
Tell me about yourself: This question is a common icebreaker question used to start the interview. This is your chance to introduce yourself to the interviewer and provide them with a summary of your work experience and education. You should keep your answer concise and focused on your professional background.
Tell me about the gap in your CV If there is a gap in your employment history, the interviewer may ask you to explain it. You should be honest about the reason for the gap and provide any relevant information explaining why you were not working then.
Why are you applying for our company? This question allows the interviewer to gauge your level of interest in the company. You should research the company before the interview and be prepared to talk about why you want to work for them.
What do you know about the company? This question tests your level of interest and research about the company. Read the company’s website, mission statement, and social media pages. Be prepared to discuss the company’s products, services, and values.
Why are you applying for this position? The interviewer wants to know why you are interested in this particular job. You should highlight the skills and experience that make you a good fit for the position.
Why did you leave your previous job/want to leave your current job? The interviewer wants to know why you are no longer working in your previous job or why you want to leave your current job. Be honest and diplomatic in your answer. Avoid criticizing your previous employer.
What is your biggest achievement so far? This question allows you to highlight your proudest professional accomplishment. Choose an achievement that demonstrates your skills and abilities relevant to the job.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? This question allows the interviewer to assess your self-awareness. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and give examples to support your answer.
Where do you see yourself in five years? This question allows the interviewer to assess your career goals and ambitions. Be honest and realistic in your answer. Avoid giving generic answers such as “I want to be a manager.”
Tell me about a time you made a mistake and how did you deal with it? This question tests your ability to take responsibility for your errors and learn from them. Provide a specific example and describe how you resolved the situation.
Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker or a co-student and how did you deal with it? This question tests your conflict resolution skills. Provide a specific example and describe how you resolved the conflict.
Tell me about a situation when you have demonstrated leadership skills. This question allows you to highlight your leadership skills. Provide a specific example of a project or task where you had to lead a team.
Why did you leave your previous job / want to leave your current job? This question might be tricky because you do not want to bad-mouth your previous employer, but you also do not want to give the impression that you are not committed to your job or that you are not willing to take on a new challenge. You can say something like: “I have learned a lot from my previous job, but I feel that it is time for me to take on new challenges and develop my skills further. I am excited about the opportunity to work for your company because I believe it will be a great fit for my skills and interests.”
Why are you the perfect candidate for this position? This is where you need to highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you have done your research on the job description and the company to tailor your answer accordingly. You can say something like: “I believe I am the perfect candidate for this position because I have the necessary skills and experiences that match the requirements in the job description. For example, in my previous job, I was able to increase sales by 20% by implementing a new marketing strategy. I am also a quick learner and a team player, which I believe are essential qualities for this position.”
Why should we hire you? This is a similar question to the previous one, but it requires you to go further and explain why you are a better candidate than others who may have similar skills and experiences. You can say something like: “You should hire me because I have a proven track record of success in similar roles, and I am confident that I can bring value to your company. I am a quick learner, a problem solver, and a team player, and I am always looking for ways to improve my skills and knowledge. I believe that my passion for this industry and my dedication to achieving results make me the ideal candidate for this position.”
What is your biggest achievement so far? This is an opportunity for you to highlight a significant accomplishment that demonstrates your skills, dedication, and achievements. Make sure the achievement is relevant to the job you are applying for. You can say something like: “My biggest achievement so far was when I led a team of five in developing a new software product from scratch. We were able to launch the product ahead of schedule, and it generated over $1 million in revenue in the first six months. I am proud of this achievement because it required me to manage a complex project and collaborate with cross-functional teams to achieve our goals.”
What are your strengths and weaknesses? This is a classic question that you are likely to encounter in any interview. When talking about your strengths, make sure they are relevant to the job you are applying for. When talking about your weaknesses, make sure you highlight how you are working to improve them. You can say something like: “My strengths are my attention to detail, ability to work under pressure, and excellent communication skills. My weakness is that I tend to be a perfectionist, which sometimes leads me to spend too much time on a task. However, I have learned to prioritize my tasks and delegate where necessary, which has helped me become more efficient.”
How would your current supervisor and colleagues describe you? This is a tricky question because you want to avoid sounding arrogant or overly self-deprecating. You can say something like: “I believe my current supervisor and colleagues would describe me as a hardworking, dependable team player who is always willing to help out when needed. They would also say that I am committed to achieving high-quality results and that I take pride in my work.”
- Do not underestimate the HR questions. Inappropriately answered HR questions may stop a company from hiring you because they might decide that you are not fit into their corporate culture. Being insecure and nervous while trying to remember a good example may smear the overall impression you make on the interviewer. You want to appear prepared, confident, and quick-witted.
- Prepare well. Go through the list of questions below and think about a good answer. Even better, if you write the answers down. Surely there are excellent examples from your previous internship to illustrate your positive qualities.
- Do a mock interview. Ask a mentor or even your best friend to interview you. Choose the locations for the mock interview depending on whether the real one is going to be in-person or virtually. For some applicants doing the virtual interview might turn out to be an even bigger challenge.
- Do not take too much time. Try to stay concise. It may be a very interesting story about how you made a mistake, but you have to try to make it as short as possible while keeping it informative enough. Draw a one-sentence conclusion at the end.
- Prepare one or two questions. An interviewer will always leave time for your questions. Try to prepare one or two good questions ahead of time, which go beyond the next steps in the recruiting process.
In conclusion, HR questions during an interview are a crucial part of the hiring process. You as a candidate should prepare well and be confident in your answers. Additionally, having one or two thoughtful questions for the interviewer can show genuine interest in the company and position. By taking the time to prepare, you can increase your chances of success in the interview and ultimately, in securing the job you desire.