2022

50+ HR Specialist Interview Questions

Looking for human resources specialist Interview questions and some tips to answer them? We’ve provided some of the most asked HR specialist interview questions and some tactics that you can adapt to pitch the recruiters and compel them into hiring you for the role. 

An HR specialist is an entry-level HR role that demands strong knowledge and grip on most basic HR functions like recruitment, onboarding, orienting, payroll processing, and other basic yet mandatory processes that keeps an HR department going. 

This article covers:

  • The internal interview process for the HR Specialist role
  • HR Specialist interview questions
  • Tips to answer human resources specialist interview questions

Let’s dive in. 

What Does an HR Specialist Interview Process Look Like?

The generic internal interview process for an HR specialist’s role is not much technical, here’s how it goes:

  1. Job applicants submit their job applications
  2. HR professionals review and screens the applications and call the selected candidate for an introductory interview
  3. Applications are filtered out based on the initial interview’s response
  4. Selected candidates are invited for a technical interview
  5. The hiring manager sends the offer letter to the most suitable candidate after an executive’s meeting

HR Specialist Interview Questions

No matter what kind of organizations and industries are out there, the HR department exists in all of them. So is the case with HR specialists, they exist everywhere. 

You can find more than two thousand interview questions on Glassdoor, but obviously, it is hard for you to go through each of them. This is why we have compiled some of the most genuine and authentic questions in multiple categories for your ease that recruiters and interviewers collectively ask for an HR specialist’s role. 

If you’re new to the HR field and looking to master the mandatory HR specialist skills from HR experts themselves, then don’t hesitate to check out our top-rated human resources certifications:

Human Resources Certifications

Technical Questions

For an HR specialist’s seat, technical questions are mostly asked by hiring managers. In general, there’s no secret way to master these technical questions if you don’t have prior knowledge of the technical details of the role. 

The technical questions for an HR specialist’s role revolve around the technical HR processes like onboarding, employee training, payrolling, talent hunting, human resources software management, and others. Thus, you must have sound HR skills to make sure you correctly answer questions from this section. 

Here are some technical HR questions a recruiter may ask you for an HR specialist’s role:

  • What are the challenges you reckon behind the onboarding process?
  • What’s the calculation formula for turnover rates
  • How do you perceive and evaluate team performance?
  • What is your experience with diverse employee training?
  • How do you implement A/B testing?
  • Do you know about SAP?
  • What’s the procedure for payrolling?
  • How do you implement headhunting?
  • How do you leverage KPI?
  • What is your comprehension of the early childhood learning industry?

Keep in mind that the questions’ statements may vary, however, the gist will remain the same. Thus, it is good to stay up to date with the technical HR knowledge and requirements for the employer brand.

Problem-Solving Questions

Problem-solving skills are crucial for an HR specialist’s role as they encounter the problems more often than any other role in the department. Thus, make sure you make your proper research to prepare such questions that demand problem-solving skills. 

Here are some insights into what actual problem-solving questions look like for an HR specialist’s role:

  • Tell me about a time when online campaigns didn’t go as planned. How did you overcome such problems?
  • How will you make yourself fit into our company culture if you were from a very opposite background?
  • What would be the solid actions you’ll make after the identification of a critical issue?
  • What sort of information would you include in creating a job description or a public forecast for our organization’s hiring needs?
  • How would you solve the issue of the correct organization promotion in the job description?
  • Do you know about any tactics to improve the workforces’ work-life balance with a compensation and employee benefit scheme?

The question can vary and have a broad scope, thus a sound grip on HR knowledge and an amazing IQ with brilliant problem-solving skills is mandatory to successfully answer questions from this section.

Situational Questions

Most hiring managers prefer to confuse the candidate with such unrealistic situations to judge how they perform in unexpected work situations. The same is the case with human resource specialists. In general, situational questions are not role-specific, they can range on different topics. One of the best practices to learn to answer these questions is to research on the internet about multiple situational questions and answers. 

HR Specialist Responsibilities

Here we have provided a few situational questions that interviewers ask HR specialists: 

  • Tell us about a situation when you successfully managed to convince two employees with conflicting views into one agreement?
  • How would you respond to a junior employee or your co-worker who criticized and objectified you?
  • How would you act if your previous employer offered a double salary to get you back?
  • What would you do if your manager unknowingly forces you to break the company rules?

There can be a hundred more situational questions, but since all those cannot be stated here, we have gathered some so you can get an idea of what they look like. The original questions can vary, however, the gist to assess the skills is the same. 

Strategical Questions

Although the HR specialist’s role is not highly strategical, interviews can ask such questions to assess your strategic skills. The context for these strategic questions mainly revolves around the human resources processes and programs. 

Here’s provided a few strategical questions that interviewers asked from candidates for an HR specialist’s role:

  • Tell us about the strategy with which you convince the executive and upper-level management regarding your ideas?
  • How do you build better-performing strategies?
  • How do you manage to perform with high efficiency in a fast-paced work environment?
  • How would you design and implement a leadership competent framework?
  • What emerging learning trends would you believe will do miracles in the HR field?
  • What are the biggest challenges an organization faces in recruiting the right talent?
  • With what strategy would you redo a company policy on parental leave?

 

Make sure you learn about how the strategies and technical processes go in the human resources department. 

HR Related Questions

HR questions are the most obvious for a human resources specialist’s role. These questions revolve around the HR processes like recruitment drives, employee onboarding, human resource database, employee records, and payrolling structures. Sound knowledge of HR processes is mandatory to successfully answer these questions.

Have a look at these questions interviewers asked candidates for an HR specialist’s role:

  • How do you identify HR trends?
  • What is your knowledge of the successful onboarding process?
  • How do you perceive pension legislation?
  • What do you think an open house recruitment drive goes like?
  • What is your knowledge regarding payrolling structures?
  • How do you perceive an employee benefit and compensation plan?
  • What are employee records maintained for?

It is necessary to have complete knowledge of how a human resource department works to successfully answer the questions relevant to the HR sector. 

Analytical Questions

Analytical skills are a must-have requirement for an HR specialist’s role. By asking analytical questions, an interviewer assesses how much value you can turn to the organization with your skills. Moreover, good analytical skills also boost your chances for career progression. Have a look at what sort of analytical questions you can be asked in an HR specialist’s role?

Steps to become an HR Specialist

  • How do you analyze a set of employee data?
  • What strategy would you adopt to bring up and high a low-level performer?
  • How would you decompose a set of analytical data for someone who is not familiar with the technical statistics and figures?
  • Tell me about a time when you conducted a full analysis to automate and develop an HR program?
  • How do you contribute your analysis for employee development?
  • How do you write performance reviews that add value to the organization?

With analytical questions, interviewers also assess your technical skills, thus good HR skills are mandatory to successfully answer questions from this section. 

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions allow an interviewer to judge whether you are flexible enough to work with productivity or not. Moreover, behavioral questions allow the interviewer to assess how willing and interested you are in the HR specialism. 

Such questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but you need to make sure your answer is neutral and the best too. 

Here are some typical behavioral questions interviewers ask an HR specialist job interview:

  • How do you make sure that the organization’s employees comply with the work policies?
  • Describe a situation when an employee or a group of employees didn’t go with the company policies, and how you handled that critical situation and made the employees understand?
  • How do you perceive regulatory issues and challenges in the workspace? 
  • How do you cope with legal labor laws changes?
  • Describe a situation when you successfully resolved differences and conflicts between employees and senior management.
  • Give me an insight into you perfectly skilled you think you are for this HR specialist role?
  • How do you deal with a tough client?
  • How do you keep your workspace and yourself organized?
  • Would you be willing to go for robot training before the actual job starts?
  • How do you know you’re doing the best?

Think before you answer, and make sure your answer is short, not too opinionated but truly a problem solver that pitches the interviewer into hiring you for the role. 

Bottom Line

You can always research further on websites like Glassdoor to get an idea of what sort of questions you should expect for this role. But, make sure that you have the desired skills and abilities required as an HR specialist. 

It is always appreciated to upskill your knowledge by enrolling in HR certifications to stay up to date with advanced HR knowledge. Try giving mock interviews, and work on your communications skills to make sure you win that HR specialist’s job.

 


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR Specialist position, 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 an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after Human Resources Specialist job.

 

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.