Interview

20 HR Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a HR manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Every company, whether it has 10 employees or 10,000, needs someone in charge of HR. That’s where HR managers come in. They’re responsible for overseeing the hiring process, onboarding new employees, administering payroll, and ensuring that company policies are being followed. They also play a role in employee retention by developing and administering programs that encourage employees to stay with the company.

If you’re interviewing for an HR manager job, you’ll need to be prepared to answer a range of questions about your experience, knowledge, and understanding of HR policies and procedures. You’ll also need to be ready to discuss your ability to handle difficult situations and navigate complex relationships.

To help you get ready for your interview, we’ve put together a list of common HR manager interview questions and answers.

What makes you qualified for this position?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and how it relates to this position. When answering, be sure to highlight any experience you have that directly correlates with what the company is looking for in an HR manager.

Example: “I believe my previous work experience makes me qualified for this role. I’ve worked as an HR generalist for five years now, which has given me plenty of time to develop my skills and knowledge of best practices when it comes to hiring and onboarding employees. Additionally, I think my communication skills make me a good fit for this role. Throughout my career, I’ve learned how important it is to communicate effectively with others, and I feel confident that I can do so with all members of the team.”

How much experience do you have in human resources?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and how it relates to this role. If you have experience in human resources, share what that experience was like. If you don’t have any HR experience, talk about other work experiences that relate to this job.

Example: “I’ve been working as an HR manager for five years now. I started out as an HR assistant where I learned all of the basics of human resources. After two years, I became an HR specialist where I worked with employees on their concerns and questions. Now, I’m ready to take on a larger team.”

What is your greatest strength as a leader?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you view yourself as a leader. It also helps them determine if your strengths align with their expectations for an HR manager. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about which skills you use most often in your role and what has helped you succeed in previous positions.

Example: “My greatest strength as a leader is my ability to communicate clearly with others. I find that many misunderstandings happen because of unclear communication, so I make sure to always speak clearly and concisely when talking with employees or other managers. This skill has helped me resolve conflicts between coworkers and ensure everyone understands company policies.”

What is your favorite part about working in HR?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how you feel about your job. It also helps them understand what motivates you in your career. When answering this question, think of one or two things that are most important to you about working in HR.

Example: “My favorite part about working in HR is helping people find their purpose at work. I love when someone comes into my office with questions about their career path and we end up having an hour-long conversation about all the different options they have for moving forward. I enjoy being able to give advice and support to employees who may be unsure of their next steps.”

What is your approach to hiring new employees?

Hiring new employees is one of the most important responsibilities for an HR manager. Employers ask this question to learn more about your hiring process and how you ensure that you’re bringing in qualified candidates who will be a good fit for their company culture. In your answer, explain what steps you take when reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. Explain that you want to make sure you hire people who are honest, hardworking and eager to learn.

Example: “I start by reading through job applications thoroughly. I look at each resume and cover letter to see if they meet our qualifications. If so, I then schedule them for an interview with me or another member of my team. During the interview, I try to get to know the candidate better as a person. I also ask questions about their professional experience and skills. After the interview, I review their answers and decide whether or not to offer them the position.”

What is your approach to giving feedback?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your communication skills. They want to know how you give constructive feedback and support employees through their development. Use examples from past experiences where you helped employees improve their performance or develop new skills.

Example: “I find that giving regular feedback is the best way to help employees grow in their roles. I meet with my team members at least once a quarter for one-on-one meetings, which gives us time to discuss their goals and progress toward achieving them. We also use these meetings as an opportunity to talk about any challenges they’re facing and ways we can overcome them. This approach has worked well for me in the past because it allows me to get to know each employee on a personal level while helping them achieve their professional goals.”

How would you improve the culture of our workplace?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your leadership skills and how you can improve the workplace for employees. Use examples from previous roles where you implemented changes that improved employee morale or productivity.

Example: “I would start by having a meeting with all of the employees to get their input on what they like about the company culture and what they want to change. I would then use their feedback to create an action plan for improving the company’s culture, including setting goals for each department and creating measurable objectives for myself as the HR manager. After implementing these changes, I would regularly check in with employees to see if there are any additional ways I can improve the company culture.”

How would you define success in this role?

This question can help the interviewer understand your goals and expectations for this role. It’s important to define success in a way that aligns with the company’s values, but it’s also beneficial to include personal elements like career development or professional growth.

Example: “Success as an HR manager is measured by how well I support my team members and ensure they’re happy and productive at work. I believe that if employees are supported and feel valued, then they’ll be more likely to provide excellent customer service and achieve their own professional goals. In my last role, we implemented several initiatives to improve employee satisfaction, including training programs and flexible scheduling options. As a result, our turnover rate decreased by 20%.”

What motivates you?

This question can help the interviewer understand what drives you to succeed. Your answer should show that you are motivated by challenges and personal growth. You can also mention a specific goal or accomplishment that helped motivate you in your previous role.

Example: “I am motivated by helping others achieve their goals. I find it rewarding when I can provide guidance or resources to someone who needs them. In my last position, I had an employee who was struggling with balancing work and family life. They were looking for some advice on how to manage their time better. I gave them some tips and resources they could use to improve their situation. A few weeks later, they thanked me for our conversation because they felt more confident about managing their responsibilities.”

What do you know about local labor laws?

Employers ask this question to make sure you’re familiar with the laws in your area. They want to know that you can follow local labor laws and keep your company out of trouble. Before your interview, research any recent changes to local labor laws. Make sure you understand how they apply to your job as an HR manager.

Example: “I’m very familiar with the current state and federal labor laws. I also stay up-to-date on any new legislation or regulations. For example, recently there was a change to the minimum wage law in my state. As an HR manager, it’s important for me to know these things so I can ensure our employees are being paid fairly. It’s also my responsibility to make sure we’re following all other labor laws.”

What would you change about our company if you could?

This question is a way for the interviewer to see how you would implement change in their organization. It’s important to be respectful of your potential employer, so make sure that any changes you mention are positive ones.

Example: “I think one thing I would change about this company is the onboarding process. When new employees start here, they have to fill out several forms and attend multiple training sessions before they can begin working on projects. If I were an employee, I’d want to get started right away, so I would try to find ways to integrate more training into my workday or allow them to complete some paperwork online.”

What are some strategies you use to meet deadlines?

Meeting deadlines is an important part of being an HR manager. Employers ask this question to make sure you can meet their company’s deadlines and keep the department running smoothly. Use your answer to explain how you plan ahead, manage your time and stay organized.

Example: “I always try to start my work early so I have plenty of time to complete it. I also use a calendar app on my phone to schedule all of my appointments and meetings. This helps me stay organized and ensures that I don’t miss any important dates or events. Another strategy I use is delegating tasks to other employees. For example, if I need to finish something by the end of the day but one of my team members needs more time, I’ll give them some of my work so they can get theirs done.”

How do you handle conflict in the workplace?

HR managers often need to resolve workplace conflicts. Employers ask this question to learn how you handle interpersonal challenges and ensure employees feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns. In your answer, explain what steps you take to help people resolve their differences. Share a specific example of a time when you helped two coworkers work through a conflict.

Example: “I believe that resolving conflict is an important part of my job as an HR manager. I always encourage employees to come to me if they have any issues or disagreements with other team members. When someone comes to me with a problem, I first try to understand both sides of the issue. Then, I meet with each person separately to discuss their concerns. After hearing both sides, I try to find a compromise that makes everyone happy.”

What would you do if an employee refused to follow your instructions?

This question can help the interviewer assess your leadership skills and how you would handle a challenging situation. In your answer, try to show that you are willing to take action when needed and that you respect authority.

Example: “If an employee refused to follow my instructions, I would first make sure that they understood what was expected of them. If they still refused, I would hold a meeting with them and their manager to discuss the issue. I would also speak with other HR managers who have experience handling similar situations for advice on how to proceed.”

How do you prioritize your work?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach your work and determine which tasks are most important. You can answer this question by describing a time when you had to prioritize your work, such as in an HR manager role, and explain why you chose those tasks over others.

Example: “I always start my day with checking emails and voicemails from employees and managers. This is usually the first thing I do because it’s important for me to respond to any urgent questions or concerns right away. After that, I check my calendar to see what meetings I have scheduled for the day. Then, I look at my task list to decide which projects I want to focus on during the day.”

How would you use collaboration to help the company succeed?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you use teamwork to achieve success. Use examples from your experience of working with other departments or teams to support a company’s goals and objectives.

Example: “I believe that collaboration is an important part of achieving success in any organization, so I make it a priority to work with all employees to ensure they have access to resources and information they need to do their jobs well. In my previous role as HR manager, I worked with managers across different departments to create training programs for new hires. This helped me develop relationships with other leaders and learn more about what each department needed to succeed.”

Have you ever fired someone?

This question can be a bit tricky, as it’s important to show you’re capable of making tough decisions while still maintaining the trust and respect of your employees. When answering this question, it can be helpful to focus on how you handled the situation in a way that helped the employee improve their performance or find another job.

Example: “In my last role as HR manager, I had to fire an employee who was consistently late to work. While I understood his reasons for being late, he wasn’t able to change his behavior after multiple warnings. After firing him, I offered to help him find another job by giving him a recommendation and helping him update his resume.”

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why?

This question is a way for the interviewer to get to know you as a person. They want to see if you are passionate about your work and what drives you. This is also an opportunity to show off your knowledge of history or people who have made significant contributions to society.

Example: “I would love to meet Abraham Lincoln. He was such a brilliant man, and I think he had some great ideas that could help our country today. His leadership skills were incredible, and I think we could learn a lot from him.”

How would you adjust our recruiting process?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you would use your experience to improve their company’s recruiting process. Use examples from previous positions where you helped implement changes that improved a company’s hiring practices and procedures.

Example: “I noticed in my last position that we were having trouble finding qualified candidates for open positions, so I worked with our team to create a more effective job posting strategy. We started using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to reach out to professionals who might be interested in working at our company. This change led to an increase in applications by 20%, which allowed us to find better-qualified employees.”

What trends will shape Human Resource departments over the next five years?

This question allows you to show your knowledge of the industry and how it’s changing. It also gives you an opportunity to talk about what skills you have that will help you adapt to these changes.

Example: “I believe artificial intelligence, automation and robotics will continue to change the way we work. I’m excited by this because I think it means HR departments will need fewer employees who are focused on compliance and more employees who can use data analysis and human resources expertise to make decisions. This is why I chose to get my master’s in business analytics so I could bring those skills to my current role.”

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