Congratulations on getting past the first few grueling levels of a job application. You've already got several people on your side who scoured piles of resumes and cover letters and decided yours was worthy of being singled out. While you can breathe a sigh of relief at making it past those initial steps, you still have one of the most important parts of the application process ahead of you. The job interview is where you meet your recruiters and your potential boss, usually for the very first time, and show them why you are the perfect candidate for the job. With a little practice at home and some reading up on the classic interview questions, you should be ready to tackle this meeting. However, there are several HR assistant interview questions you should expect to be asked as well. We've put together a short list to help you familiarize yourself with some prompts that may come your way.
6 HR Assistant Interview Questions & Answers
1. As an HR assistant, you will be tasked with scheduling examinations and coordinating appointments. Do you have experience juggling multiple calendars?
Having worked in office environments before, I have sound experience managing calendars. In the past, I coordinated conference rooms and helped staff arrange standing weekly and monthly meetings. Juggling the schedules of multiple employees versus multiple rooms becomes second nature after years of implementation.
2. You will be asked to provide secretarial support for members of the HR department. Describe how you prioritize tasks that are handed to you.
When providing support for multiple employees, it is imperative to devise a triage system to determine priority. Not all tasks can be addressed on a first come, first serve basis, as occasionally people encounter issues that need to be resolved at the last minute. In these situations, a request may need to jump the line and be dealt with before a project that was assigned previously.
3. Confidentiality and discretion are key components to this job. Do you have experience maintaining and upholding confidentiality?
HR assistants maintain sensitive files that contain salary information, visa and passport numbers and even banking documents to establish direct deposits. It would be my duty to familiarize myself very quickly with those people in the department who have clearance to access employee's personal information. I would never cross the line and allow an unauthorized individual to read another employee's personal file.
4. To improve your skills, there will be many courses and workshops offered throughout the year. How do you plan on attending these while ensuring your primary duties do not fall behind?
Lists and schedules are the best way to maintain order in any job. I will maintain a detailed schedule for myself, not just manage the calendars of my supervisors. In this way, I will be able to meet deadlines and keep track of projects as they come up, and be able to factor in a little extra time each week to play catch-up in case unforeseen circumstances came up.
5. One of your primary tasks will be to stay on top of payroll. How would you handle a situation in which employees consistently turn in their timesheets late?
I understand that sometimes people simply cannot keep track of calendars and reminders. While it can be frustrating, everyone has a different way of working and a different way of prioritizing. While you cannot force anyone to log in and sign off on their timesheets, I would enlist the help of supervisors to remind their employees of the importance of turning in the timesheets on time. At the end of the day, an employee cannot get paid if he or she does not submit paperwork to payroll, so hopefully that would be motivation enough.
6. You would be in charge of new employee orientation as an HR assistant. Do you have experience speaking in front of groups of people?
I am very comfortable speaking in front of groups, and would enjoy this part of the job. It gives me great satisfaction to assist people, and to help them learn how the department can help them in their transition to their new position. I would make sure employees found me approachable so they would feel comfortable coming to be with all of their concerns.