Landing a good job is a multi-step process. After the resume and cover letter submission, you hope to be contacted for an interview with the hiring managers. A strong resume and cover letter go a long way to describing your strengths as a candidate for the position, but it is in the interview that the company can get a more thorough look at your personality and demeanor to see if you would be a good fit for the team. The interview is your opportunity to demonstrate, in person, that you are the best person for the job. The interview shows how the skills and experience listed on your resume come together in a more cohesive narrative. You should be ready to field general interview questions dealing with your work ethic and character, and you can expect to be asked several industry-specific questions. Based on the needs of the HR field, we have assembled five HR director interview questions and answers that will help you consider the types of inquiries you need to be prepared to answer.
5 Common HR Director Interview Questions & Answers
1. In your job, you will be handling personal and confidential employee information. What is your previous experience handling confidential information?
In my former position, I worked in the HR department of a small computer company. I was responsible for maintaining the records of all the employees in a locked cabinet. I always made sure to keep confidential information about personnel to myself. During my five years at that job, I never misplaced confidential files or misused confidential information about the employees with whom I interacted as I sought to build a successful climate in the office.
2. What are the responsibilities of a personnel manager compared to a human resources director?
The human resources director is involved in proactive tactics to strengthen the company by strengthening the overall communication and effectiveness of the managers and employees. Someone employed as a personnel manager is responsible for responding and reacting to issues among the personnel in a company. Though personnel management can be involved in motivating employees by providing bonuses and rewards, the HR director is responsible for helping managers and other personnel perform at their best to yield better results and satisfaction. This sometimes involves bonuses and rewards, but as an experienced HR director, I apply a more nuanced approach that includes developing good policies and procedures and encouraging proper training and leadership development among employees to lead to cooperative success across teams.
3. How do you view the difference between incentives and salary?
When I was a new HR manager, I had a hard time understanding how incentives and fringe benefits could be used to help recruit the most talented individuals. Instead, I focused on making sure that the salary offered was indicative of both the job candidate’s previous experience level as well as a genuine sign of the confidence that the company had in that person to grow and contribute to the vision of the corporation. As I continued as an HR manager, I came to see that the people we wanted to hire were more willing to take on the responsibilities and demands of their new positions when they were offered both a reasonable salary as well as signing bonuses and opportunities for performance-based bonuses throughout the year.
4. How do you ensure that your HR managers are properly trained to administer the policies of the company?
I believe that every individual can succeed in her or his career with the proper training. It is essential that HR managers under me are not only aware of and well-versed in the company policies regarding personnel, but also able to sincerely understand how these policies are beneficial to both the employees and the management. With the proper buy-in from those administering the policies, I find that there is greater cooperation company-wide in abiding by the company’s policies and procedures.
5. What do you look for when recruiting someone for management?
Good managers are a vital part of any company. In my experience, managers who have even some experience doing the job of those under them are more effective than those who have only ever worked in management. I try to hire managers who are people-oriented rather than process-oriented. When managers are focused on helping people achieve their goals and have meaningful connections with others, they are able to inspire more productive and satisfied workers.