As a candidate looking to land a new job, you know that acing the HR interview is a key milestone in your recruitment journey. Depending on the seniority of the role, HR interview rounds could be held either at the very beginning or in the later stages of the recruitment process, and, the interviewer will ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of your motivations and choices as well as your fit with the new role and the company.
Here are some critical questions one will encounter in the HR interview round and we offer tips and suggestions that can help improve the quality of your responses. But before we go further, a quick round-up of ideas tomake a better impression:
- Demonstrate that you have researched and understoodthe organisation’s line of business and market landscape
- Show patience and take time to reflect and respond to questions
- Speak clearly with a calm voice
- Don’t get defensive in the face of difficult questions
- Articulate thoughts and ideas with short, brief points
- Personalise your responses and always stay truthful
- Come across as being enthusiastic, but also realistic
So, good luck with the interview, and read on –
1. Tell us about your key achievements.
It is important to discuss a work achievement that is fairly recent and highlight how effectively skills/understanding/customer centricity was applied to ensure quality delivery. Further,ensure you quantify and explain the efforts that were taken by you/ together with your team to secure these goals, and the value you created for the employer and other stakeholders in the company.
2. Why did you choose to apply with us or for this particular job?
This question mainly helps employers to seek evidence and understand how the candidate skills/personality is suited to the job, and his/her general aptitude for what the role entails.
It is best to answer this question by highlighting how well you understand the role, the organisation’s long-term goals, as well as the compatibility and alignment between the skills and exposure that you have and what it takes to deliver well in the job.
3. Have you been happy with your career so far, would you have liked anything to be different about it?
Responding to this question can seem tricky as it mainly elicits information relating to your success and failures at work and their influence on your self-esteem, confidence, career aspirations and present motivations. It is important to answer this question truthfully and with maturity.
When responding with a Yes – offer a brief explanation and demonstrate ways by which you continue to stay happy and focused at work. If responding with a No – qualify your answer with clear information (citing real situations involving a plateauing career, difficult work environment etc.), and also reflect on the learning generated through it.
4. What has been a difficult situation at work and how did you tackle it?
This question is really aimed at understanding what you have found difficult/ uncomfortable/challenging at work and the way you structure a logical approach to solve the problem and arrive at a resolution. Here, it is important to highlight skills such as problem-solving, positivity and ability to cope with grey areas, discomfort or pressure, as well as explain the logical steps that were taken to manage a difficult situation, and retain goal focus within yourself and the team.
5. What do you like/not like about your present job?
Respond to this question with honesty and respect – highlight the things you like about your current role and ensure these reflect the skills and qualities that will be needed to perform successfully in the role you are interviewing for.
6. What are your key strengths?
Ensure you highlight three or four competencies while responding to the question. It is also important you offer sufficient examples on how you worked them to secure better quality delivery and results at work. The information you share will offer the recruiter better insights on your strengths and preferences, and align you with suitable roles in the organisation.
7. What are you poor at?
Saying ‘none’ or ‘nothing really’ in response to this question comes across as immodest and may act as a barrier to learning at the new organisation – It is important to show a degree of modesty and reflection as you respond, and discuss how you are working through some areas to generate greater learning, as well as finding ways to improve yourself and monitor your progress. It would be great to cite an example wherein one can elaborate areas of improvement that have now been converted to proficient abilities.
8. Why are you looking to leave your current employer?
Do respond to this question by highlighting your need for a new challenge, increased learning and greater responsibility, as well as building value in newer environments.Though money may be a motivator for one to switch jobs, do elaborate on more personal reasons such as looking to exercise or acquire certain skills. It is alright to mention some aspects of your current workplace that need to be more favourable, but avoid being too negative or cynical about it.
9. If we talked to your co-workers, what would they say about you?
This question gauges your comfort and confidence within team situations and establishing positive relationships at work. Respond to it with candour and specify the strengths and the weaknesses that your co-workers may discuss when talking about you.