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5 Important HR Specialist Interview Tips


After hours spent making adjustments to the formatting and content of your resume and cover letter, you can finally take pride in the fact that your hard work has resulted in a call for an interview. Hiring managers use this first encounter as a way of understanding your personality as well as your skill sets and work history. Once a time has been set up, it is this first interview that can often determine whether you’ll be called back.

There are many basic interview practices that you can find to help you prepare regardless of your industry of choice. Following this advice is crucial to ensure that when the time comes for a company’s hiring staff to make a choice based on the skills and other qualifications presented during the interviewing process, you are the one they pick. Below you will find a set of HR specialist interview tips that will boost your chances even further.

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HR Specialist Interview Tips

Make Any Certifications Known: Strictly speaking there are no licenses or certifications that one must acquire in order to have a chance of getting a job as an HR specialist. However, you can find many professional associations in the human resources field that offer courses to their members in order to enhance their abilities on the job. If you were to join the Society for Human Resource Management, for instance, they have programs that will allow you to become an SHRM Senior Certified Professional or a basic SHRM Certified Professional. Regardless of whether or not a particular job posting discusses certification, it can only help you make your case as to why you are best fit for the position.

Demonstrate a Capacity for Empathy: As the name of the position suggests, working as an HR specialist involves a great deal of interaction with other people. Sometimes these interactions are amiable and strictly involving business dealings, and sometimes you will have to deal with more personal issues. Whether you are discussing a customer’s grievance or are attempting to resolve a dispute between two people who work in the same company, this job requires you to be able to understand the perspectives of all parties involved. If you have any education in psychology or have work experience as something such as a manager, then this can be an effective way to show this quality.

Have an Eye for Details: No matter the specific name of the position, working in the human resources field requires personnel who are able to process and organize a great deal of information. Once you are brought on board, you will be partly responsible for hiring people for other positions within the company. When the applications start pouring into your inbox, it will be up to you to pick out the bits of information that are most relevant to the company in order to help the other members of the hiring staff determine whether or not to hire a candidate. Describing any prior experience in a clerical position will serve you well during your interview.

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Maintain a Calm Demeanor: By their very nature, job interviews tend to make people nervous. This can manifest as discomfort or a lack of confidence when the face-to-face meeting finally occurs. While other industries might tolerate a bit of nervousness in candidates, the way in which you carry yourself during the HR specialist interview can actually have a huge impact on the decision of the hiring staff. Be sure that you maintain a cool head when you respond to each question, as it is a reflection of how you will behave toward others on the job.

Ask Questions About the Position: While the postings for many HR specialist jobs are likely to share many of the same essential tasks, every company is different. Be sure that you make a point of clarifying anything about which you are unclear, whether it has to do with the position’s salary or the amount of time spent daily on a particular thing. Doing this grants you more knowledge when you have to either accept or decline a job offer, and it demonstrates a thoroughness that is sure to please interviewers.

Remember these HR specialist interview tips when you go into your next interview, and you are sure to leave the interviewers with a solid and positive impression.