Because Human Resource (HR) managers are essential to the overall health and progress of a company, it is critical that the right individuals be hired for such positions. Therefore, you should make sure you put your best foot forward by initially submitting an excellent cover letter and resume, as well as displaying exceptional interview skills. Your cover letter and resume help to get you in the door, but it is your resume that truly seals or destroys the deal. You want to make sure you are fully prepared to excel in an interview. During your face-to-face meeting you can expect questions commonly asked regarding any job, such as “tell me about yourself.” However, you should also prepare for some questions that are specific to the human resources industry and the HR manager position itself. Below are some HR manager interview questions and example answers that you can expect during your initial interview. Take some time to become familiar with them so that you may have a stellar interview and stand out as the best candidate, both of which go a long way in increasing your chances of receiving a job offer.
6 HR Manager Interview Questions & Answers
1. What is your experience with cost reduction efforts?
I have extensive experience with cost reduction. In my current position as an HR manager, I was appointed as head over the new training program. The previous program was becoming out of date, and it was found that it was not very efficient for its set price. Through extensive research I discovered a new software program that would provide training for various employees at their then-current levels. I presented this information to the supervisor, and once the software was implemented, it helped to increase employee productivity by 25 percent.
2. How would you address dysfunction within a team you are leading?
In my experience I have found that it is essential to address an issue at its source. Therefore, my first step is to review how the team is supposed to function to pinpoint where the issue lies. Depending upon whether it is directly related to an employee’s character or performance, or if it is related to a program that is not functioning properly, I move forward. I make sure to approach each situation with tact, but I also make sure I am clear and to the point.
3. How well do you handle leading groups of individuals with diverse backgrounds?
I work very well with individuals from diverse backgrounds. I appreciate different cultures and backgrounds, and understand that it has a strong impact on how individuals interact with one another. Also, I have studied different learning and personality styles to understand how they impact individuals at work. I utilize all of this knowledge to lead and encourage individuals in the way that they best receive it. I believe this helps to enhance communication and to make me an effective leader.
4. What would you say are the best ways to elicit cooperation from team members?
Motivation is key to eliciting cooperation and productivity of people individually and as a team. So, I believe one of the most effective ways to get team members to cooperate is to recognize their strengths and delegate tasks accordingly. For example, in the last project I lead I was overseeing three team members. I had the team member who was highly organized to create and maintain the measuring tools, the individual who was most personable spoke with the employees and the last individual is quite analytical, so I had her compile the data in the report. This way, each team member was allowed to play to her or his strengths, which kept both the motivation and morale high.
5. Give an example of how you handled a conflict within your team.
Especially in a team atmosphere, it is critical that conflict be handled properly, otherwise it can hurt the morale. That is why I strive to first identify the source of the issue and isolate it as much as possible. I have taken a mediation course, and I utilize those skills to counsel the parties involved and to come to an amicable resolution. I check in with the parties periodically to ensure that the resolution is effective.
6. Describe your hiring strategy.
In my opinion, the right candidate is not just the one with the greatest education and skill set. It is important that the individual be able to work in a team and support the company culture. Therefore, as the HR manager, I take time to tailor my questions to the information provided in the resume. I watch for body language and consistency of information throughout the interview. I also ask about knowledge of the company to gauge whether the applicant is looking for a job or a career.