If you work in human resources and are seeking an opportunity to move to a management position, consider practicing your interview skills. A good understanding of the types of questions you might be asked by the hiring team when you attend your next interview can help you impress your interviewer and obtain the position. In this article, we provide some sample questions and answers to adequately prepare you for an HR manager interview.
General HR manager interview questions
The following are examples of general questions you can expect during a job interview for an HR manager position:
- What do you like most about working in human resources?
- Can you give a short description of an ideal HR workplace for you?
- What are your future goals as an HR employee?
- What made you consider HR as a profession?
- What questions would you ask me if you were the interviewer?
- What do you see as a major event, trend or change that will change human resources in the next five years?
- Who is your mentor in the human resources field?
- What human resources subjects interested you the most during your college days?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Can you describe the reasons you think you are the best fit for the HR manager position in our company?
HR manager interview questions about experience and background
The following are examples of HR manager interview questions that may be asked about your work experience and background:
- Can you describe your management style?
- As an HR manager, what qualities do you possess that will help you drive results in our company?
- Describe a tough experience you had with a colleague or a manager and how you handled it.
- What educational background do you have that qualifies you for this HR position in our company?
- How many years of experience do you have in HR?
- What experience do you have leading a project team as an HR manager?
- How versatile are you working with software systems in HR?
- What experience do you have handling conflict in an organization?
- How have you coped leading a hiring team? Describe a practical experience.
In-depth HR manager interview questions
Here are some common in-depth interview questions that you are likely to encounter during your next HR manager interview:
- What can you tell us about job elimination based on your work experience in HR?
- Have you ever deviated from the company's policy while carrying out your duties as an HR employee?
- Have you dealt with an unethical situation in your previous roles? If you have, share an example.
- How have you handled cost reduction efforts as an HR employee?
- As an HR employee, how do you deal effectively with challenges within a team you are leading?
- Have you handled or led a team comprised of workers from different backgrounds? If you have, can you share your experience with us?
- How do you win the cooperation of members of a team you are leading?
- What is your recruiting strategy as an HR employee?
HR manager interview questions with sample answers
The following are examples of answers to common HR manager interview questions:
- How would your current and previous managers describe you?
- What is the difference between a group and a team? Do you consider yourself a team player?
- What experience do you have with cost reduction efforts?
- Have you ever led a project team, and have you ever addressed a dysfunction within a team?
- How do you ensure members of a team you are leading work together as a unit and also cooperate with you on the project?
- What is your recruiting approach, and how do you find gifted job applicants?
- How have you handled conflicts within a project team you are leading?
How would your current and previous managers describe you?
With this question, your interviewer is testing how honest you are in giving an explanation of what your employers think about you and your performance.
Example: “During my last performance appraisal, my manager gave me an exceptional rating. However, if I were to think of one area my boss would say I could improve on, it has to be that I need to relate more closely and effectively with colleagues—especially members of a project team I am part of. I am a naturally shy person, but I have improved significantly on this aspect of my work over the years.”
What is the difference between a group and a team? Do you consider yourself a team player?
This is an important question because you're letting the interviewer know you are comfortable working or leading a team to accomplish projects. As an HR manager, you will have to lead teams and groups to deliver projects.
Example: “Yes I am a team player, and I have worked in a team several times to accomplish projects. The difference between a team and a group is in how they work together to accomplish projects. When two or more people working on a project with a common goal and work together to accomplish the project, they are a team. Several people together not working on a project is a group."
What experience do you have with cost reduction efforts?
With this question, the interviewer wants to see how experienced you are in reducing cost while increasing efficiency and output.
Example: "I have wide-ranging experience with cost reduction with my current and previous employers. On one occasion, I had to carry out adequate market research to discover a training software program for employees at a price that was far lower than the one we were using. This saved the company thousands of dollars and increased employee productivity by 45 percent."
Have you ever led a project team, and have you ever addressed a dysfunction within a team?
The interviewer wants to see how creative you are in providing solutions to problems that come up in the course of working on a project.
Example: “Usually, I try to find a solution by going to the source of the problem. The first thing I do is go back to the original project execution plan and try to see how we deviated from it. If it is an issue of a malfunctioning program, I ensure I get the required professionals to fix it immediately so it will not affect the project timing and schedule.”
How do you ensure members of a team you are leading work together as a unit and also cooperate with you on the project?
This type of interview question is meant to see how you are able to successfully lead a team of different people with different skills to complete the project.
Example: “I ensure members work as a team by clearly specifying each member's role in the team and the relevance of each member to another in the team. I also ensure there are regular meetings to address issues that are coming up in executing the project.
I ensure team members cooperate with me by motivating and inspiring them to put in their best. I also ensure to give adequate commendation to the group as a team.”
What is your recruiting approach? How do you find gifted job applicants?
With this question, the interviewer wants to know how you handle one of the most important job duties of an HR manager. Your hiring approach will show the employer if your approach fits in with their company practices.
Example: “I ensure I hire professionals who have the required skills, experience and education for the job. I also take into consideration what the company is able to offer a new employee who is coming on board. I look for candidates who demonstrate confidence and creativity during the interview process.
To find gifted job candidates, the first step I take is to check the company's job applicant database when it is time to fill a position. I also go online to look for the right candidates by perusing job candidates' resumes on job sites.”
How have you handled conflicts within a project team you are leading?
This is a common HR interview question where the interviewer wants to test your conflict resolution skills, which is a very important skill for an HR manager to possess.
Example: "The first thing I do is identify the cause of the issue. Secondly, I try to bring the concerned parties together for a talk. My counseling skills come into play during the talk so the team can reach a peaceful solution."