If you need to prepare for a job interview, use our guide to top HR interview questions and answers to leave a lasting impression on the hiring panel and land your ideal position.
For even the most seasoned industry professionals, job interviews are tough. Monster UK research notes that among the top things that make or break an interviewer’s first impression is the level of a candidate’s interview preparation.
To prepare for a job interview, one must come across as a professional, high-potential and confident candidate, have in-depth knowledge of the company and its product, and of course, know how to convey they’re the right fit for the job.
So to help bring your A-game to the interview, we’ve put together a list of HR interview questions and answers for candidates, plus sample answers.
We are certain that the following HR interview questions are more likely to be asked in some shape or form. The list also includes common behavioral interview questions.
NOTE: If you’re looking for interview tips on how to handle behavioral interview questions, you may find it here.
Common HR Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me about yourself.
Whether you’re a recent graduate entering the workforce or have over a decade of work experience, “Tell me about yourself” is going to pop up during the first few minutes of any job interview you attend.
Consider this question as not only a great way for the hiring manager to break the ice, but an excellent opportunity for you to talk about how you’re an ideal fit for the job. Focus on your work-related experience, education, training, successes, or personal traits that make you a strong candidate.
The answer to this question should be short, crisp and to the point. Be careful not to sound too rehearsed. Aim to avoid office clichés and jargon as repeated use of such cringe-worthy phrases can get boring and sometimes even irritate the listener.
Sure! I graduated with a Graphic Design degree in 2017, and was offered a graphic design position from an ad agency I had interned with. Over the course of last four years, I’ve primarily worked in design roles where I learned a ton about how to build and manage client marketing campaigns successfully. I ended up becoming a top performance at this agency and I feel ready to take my career to the next level so that’s why I’m currently looking for a new job opportunity.
2. Why would you like this job?
For this type of HR interview question, never say, “This is the first job interview the recruitment agency gave me.” Knowing what the role involves is important. Avoid making it appear that you’re just in it for the money, benefits, or even the company’s public image. Instead, select a couple of specific qualifications of the role itself, and highlight how those qualifications align with your strengths. A safe approach is to stick to two or three keywords:
I think my biggest priority right now is to continue building my team handling skills. This position at your company is offering a decent amount of scope to portray those skills, as well as display my potential and prove my worth with quantified business outcomes.
3. Where would you like to be in next five years?
Don’t let this common HR interview question trip you. This is your chance to show the hiring manager how much you’ve thought about your professional future. Link your answer to what the company offers in terms of career development.
Well, since becoming a Team Lead in my last job, I’ve found I really like team handling. In three to five years, I hope to manage larger projects, or maybe multiple project teams. I believe your Sr. Team Lead position would be a great step in that direction and would provide a nice challenge, while also making use of my 3+ years of prior leadership experience in this industry.
4. Why do you want to leave your current job?
Even the most confident people dread answering this HR interview question. But if you answer this correctly, it will boost your chances of getting the job offer. Avoid badmouthing or talking about the negative aspects of your current job. Hiring managers do not want to hire someone who talks smack at the first sign of friction or difficulties.
NOTE: You may find detailed responses to the question, “So, why are you leaving your current job?” here.
To be honest, I’m motivated by a lot of factors, and client satisfaction is at the top of the list. But better compensation and benefits is also a motivating factor for me and I’m excited to meet my goals and celebrate when I’ve surpassed them.
5. If we were to offer this position exactly how much would you expect?
“What are your salary expectations?” is a straightforward question and yet there may be no right answer to it. The employer wants to know how much you value yourself and if you’re likely to accept a job offer that is within the organization’s rate of compensation. If possible, give a salary range that applies based on your work experience, education, and skills.
You may also deflect or delay giving a figure, by saying something like “I want to get a sense of what salary range you had in mind for this position.” If you prefer this approach, be prepared in case the hiring manager coaxes you for an answer about your salary expectations.
I’m looking for a position that pays between the range of $X and $Y, but that number can be adjusted based on paid vacation time, bonuses, and other perks you may offer.
While it’s important to prepare answers for these common HR job interview questions, it’s equally important to pay attention during your job interview in order to make sure your responses resonate with the information the hiring manager is looking for.
Bonus Job Interview Questions
Are you looking for more interview questions? Check out this compilation of job interview questions for different types of interviews.
For common interview questions: What Are The Most Common Interview Questions And Answers?
Common interview questions that are considered as illegal interview questions: Illegal Interview Questions that don’t deserve an answer
For IT role: Interview Questions to Ask IT Candidates
To find the right person for the job: 5 Interview Questions To Hire The Right Person For The Job
For creative roles: Interview Questions for Creative Jobs: What Hiring Managers Ask?