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HR Generalist Interview Questions

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  1. Which elements do you consider the most important when creating new Human Resources policies? See answer
  2. In your past position, what attributes did you look for in a potential employee while conducting recruitment practices? See answer
  3. How did you manage sexual harassment claims while working for your previous employer? See answer
  4. What is your procedure for terminating an employee? See answer
  5. Why do you feel 360-degree assessments are a better option for improving a worker’s performance levels? See answer
  6. HR generalists help promote wellness initiatives on our team. Come up with an example of a wellness event or activity that we could implement to boost morale. See answer
  7. Do you feel the role of human resources should be more focused on protecting the company or advocating for employees and why?
  8. What would you do if a manager brought up concerns about members of their team committing time theft?
  9. Have you ever use payroll software to administer pay and manage employee benefits?
  10. What is your ideal procedure for conducting exit interviews and what are the essential questions you ask employees leaving the company?
  11. How do you ensure that everyone at a company understands a new policy update or change in procedure?
  12. HR generalists are responsible for onboarding new employees. How do you make a new employee feel welcome and integrate them with the team?
  13. Do you have experience managing employee assistance programs, either in-house or through a third party provider?
  14. We rely on survey feedback to make improvements to the company and learn about potential issues. How would you incentivize employees to improve response rates to routine satisfaction surveys?
  15. Imagine that a department lead had an outburst where they angrily berated an intern at a meeting. How would you follow up with both the department lead and the intern?
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6 HR Generalist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Which elements do you consider the most important when creating new Human Resources policies?

A:

An HR Generalist who has experience creating HR policies knows what is most important to the workers and your company. They use new policies to manage risks and reduce common liabilities. The candidate explains which elements were most important for their previous employer. Their answer shows you that they understand how to evaluate current policies and improve them for your company and your workers.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience creating HR policies
  • Identification of important worker-related elements of policies
  • Experiencing implementing new HR policies

Example:

“First, it would be important to determine the factors that would most improve benefits packages. Next, I would find out how worker-related injuries are managed to see if improvements can be made there. I would also make open door policies more efficient for at-risk employees.”

Q:

In your past position, what attributes did you look for in a potential employee while conducting recruitment practices?

A:

An HR Generalist should understand how to review an applicant’s work history and skills set and determine if they are the right fit for your company. The candidate will have experience recruiting new talent with appropriate skills. They identify applicants with the best track record and understand how to complete vital work tasks.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience recruiting new workers
  • Intention to evaluate skills sets, work history and knowledge of position
  • Experience mitigating risks when hiring workers

Example:

“I conducted a rigorous screening process where I evaluated the attributes of each applicant’s work history and skills and ensured that they met the employer’s requirements for the position. I tested each skill the candidates claimed to possess and presented real-world scenarios to gauge their abilities.”

Q:

How did you manage sexual harassment claims while working for your previous employer?

A:

Someone who has experience managing sexual harassment claims understands how to protect the employee from further harassment and prevents a hostile work environment. The candidate completes assessments and reports the allegations according to your company’s policies. They understand applicable laws and protect the worker from retaliative actions by their aggressor. Someone who understands the probability of false claims also protects the interests of your company and completes reputation management practices.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience assisting workers who were sexually harassed
  • Understanding of how to enforce company policies
  • Experience protecting the worker and the company

Example:

“I collected information from the alleged victim and followed the proper protocol for reporting the events to the aggressor’s supervisor. I explained to the victim what rights they have and how the company policy protects them from a hostile work environment. I managed the situation appropriately and didn’t discuss the event outside of the workplace to secure the company’s public image.”

Q:

What is your procedure for terminating an employee?

A:

An HR Generalist who has experience firing workers understands circumstances that could arise if the worker becomes disgruntled. They have extensive experience in Human Resources and follow the proper steps for terminating the employee and avoiding potentially dangerous situations. You want an HR generalist that mitigates risks and legal repercussions when terminating employment. Their answer indicates that they have experience and won’t create a liability for your company.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience terminating employment
  • Understanding of the proper protocol for termination
  • Familiarity with employment and discrimination laws

Example:

“I called the employee into my office and explained to them privately the exact reason why they were fired and addressed any questions to prevent misunderstanding. I collected their work-related IDs, keycards and other work-related devices before they left the building. I answered any questions the worker had about continuing insurance coverage after the termination.”

Q:

Why do you feel 360-degree assessments are a better option for improving a worker’s performance levels?

A:

An HR Generalist who uses and understands how to complete 360-degree performance reviews wants to ensure that all workers are living up to their greatest potential. You want a candidate that uses software to collect data about each of your employees. The strategy helps your company streamline employee assessments and completes the tasks faster. A candidate that understands the importance of automation in reviewing employees will save your company time and money.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience using 360-degree reviews
  • Experience completing the reviews without hesitation
  • Understanding of the importance of improving your workers

Example:

“Using 360-degree assessments makes it easier to streamline business practices and increase employee production levels. It is a good alternative to lengthy performance interviews that waste company time and don’t improve the worker’s performance levels.”

Q:

HR generalists help promote wellness initiatives on our team. Come up with an example of a wellness event or activity that we could implement to boost morale.

A:

One of the roles of human resources is to contribute to company culture and support employees through holistic initiatives that address their overall wellbeing. HR generalists should be creative enough to develop fun or educational programs to support their employees. This question helps interviewers identify candidates that can think on their feet and have a good understanding of common wellness issues within the scope of HR.

Strong answers may include:

  • Specific examples of events
  • Getting employee buy-in
  • Focus on impact

Here is one example of a strong response:

Example:

"I always enjoy wellness events that give me a chance to get away from my work and relax, but don't cut into my ability to be productive at work. I'd like to host a mindfulness week where we host a short activity each day right after lunch, like a quick yoga lesson or a brief guided meditation. I'd send out a survey to staff to learn which types of relaxation would help them the most."

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