HR Generalist Behavioral Interview Questions

Are you looking for HR generalist behavioral interview questions and answers? You are at the right place.

Due to fierce competition in the HR field, you can’t overlook behavioral HR generalist interview questions for getting an HR generalist post in an organization.

Employers want to hire a competent HR professional with a strong grip over various aspects of HR management. They need someone who knows everything from recruitment to employee retention. HR generalist behavioral interview questions are an excellent tool for employers to gauge the candidate’s knowledge and skills.

HR generalist interview process allows employers to understand how the candidate will behave in certain situations. Though various companies have unique HR requirements, there are a few common HR generalist behavioral interview questions every employer asks candidates.

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This article compiles a few HR generalist behavioral interview questions you can expect in your job interview. The tips will help you ace your HR generalist behavioral interview by preparing you for the most common questions like an expert. Let’s start.

Human Resource Management Relevant Behavioral Questions

Here are a few behavioral interview questions related to HR management to expect in your HR interview:

Tell me about a time when you had clashes with a coworker.

Interviewers ask situational interview questions to know how will you react under pressure. They want to know if you can manage conflict and handle difficult situations. It offers employers insight into your negotiation and problem-solving skills.

Clashes and disagreements are common in the workplace. The job candidate for the HR generalist position must exhibit the capability to manage such situations.


Responsibilities of HR generalist

When answering this question, you must talk about a time when you had a difference in opinion with a coworker. Explain how you handled the situation and what the outcome was. Mention the steps you took to resolve the conflict. As an example, you can say that you talked to your coworker and came to a mutual solution that was in both’s favor.

How will you handle an underperforming employee?

The recruiters understand that evaluating a candidate’s ability to assess employees’ performance and give feedback is crucial for the role of HR generalist. An organization needs someone who can work with employees and improve their performance. Your response to this question must revolve around how you will identify the problem and work on a solution.

When answering this question, share a situation when you had to deal with an employee with performance issues. Tell them how you identified the problem and what steps you took to help that employee improve.

A candidate must know how to speak to underperforming employees and help them understand where they are lacking. The procedure involves reviewing their work and offering suggestions on how they can improve. It is also essential to set expectations with the employees and help them create a plan to reach their goals.

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How will you create and implement new HR policies?

Employers ask this question to learn about your experience with company policies. It also shows if you are familiar with the process of creating, implementing, and developing policies. Recruiters evaluate a candidate’s competency in policy development by asking such questions.

The role of HR generalist requires a candidate who is well-versed in company policies. You must know how to create policies that are in line with the company’s goals. Apart from knowing the policy development, build a grasp of how to implement these policies.

When answering this question, talk about your experience with creating human resources policies. Give a specific example of an HR policy you have developed and implemented. Explain the process that you followed and the outcome of the policy.

In addition to that, mention the challenges you faced while developing and implementing the policy. It will show the interviewer that you are aware of the difficulties encountered while developing and implementing policies.

How will you improve the recruitment process of an organization?

This question focuses on the recruitment process. It enables interviewers to know if you are familiar with the hiring process and if you can suggest ways to improve it.

The role of a human resources generalist requires a candidate to know the recruitment process. You must have a comprehensive understanding of the recruitment process, its challenges, and ways to improve it.

When answering this question, talk about your experience in recruitment. Give a specific example of how you improved the recruitment process. Explain the steps that you took to improve the process. Also, explain how they helped in improving the quality of candidates.

You must also talk about the use of technology such as applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help in the recruitment process. Also, talk about using social media and job boards for recruitment. It will show your familiarity with the latest trends in recruitment.

Talk about a time when you had to keep accurate records in your previous job.

Recruiters take an insight into your accurate record-keeping ability which is one of the key duties of an HR generalist. By asking about a specific time, they gauge your level of experience with accuracy-sensitive tasks and get a sense of how you will handle them.

This question is crucial for HR generalists because it helps employers to identify if the candidate exhibits organizational and administrative skills or not.

To answer it, describe a situation where you had to keep accurate records and detail the steps you took to ensure that the task was done in the correct way. Mention any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

How will you manage harassment claims?

Interviewers ask this question to check if you have experience in dealing with harassment claims. It also shows your skills in investigating and resolving such claims.

A candidate for a human resource generalist position must know the process of investigating and resolving harassment claims. Research on how to handle such claims in a sensitive and confidential way.

When answering this question, give an example of how you handled sexual harassment complaints. Explain how the employee approached you and the steps you took to investigate the claim. Also, mention the investigation’s outcome and your action against the perpetrator.

Some additional questions recruiters ask to assess HR generalist behavior are:

  1. Tell me about your experience in using HR management software.
  2. How will you handle discipline in the workplace?
  3. Talk about any performance review program that you have initiated.
  4. Talk about the biggest challenge you faced in your previous position.
  5. How will you advertise a job offer for a position in your company?

HR Analytics Relevant Behavioral Questions

Let’s move on to behavioral questions related to HR analytics that recruiters ask during a human resources generalist interview.

How will you collect data and create reports on employee performance?

This question helps interviewers assess a candidate’s experience in collecting data and creating reports on employee performance. It offers employers insight into a candidate’s ability to use HR data to improve staff performance.

When answering this question, talk about your experience in collecting data and creating reports on employee performance. Give an example of a report you have made and how it helped improve employee performance. Mention the tools you use to collect data and create reports as advanced analytical tools ensure accuracy. It will show that you are familiar with the latest trends in HR analytics.

Data collection and reporting are crucial for the HR department to measure the performance of employees. HR team uses this data to identify the areas where employees need improvement. It enables them to develop strategies to improve employee productivity and create a positive company culture.

How will you use analytical skills for making decisions?

Recruiters ask this question to assess a candidate’s ability to use HR data to make decisions. It helps them find out how you use HR analytics to improve the department’s efficiency.

When answering this question, focus on the decisions you previously made using HR data. Give an example of your decision to improve employee productivity. Also, mention the data that you used to make the decision.

HR Generalist Career Path

Analytics is a vital segment of HR. It helps make data-driven decisions to improve the efficiency of the department. HR professionals use HR data to identify the areas where employees need improvement. It also helps them develop efficient and effective HR policies to enhance employee productivity.

Following are some additional questions that interviewers ask to assess a candidate’s ability to use HR data:

  1. Talk about your experience with HR data to improve employee engagement.
  2. How will you use data analytics to identify the training and development needs of employees?
  3. What are your thoughts on using data to assess employee retention risk?
  4. How will you use HR data to improve the recruiting process?

Cross-Functional Teamwork Relevant Behavioral Questions

Here are questions on cross-functional teamwork that interviewers might ask in an HR generalist interview.

Talk about your experience of working with a cross-functional team.

It is one of the favorite questions of interviewers during a job interview. It helps interviewers assess whether a candidate is a team player and exhibits the skills to work with people from different departments or not. The answer to this question gives employers an insight into your ability to handle conflict.

When answering this question, talk about how you handle a cross-functional. Share a relevant example from your previous work experience. Highlight the key takeaway from that particular project.

Talk about the challenges you faced while working with the team and how you resolved them. It will show that you can handle conflict and find creative solutions to problems.

Some additional questions related to teamwork that recruiters ask are:

  1. How will you handle disputes while working with employees of various departments?
  2. How do you promote team building within the organization?
  3. How will you motivate a team that is not performing up to expectations?
  4. Name three of your biggest strengths as an HR generalist.

Interpersonal Skills Relevant Behavioral Questions

Let’s move on to the interpersonal skills relevant HR generalist interview questions and answers.

How will you encourage communication among your team members?

This question gauges a candidate’s ability to build relationships and promote communication within the team. Employers want to assess the candidates’ communication skills by asking this question.

When answering this question, talk about the importance of strong interpersonal skills in the workplace. Give an example of when you promoted communication among your team members. Describe various ways to encourage communication among employees.

Communication among team members is crucial for the success of any organization. It helps flow information and enables employees to work together towards a common goal. Communication skills help in building healthy employee relations and fostering a positive work environment.

Some additional questions related to interpersonal skills that interviewers ask are:

  1. How will you handle a conflict between two employees?
  2. Why should we hire you as an HR generalist?
  3. How do you build relationships with your team members?
  4. Tell me about a time when you had to communicate a change in policy to your team members.


HR generalist position is an excellent choice for you to start your career in the human resources field. When going for an HR job interview, remember to read the job description with keen care. Prepare the questions based on keywords and key duties mentioned in the job description. Enroll in an HR generalist certification to master advanced skills.

If you are new to human resources and are looking to break into an HR generalist role, we recommend taking our HR Generalist Certification Course, where you will learn how to build your skillset in the human resources generalist field, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR generalist resume, and create a successful HR generalist job search strategy.

Josh Fechter
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.