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HR Director Interview Questions

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  1. What is your understanding of the Family and Medical Leave Act and how will you apply that to our organization? See answer
  2. How would you react if a labor union representative wants to set up a meeting with you? See answer
  3. If the economy is in a recession, how would you adjust our organization’s hiring policies? See answer
  4. What is your knowledge of the current federal and state overtime laws? See answer
  5. How does an organization’s talent acquisition policies interact with long-term strategic planning? See answer
  6. Your company experiences a high employee turnover rate. What is your process for investigating possible causes and implementing solutions? See answer
  7. What technologies do you use to maintain updated employee records?
  8. Which HR leadership roles have you held in the past that make you qualified for a position as an HR director?
  9. What’s your proudest achievement as an HR director or another role? Can you provide details about how your achievement helped your employer?
  10. Have you ever had to hire an HR manager? What criteria did you use to determine their capabilities in leading the HR department?
  11. How would you revise our current system for collecting and investigating employee complaints?
  12. As an HR director at our company, how would you use our mission statement and company values in employee training programs? Which of our values resonate with you the most?
  13. How would you define the role of the human resource department within an organization?
  14. What industries do you have experience working in as an HR director?
  15. Have you ever had to maintain discretion about confidential company information or events? What examples can you provide?
  16. The HR manager calls in sick, but a series of candidate interviews will take place today. What do you do?
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6 HR Director Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What is your understanding of the Family and Medical Leave Act and how will you apply that to our organization?

A:

Since your HR director will be in charge of planning your organization’s human resource policies and talent acquisition trajectory, it is imperative that they thoroughly understand the laws relevant to hiring and taking leave to ensure that your organization is in compliance with the law. It is important that your HR director has the necessary knowledge of applicable laws that relate to your company. What to look for in an answer:

  • High level of understanding of FMLA’s regulations
  • Knowledge of how the law applies to your organization
  • Strong communication skills
Example:

“FMLA deals with granting employees and their family members with serious health conditions a sufficient amount of time off, so the organization will need to have clear policies and implementation on how to identify employees eligible for this type of leave.”

Q:

How would you react if a labor union representative wants to set up a meeting with you?

A:

Depending on the industry that your organization operates in, some or most of your employees may be part of a union. As such, it is important that your HR director is comfortable dealing with representatives from the unions that represent employees. This may include both normal visits to communicate about any ongoing union needs as well as potential meetings that may arise due to conflicts about policies. Your candidate should be well-versed in labor laws and capable of negotiating on your organization’s behalf. What to look for in an answer:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Clear understanding of state labor laws
  • Past experience dealing with labor unions
Example:

“I would inquire why the union representative is setting up the meeting. If the representative wants to settle any grievances, I would refresh my memory on labor laws to ensure my organization is in the best possible position for negotiations.”

Q:

If the economy is in a recession, how would you adjust our organization’s hiring policies?

A:

Your company will likely operate in times when the economy is not performing quite as well, but you will still need to hire and retain the best possible talent. A prospective HR director should be prepared to explain how they would align your organization’s hiring policies during a recession and be prepared to dismiss non-performing employees. What to look for in an answer:

  • Clear strategy for hiring or firing during a recession
  • Explanation of how to deal with letting employees go
  • Ability to stay calm in stressful situations
Example:

“I would first plan to hire fewer employees during the next hiring season and work to retain our existing talent before attempting to let any employees go. When employees need to be terminated, I will provide checks and balances to ensure the termination process is smooth for the company and the employee.”

Q:

What is your knowledge of the current federal and state overtime laws?

A:

Your candidate should be familiar with federal overtime laws and the classifications of employees that are protected under those overtime laws. Secondly, they should understand the different state and local overtime laws that apply to your organization as some United States regions have passed additional rules and regulations for employees eligible to claim overtime pay. What to look for in an answer:

  • Identifies applicable overtime laws
  • Outlines a strategy for ensuring overtime law compliance
  • Strong communication skills
Example:

“I have studied and am well-versed in federal and state overtime laws. For example, federal and Connecticut overtime laws that mandate all non-exempt workers must be compensated at one and a half times their hourly pay rate for all hours worked over forty hours a week.”

Q:

How does an organization’s talent acquisition policies interact with long-term strategic planning?

A:

Your HR director will need to align your firm’s hiring policies with the organization’s long-term growth trajectory. For instance, if the company is looking to begin selling a new line of goods or services, your candidate will need to be able to correctly adjust the firm’s talent policy to bring on new members to the marketing and operating teams to support the new strategy. As such, you will need to look for someone who has a strong sense of business strategy in addition to familiarity with hiring. What to look for in an answer:

  • A clear outline of how talent and business strategy intermingle
  • Strong understanding of business fundamentals
  • Strong use of logic and communication skills
Example:

“Talent acquisition is the base of all business strategies. Hiring policies need to ensure that an organization is able to add members to its fastest-growing departments to support business needs.”

Q:

Your company experiences a high employee turnover rate. What is your process for investigating possible causes and implementing solutions?

A:

HR directors are responsible for implementing policies or procedural changes that promote employee productivity, talent acquisition or employee satisfaction. Their ability to identify patterns in employee behaviors allows them to make necessary changes that promote low turnover rates. This question helps interviewers determine a candidate's ability to investigate causes for high turnover rates and institute change. A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Commitment to improving employee satisfaction
  • Investigative skills
  • Proactive mindset
Here is one example of a quality candidate answer:
Example:

"First, I would look to see which departments the employees worked for. If they all worked for one department, I could isolate the problem to that area. If not, I would look through their exit interviews to see if there were common complaints or explanations for leaving. If I discovered, for example, that a number of employees complained about an uneven work-life balance, I would send out anonymous polls to company employees to gauge their thoughts on work-life balance and their needs."

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