Every HR interview is unique because it’s more about gauging a person’s soft skills in most cases. That’s why hiring managers focus on asking general questions rather than technical HR-based questions. If you look into HR assistant interview questions, they tend to follow the same pattern.
Each company has a different HR structure for their HR department, but you’ll always find an HR assistant position. The job title may vary depending on the company’s size, but, their duties and responsibilities remain the same.
In any case, it’s crucial to prepare yourself for the HR assistant interview beforehand, considering you may get a wide variety of questions.
In this article, we’ll go over the most asked, critical and top HR assistant interview questions, along with the ideal answer process.
Let’s get started.
8 HR Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
Depending on the HR assistant job description, your interview questions will be different because each industry has its own HR interview process.
If you’ve already developed a top-notch HR assistant resume, your next order on the list must be to check out the following interview questions and try to develop your answers before going to the interview.
Interview Questions About Your HR Career
Here is a list of HR assistant interview questions and answers:
1. What Made You Apply for the HR Assistant Position?
After moving to the actual interview, every recruiter tends to ask why you’ve applied for the job. It’s a simple question, but the recruiter expects a clear-cut and concise answer. It helps you establish a strong position for yourself throughout the rest of the interview.
That’s why it’s crucial to take the opportunity to explain why you think the job is right for you. You shouldn’t just focus on the HR assistant position itself; you should also portray your answer to show that you’re interested in being an HR assistant in that particular company.
In general, there is an HR manager or an HR coordinator as a part of the interviewing team. That’s why it’s also important to talk about your HR career and background. That’s your cue to show a seasoned HR professional why you want to pursue HR as a career. The more inspiring answer you give about your career advice, the more they’ll become convinced that you’re passionate about HR.
While you’re going into the details of your HR career, however short it is, mention any prior HR roles you’ve done. Even your experience as a human resources intern. Other than that, mention your career goals and where you you're looking to stand by that time next year, in the next 5 years, and so on.
During that, you should mention that becoming an HR assistant would help you get on that career trajectory. Moreover, mention that the HR assistant job at their company would provide the best opportunity for growth and learning.
2. Have You Applied to Any Other Jobs?
It’s a common practice to find out if you’ve applied to any other jobs. It’s the recruiter’s way to check if you’re interested in the HR position or are just looking for a job. In any case, the question aims to check the following two things based on your answer:
- Your overall dedication to building your HR career based on a particular career path
- Your overall dedication to building a career in the company you’ve applied to
For example, if you’ve also applied to jobs in finance and marketing, that wouldn’t be a good sign. That’s because you’re telling the recruiter that you just want a job and not an HR position, going against your initial answer to the first question.
On the other hand, if you tell them you’ve applied to similar HR assistant positions in the same industry, then that’s good. That helps the recruiter realize you’re serious about the HR career and about working in the industry, considering the HR assistant position is an entry-level position.
Furthermore, if you mention that you’ve applied to non-competitor companies, that paints the idea that you want to work with their company in that specific niche.
Interview Questions About HR Assistant Job Requirements
Here is a list of HR assistant interview questions and answers regarding the job requirements of the post:
3. What Does the HR Assistant Job Position Entail?
As an entry-level position, the HR assistant job can have varying job requirements based on the company and the industry. This question is asked to gauge your understanding of the HR assistant role in general and at the company.
Job interview questions often overlook the actual technical specifications of HR jobs. The same is the case with the job descriptions. In any case, the actual tasks and responsibilities go above what the job description says. However, there can be some tasks in the JD that are not part of the job.
However, it’s best to get an idea of all the possible responsibilities that you might have. As an example answer, it’s ideal to go over each of the responsibilities one by one.
To learn more about the JD, check what other companies are asking in the JD. Check out other company JDs within the same industry and category, so you can develop specific answers and examples.
In any case, show the recruiter you have a decent idea of the responsibilities.
If you're interested in learning more about landing a great HR job, then check out our HR certification courses:
4. Do You Have the Right Skills to Become a Human Resources Assistant?
Every interview will have a question to gauge your overall skills. That’s your opportunity to sell yourself by listing down all your relevant skills and knowledge.
It’s easy to mention things like great communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and other such skills. However, it’s best to mention specific things, such as the following:
Any common HR tasks you’ve mastered
- Employee database expertise
- Expert in work environments
- Great public speaking skills
- Ability to handle stressful situations and tight deadlines
Talking about such stuff is better than starting out with your complete skill set. It offers you a chance to showcase your skills in real-life examples rather than them having to take your word for it.
In any case, you should still mention your skills with relevant examples. Talk about your professional development throughout your career and justify your skillset.
Interview Questions About the HR Assistant Role
Here is a list of HR assistant interview questions and answers regarding the job role:
5. Do You Think You’re Qualified for the HR Assistant Role? If Yes, Why?
Since you’re already being called for an interview, it’s safe to say that the recruiter knows you’re qualified for the interview. However, they still like to ask this question to see how confident you are in your HR abilities.
To answer this question, start by giving an intro to your education, including any current ongoing courses you’ve taken. Furthermore, mention any certifications or courses you’ve completed over the years. For example, if you have an SHRM certification, it would help you a lot.
After that, you should start to talk about your prior work experience. This is where you explain everything you’ve done to get to your current position and what positions you’ve held like HR administrative jobs such HR administrative assistant, or more. Make sure that you don’t mention any confidential information during your interview. You can also mention your experience in employee training if you have any.
Mention all the tasks you’ve done as a new hire at jobs, internships, and even standalone projects. The more you know about what goes on in the human resources department, the better.
Last but not the least, end your answer on the note that the HR assistant role here is the ideal step in your HR career path.
6. Do You Have Any Experience With Human Resource Management Systems (HRIS)?
HR departments use human resource management systems to manage their HR team and manage all the necessary information.
As an HR assistant, it is your job to assist the HR manager and other staff members in navigating their HRIS systems. That’s why it’s crucial that you have some experience with HRIS systems and know how to make use of them.
The recruiter will expect you to answer that you have had experience with HRIS systems. They would expect a certain proficiency level. They would look for the following:
- Your level of expertise with specific HRIS systems; that’s why it’s best to research what HRIS that company uses and learn everything about it. If you can’t find out what HRIS they use, learn about the 3 most common HRIS systems used in the industry
- Any real-life examples of when you’ve used the HRIS systems and how you managed them
- Ability to leverage critical-thinking skills to make better use of the HRIS systems
Ideally, you should develop an answer that applies to the recruiter’s company and industry. That means learning about HRIS systems used by them or the most common ones in the industry.
7. Do You Have Any Experience in Managing Multiple Calendars?
HR assistants have to assist in a number of tasks, and among them, a crucial task is to maintain multiple calendars for the company. That helps in scheduling job interviews for people in different departments, setting up meetings, and more.
That’s why HR assistants are expected to have experience in managing multiple employees’ calendars in various office spaces. The main thing is to ensure there’s no conflict or mismanagement that leads to time wastage.
The recruiter will expect you to:
- Have crucial communication skills that you can showcase throughout the interview.
- Have prior experience in setting up multiple calendars, new hire training, scheduling meetings, and coordinating appointments.
- Have confidence in your abilities
It’s best to give real-life examples of multiple calendar management.
8. How Do You Ensure Confidentiality and How Do You Maintain It?
Working as an assistant to various staff members, HR assistants tend to make contact with a lot of sensitive files. That includes things like salary information, social security documentation, visa information, and more.
It’s their job to learn who has the right security clearance and access privileges in different cases. You must tell the recruiter that you understand the steps needed to ensure confidentiality, including your process of maintaining it.
That’s why you should mention:
- Any experience you’ve had managing sensitive files at your last job
- Experience in managing the information of existing and new employees
- Your understanding of employee confidentiality
- Your overall ethical decision-making skills with some examples
The more real-life examples you can give to back your answer, the better.
Acing the HR Assistant Interview Questions
When you’re looking to find answers to general HR interview questions, you’ll find a lot of interview guides online. However, job seekers need to find resources that are designed for their job roles, especially HR professionals.
In any case, it’s crucial to prepare for your HR interviews beforehand. HR assistant interviews are tough because you need to have knowledge about most HR functions as you must assist in all of them as an HR assistant.
To show the recruiter that you deserve the HR assistant salary, you need to show them that you have the knowledge, skills, and experience required. That means you need to learn about the various HR functions, techniques, and methods with respect to the company and industry.
After that, you can get a better idea of how to tackle and ace the HR assistant interview questions.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a HR role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He’s a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.