50+ HR Specialist Interview Questions

Looking for human resources specialist interview questions and some tips to answer them? You’re at the right place.

Here are a few frequently asked HR specialist interview questions and some tactics to follow and pitch the recruiters and compel them into hiring you for the role.

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

This article covers:

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

If you’re interested in learning via video then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

What Does an HR Specialist Interview Process Look Like?

Here’s how the interview process for an HR specialist role goes:

  1. You, as a job applicant, submit your job application
  2. HR professionals review and screen the received applications and call you for an introductory interview
  3. Hiring professionals again filter out applications based on job applicants’ responses to the initial interview
  4. Recruiters then invite selected candidates for a technical interview
  5. The hiring manager sends the offer letter to the most suitable candidate after a meeting with the organization’s executives

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 HR interview questions on Glassdoor, but, it is hard for you to go through each of them. This is why we have compiled some of the most genuine and authentic HR interview questions in multiple categories that recruiters and interviewers 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 certification courses:

Human Resources Certifications

1. Technical Questions

Hiring managers focus on asking technical questions to assess your technical skills. You must exhibit prior knowledge of the technical skills related to the role.

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

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

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

Keep in mind that the questions’ statements will vary, however, the context will always remain the same. Thus, keep yourself up to date with the technical HR skills and requirements mentioned in the HR specialist job description.

2. Problem-Solving Questions

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

HR Operations Specialist 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 are the solid actions you will take after the identification of a critical issue?
  • What sort of information will you include in creating a job description or a public forecast for our organization’s hiring needs?
  • How will you solve the issue of the correct employer brand promotion in the job description?
  • Do you know about any tactics to improve the workforce’s work-life balance with compensation and employee benefit programs?

The question will vary from company to company and have a broad scope, but the context will stay the same. thus sound grip on HR knowledge and excellent problem-solving skills are mandatory to answer questions from this section.

3. Situational Questions

Most hiring managers confuse candidates by inquiring about tough situations to judge how they perform in unexpected and challenging work situations. The same is the case with human resource specialists. In general, situational questions are not role-specific, they 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 are a few situational questions that interviewers ask HR specialists:

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

Practice situational questions as much as you can. When answering these questions, propose a solution that solves the problem as well as benefit the organization.

4. Strategical Questions

Interviews ask strategic questions to assess your strategic skills. The context for these questions revolves around the strategic HR processes and programs.

Here’s provided a few strategic questions that interviewers asked 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 will you design and implement a competent leadership 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 HR department.

5. 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. You must exhibit a sound knowledge of HR processes is mandatory to answer these questions.

Have a look at these HR interview questions interviewers ask 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 answer the questions relevant to the HR sector.

6. 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. 

Steps to become an HR Specialist

Have a look at the types of analytical questions asked in an HR specialist’s role.

  • How do you analyze a set of employee data?
  • What strategy will you adopt to bring up and high a low-level performer?
  • How will 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 answer questions from this section.

7. Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions allow an interviewer to judge your nature and behavior towards certain situations. Moreover, behavioral questions allow the interviewer to assess how willing and interested you are to do your job.

Such HR interview questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but you need to ensure your answer is neutral, smart, and the best.

HR Specialist vs. HR Manager

Here are some typical behavioral questions interviewers ask in a human resources 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 how skilled you think you are for this human resource specialist role.
  • How do you deal with a tough client?
  • How do you keep your workspace and yourself organized?
  • Are you 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, smart, and not too opinionated but a problem solver that pitches the interviewer into hiring you for the role.


HR specialist is indeed a good career choice to proceed with your career in HR. Research further on websites like Glassdoor to understand the type of HR interview questions to expect for this role. But, make sure that you exhibit desired skills and abilities required for a human resource specialist role.

We recommend you continuously upskill your knowledge by enrolling in advanced 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.