8 Most Common Questions for Human Resource Professionals

8 Most Common Questions for Human Resource Professionals

As a HR professional, you may be more used to asking the questions than answering them. But when you are searching for a new job or breaking into the industry you need to know the proper answers for the questions that you get asked. Lucky for you we have the 8 most common questions asked at interviews for HR executives ready for you.

What are you waiting for? Read on to learn the best answers. 

1. What do you think is the role of an HR department?

This is a technical question. The interviewer is trying to gauge your understanding of human resources and how much experience you have in the field. Be concise and clear in your answer without being too technical so that you show your knowledge but can prove that you have a deep understanding rather than reciting a textbook.  

Sample Answer:

The HR department is responsible for many things including recruitment, training, payroll and dispute settlement to name a few. The primary function of the department is to ensure that the needs of the employees are being met and that they achieve a high level of job-satisfaction.

2. Are you a team player?

HR is the one department where you are required to interact with other company employees. This question assesses whether you are able to work within both your own team and the entire organization. 

Sample Answer:

I am experienced in working with a team. From a young age, I have played many team sports and therefore prefer to work in a team rather than alone. I'm comfortable working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and I'm always open to adjusting my approach to ensure the team's success because I recognize the importance of adaptability. When conflicts arise, I look at them as opportunities for growth and understanding. I actively listen to others' concerns, and I've often been able to help find resolutions that benefit the entire team.

3. In your opinion, which function of HR is the most important?

As an HR executive, you know, THIS IS A TRAP. Every function of HR is important and choosing one over the other is a big mistake and signals to the recruiter that you are not as experienced in HR as they believe.  

Sample Answer:

I don’t think any function is more important than the others. In my career, I have had experience in overall HR functions and most specified area which I have worked with the Talent Acquisition and Recruitment' function of HR, but I believe that it is just one of the many cogs that make HR stronger rather than an important function.

4. How would your current and previous managers describe you?

This is a chance for you to show the recruiter how truthful you can be. Your answer doesn’t have to say that you are perfect but that you acknowledge how you are perceived by other employees.  

Sample Answer:

In my previous employment, my manager nominated me for the title of most efficient worker. This is because I created a system of organization that ensured that I completed my work in a timely manner while still maintaining the standards of the organization.

5. Tell me about an HR policy that you implemented.

This can be a chance for you to show off your knowledge and the value that you will add to the company.  You can also display the skills that you have learnt and prove that you are the right fit with the answer that you give to this question.

Sample Answer:

At my present company, I designed a policy that proposed a weekly team building tea-break. Once a week, all members of the team were to get together and have tea or coffee together in order to create bonds within the team. The company decided to implement it for a three-month trial run. Within the first two months of the policy being implemented, all teams had increased productivity by 10%. In addition, after fifteen months, it was discovered that employee turnover had decreased by over 30%.

6. What HRIS systems have you used?

A common question at interviews, this helps recruiters to understand the types of software that you are familiar with and whether you will require any training after you join. It also speaks of your experience with technology.

Sample Answer:

I've had the opportunity to work with a variety of HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) systems in my previous roles. I'm familiar with systems like Workday, Paycor, and Zenefits. These platforms allowed me to manage employee data, streamline administrative processes, track performance reviews, probation confirmations, track leaves, resignations and generate insightful reports. I'm adaptable when it comes to learning new systems and technology, and I'm confident in my ability to effectively utilize HRIS to enhance HR operations.

7. What do you know about equality and diversity regulations?

This is an important question. Your knowledge of the laws and employment regulations of the country, state etc. should be supported by accreditation or courses so that you can prove that you are up-to-date and fully aware. You also need to prove commitment to following the ideals that you need to practice.

Sample Answer:

For my bachelor's degree, one of the prerequisites for graduation was to follow a course on the labor laws of the country. In addition, I decided to supplement my studies by following an optional course related to discrimination and legal redress for it so that I would be fully prepared for my career in HR.

8. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?

Being in HR, you need to know how to handle people and sometimes, people have conflicts. It is your job to de-escalate the situation. The best way to answer is to talk about a situation that you have experienced in a previous workplace or if you don’t have one, you can talk about how you would handle the situation.  

Sample Answer:

Handling workplace conflicts requires a balanced approach that respects all parties involved. I begin by actively listening to each perspective to understand the underlying issues. Then, I facilitate a calm and private discussion, encouraging open communication to uncover common ground and potential solutions. If needed, I involve higher management.
My goal is to reach a resolution that respects everyone's concerns while maintaining a positive work environment. Additionally, I believe in addressing conflicts proactively through clear communication and fostering a culture of open dialogue, which can prevent many conflicts from escalating.
As a very recent incident, There was a conflict between one of the employees and their supervisor regarding the paternity leave. The employee wanted to take one month of paid paternity leave, but their manager was unwilling to grant the employee so much leave. The contract of the employee stated that he was entitled only to a week. After a conversation with the employee, I discovered that his wife was carrying twins which is why he requested the paternity leave to be a month so he could help her care for the children. Through an open dialogue with the manager, I secured a compromise from the two parties so that the employee received two weeks paternity leave.

You probably know all the questions that might be asked at an interview, but a little refresher never hurt anyone. Check our article on the most common interview questions and then look at our guide to the different types of interviews so that you are prepared for your next interview.

You can also check out our career guides blog for helpful resume hints that will make your resume stand out.