So you've been working in the human resource department for a while and are ready to take your leadership skills to the next step as an HR manager. It's no surprise that human resources, and to be more specific, HR manager, is a highly sought-after career, given that there are over 25,000 positions available with a median income of around $78,000. If this is one of the prestigious jobs in America, then being an HR manager is one of an accomplishment.
However, it is best to get this job to use the position's privileges. If you're an HR professional, you already understand that the most incredible method to improve your interview performance is to have a good understanding of how the HR job works and practice more.
Practicing typical interview questions and sample answers is a good idea. Still, if you intend to surprise the hiring team, you'll need to go further and find interview questions that pertain to the position you're seeking. If you're interested in learning the HR manager interview questions via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.
Top 10 HR Manager Interview Questions
We've compiled a list of the most often asked interview questions from HR manager candidates, along with advice on how to approach them.
1. When It Comes to Leadership, What Is Your Style?
Employers are often eager to learn about the leadership style of HR manager candidates. Leadership style is one of the important qualities of HR managers. It influences not just the company culture but also the productivity of the whole team. Therefore, it is imperative for the interviewer to know your leadership style.
Many interviewers prefer a specific management style, and it's OK to communicate that preference. However, keep in mind that what has succeeded for you earlier won't always be the ideal decision if you transfer to a new firm with a different team and company culture. "One needs to adapt to each team member and also to the whole team," one interviewee explains. The idea here is to demonstrate a willingness to change to your potential employer while still describing your unique team management style.
2. How Do You Plan to Achieve Your Goals as an HR Manager?
Moreover, HR isn't just about dispensing benefits or resolving employee conflicts; it's about delivering business outcomes via efficient team management. It means that the hiring approach will focus on identifying the right person for the job who is well suited to manage a team.
If you want to impress potential interviewers, talk about the key projects you'd undertake at the entry-level or previous role, how you'd assess success, and how the efforts would affect the organization and your career.
Having a definite plan in place is crucial. A candidate who is applying for an HR manager position knows about the significance of having definite goals and can create definite plans to achieve them. A hiring manager prefers a candidate who is not just aware of their short-term and long-term goals but also capable of building plans to achieve objectives.
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3. What's Your Favorite Aspect of Working in Human Resources?
As a new hire, you can't love every aspect of your profession. At all costs, you should avoid a negative or reluctant tone. Employers design interview processes and interview questions in such a way so that they can assess the capabilities of all the candidates. The answers of job seekers matter a lot for the hiring managers, so you need to choose the right answer.
For example, if you dislike the recruiting approach, you shouldn't just state, "I despise the job elimination procedure." Saying something like "Recruiting candidates isn't part of my skill set, but I know how crucial it is for the company to identify and hire the best candidate, thus I do not hesitate to take it on as one of my tasks" is more appropriate. This answer will go a long way to determine your interview outcome and shape your career.
4. How Would You Describe Your Dream Company Culture?
Of all HR interview questions, there are several reasons why this is an important question for an HR manager candidate. For example, it gives you a chance to identify your skills and elaborate on the specific tools and resources you'll need to succeed in your work environment and manage a team as a new employee.
It is helpful when evaluating if the organization you're interviewing with is a good match with regard to your ideal company culture. It is also a fantastic place to begin when discussing how you'd change the workplace and the company's culture.
5. How Do You Feel About Job Slayings as an HR Professional?
In any company, making difficult decisions is a common occurrence in human resources. For example, it includes team layoffs and cost reduction efforts, like firings, which are both bad news for employees. That's not the best place to begin as an HR manager. However, you will first have to identify challenges faced by new employees as well as older employees.
In the case of underperforming employees, a performance management system involving skills review may become precisely what the doctor ordered. A moment comes when you must let an employee leave for the company's sake. It's crucial to let your future employer know that you realize that when that doesn't work out or employees do anything terrible, you will, then, become ready to do what is required of you.
6. Describe When You Had to Deal With a Challenging Employer, HR Manager, Boss, or Colleague.
Regardless of the management position, this is one of the common interview questions, and showing successful conflict resolution in the HR interview, is vital to the hiring manager as an incoming Human Resource manager. Learning about resolving complicated human resources disputes, as one between worker and upper-level management conflicts, is quite challenging.
To answer this question, describe a past experience as a team member and the exact actions you took to solve a challenging circumstance, like creating a job description. You can also tell how you demonstrated level-headedness and the outcomes you achieved for the organization. It will not just impress your hiring managers but will also portray you as a top talent.
7. Describe a Situation in Your Life When You Had to Depart From a Policy.
A company's mission statement is aimed at guiding employees on what they should do and how they should do. It plays a crucial role for any HR position and is directly related to the broad company policies. As a candidate, it's important to identify what the company stands for and overall company policies.
However, establishing and enforcing rules and procedures in an organization doesn't imply they are a firm part of HR policy. This question requires you as a candidate to explain why and how you chose to deviate from the company norm and how that choice influenced future policy.
Keep in mind that this is a tricky question that will determine your career path. Although you might have differing opinions as to how to deal with employee grievance, the first step is to ensure to know what the current company requires of its team members and what the current position will require you to handle the policies.
As a candidate, interviewer will put your policy handling skills to a test. Therefore, make sure to explain how you will handle policies whenever your team does not perform as required. This means that as a candidate, you must become aware of how you can resolve employee misconduct with regard to departing from company policy.
8. How Do You Handle an Unethical Scenario in Your Life? What Examples Can You Give?
Not everyone is competent enough to handle unethical behavior on the part of of your team members or company. A human resources manager should know what to do if they ever encounter such a situation. A person can't handle an HR job position if they can't handle unpleasant situations.
Interview skills enable employers to evaluate the competencies of all the candidates by asking questions that can dig deep into the candidate's past. A question like this can help an employer analyze what skill set they need and whether the candidate has those skills or not.
Although expected, when it comes to human resources, sometimes it's not easy to speak up for what's right. Unlike other interview questions, answering this question in an interview process is pretty difficult, and most candidates fail to answer it in the correct way.
For this question, you can't just speak about your personal experiences with unethical behavior during the interview; you must give an example of a moment when you took the first step to stop it either in the company you worked for or any other job. Think about a hypothetical issue and how you would handle it if you don't have any relevant personal experience to contribute. After that, go ahead to give an example of a team scenario in your job and how you can handle it.
9. If You Were Interviewing Me, What Question Would You Consider Asking Me?
For HR professionals, getting the chance to ask an interview question or ask for an example answer is challenging and possible gate pass to the job as well. It is another chance for you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company to which you are applying.
You may show your grasp of their existing pain issues pertaining to the job by asking questions that indicate a knowledge of the sort of applicants they require as well as knowledge of the latest news, such as cost reduction techniques in an HR role.
Depending on the company's goals, you may want to inquire about the candidate's skills with analytics and reporting. Is it still a mystery to you? To earn a memorable example answer from a recruiter, ask one of these weird interview questions. Make sure to explain why it's essential to the job and the company.
10. How Will Human Resources Departments Change in the Next Few Years as a Result of These Trends?
Every field is revolutionizing with time. So does the human resource department. Evaluating the trends is vital for HR managers for better management. If you've worked in human resources for a while, chances are you have some ideas about where the field is going.
Showing that you are up-to-date on the latest tech sector research and discoveries is always beneficial for candidates. Consider citing your favorite human resource periodicals, trade publications, and conferences. As Glassdoor Senior Economist points out, a few key themes for 2020 include transparency, artificial intelligence, and diversity and inclusion.
Many candidates fail at this question because of a lack of proper research skills. Keep in mind that HR is a versatile field, and knowing how trends will shift will determine your career progress as a human resources manager.
Above we have provided a list of HR manager interview questions with answers that you can look upon to prepare for your interview.
Before going to interview, we recommend you to upskill your knowledge on the HR manager skills and duties. You can enroll in our course for that. Upskilling is mandatory in this dynamic world, thus the more accurate and advanced knowledge you have, the higher are the chances for you to secure the seat.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an 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.