To find a dream job, you don’t only need technical knowledge and an impressive resume but also must face the HR interview questions answers round confidently. The main aim of any HR interview is to evaluate the knowledge and prowess of a candidate. Interviewers try to gauge the personality, strengths, and weaknesses of candidates by asking different challenging questions. They want to understand if the candidate is suitable for the job or not. Also, they want to decide if a particular candidate will fit in the company’s culture and environment.
Each HR interview question is crafted meticulously to gather as much information as possible about candidates. They can be about their education, experience, behavior, skills, or perspective.
In this blog, we have shared 20 common interview questions by HR to help you understand the mindset of any hiring team. We have explained how to tackle each question and shared a sample for each of them.
So, let’s get started.
HR Questions Asked in Interview for Freshers
1. Tell me something about yourself.
This is mostly the first question that the interviewer asks. It is a way to break the ice, and you must leverage this opportunity to make a lasting impression. Give a brief overview of your academic and professional background, your skills, achievements, and other details. Don’t dive deeper, but provide enough information that the interviewer can assess if you are the right fit for the job or not. Take it as a chance to pitch yourself and share compelling highlights.
Hello. Thank you for considering me for the job role and inviting me for the interview. My name is [your name], and I recently graduated in [area of study] from [college/university].
During three years of my college, I gained theoretical and practical knowledge of [field/industry] and honed [relevant skills]. Soon after completing the graduation, I did my internship with [company name] and gained hands-on experience. It prepared me for the industry and helped me become career-ready.
Rest assured that as a [job role], I will contribute to the best of my abilities and prove to be a valuable asset to your company.
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2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is one of the most challenging HR interview questions and answers for freshers that many of you may have come across several times. This is a psychological question, and you must maintain a balance between your strengths and weaknesses while answering. As you talk about your strengths, show your capabilities and skills, but don’t boast. Be specific while mentioning your strengths and focus on a few qualities rather than blabbering a long list of common adjectives.
When you share your weaknesses, show that you are always ready to work on your flaws and are self-aware. Avoid giving extreme answers.
My greatest strengths are that I am a quick learner and a great team player. I understand that to achieve success in the industry, I need to continuously develop my skills and learn. Hence, I always seize opportunities where I can grow and hone my skills. Also, I work well in a team and never hesitate to put forward my ideas and suggestions.
My weakness would be my attention to detail. At times, I pay too much attention to small things that I ignore key factors. But, I am learning to maintain the balance and focus on major aspects.
3. Why do you want to work for our company?
Doesn’t it seem like an easy and harmless question? But even a single mistake while answering this question can result in you missing out on this job opportunity. Candidates usually give a generic answer to this question, which is applicable to all companies. So, avoid that and do enough research about the company and make notes.
Point out how your skills and experience align with the goals of the company. Also, highlight that the organization offers opportunities for growth and can contribute to bringing out the best in you. Be specific, so the recruiter knows that you have taken time to read about the company, its vision, policies, and job description.
It is my honor and privilege to work for such an established and reputed organization. I have been following your brand for a few months, and I appreciate how you keep pace with the trends and consumer demands. When I read about this job opening, I realized that my abilities and qualifications match the requirements, and I applied for the job instantly. I am sure that this is the perfect opportunity for me to showcase my skills and grow in a positive work culture.
4. Walk me through your CV.
This is among the top 10 HR interview questions and answers for freshers, which sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. Here, you speak about your skills, academic background, professional experience, achievements, and other key points. It’s like sharing your academic and career story in a concise way.
You can start from the present and then talk about the past or start chronologically. Make sure you talk about all the experiences and accomplishments while mentioning academic qualifications and relevant courses you have done.
I have been working as a Content Writer for five years now and am currently working as a Content Editor. My love for reading made me try my hands at writing. Within a few months of my first job, I knew this was the right career path for me. Over the years, I have worked for multiple industries and written different forms of content, including on-page and off-page. I have recently completed a diploma course in content marketing, which helped me hone my skills and learn the nuances of content writing and editing.
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
This is a commonly asked question in interviews that may be a trap for candidates. Make sure you don’t fall into it by handling the question wisely. Your answer will show if your goals align with the company’s goals or not. Also, interviewers are trying to assess how long you plan to stay and work in the company once you are hired. The purpose is also to gauge your determination and vision.
So, if you are tempted to answer honestly, we would suggest holding your horses and evaluating your answer again. Interviewers don’t want to know if you plan to study abroad, wish to launch a startup, or want to be a team manager. Avoid such answers and give the relevant answer. Make the hiring team believe that you will not leave the project mid-way and that you are a stable candidate who prioritizes his/her professional commitment.
In the next 5 years, I would like to make the best of every opportunity that comes my way. I would like to gain knowledge, hone skills, and utilize training programs to become better at my work. My dream is to become a Marketing Manager, and I would put in my best efforts to be efficient and honest in my job. I want to make a difference and set an example for my team members, and for that, I am ready to take on any challenge and learn from it.
6. Why should we hire you?
The recruiter wants to know if you are confident enough and consider yourself fit for the role. They don’t want to take any risk and hire the wrong candidate. Remember that your answer can make or break your chances of getting hired. So, prepare well and speak confidently while explaining why you are a suitable candidate for the job. Point out how you would be a great addition to the team and the value you can add. Highlight your relevant skills and talents that make you stand apart.
I am a self-motivated person who is keen to learn. The job description aligns with my skills and proficiency, and I can assure you that I am the right fit for this job. I have a problem-solving approach and always prioritize my work and the company’s goals. Another reason that makes me an ideal candidate is that my values align with the company’s vision. This role supports my interests and career goals, and if given the right opportunity, I would contribute the best of my efforts to the success of this company.
7. Would you be comfortable working overtime or odd hours?
While preparing for question and answers for HR interview, practice this one for sure. Be sincere and honest while answering this question. Commit to the timings only if you can manage to work at odd hours. If you are not comfortable, don’t make a story just to get a job.
I understand that, at times, we have to put in additional efforts for the growth of the company. If I have to work overtime for a few days for a project, I’ll be happy to do it.
8. Why do you want to pursue this particular field?
Interviewers want to hire candidates who are passionate about their work. They want to know if you will stay for long or if you are pursuing this job just for a few months to earn some cash. So, your aim should be to show how sincere you are about your job and field. Share your knowledge regarding the industry and elaborate on why you love this job.
I am an avid reader, and it was my love for reading that I thought of making a career as a writer. So, I gave it a shot and went for my first interview 4 years back. Fortunately, I got selected. Over the years, I learned nuances of content writing and upskilled myself. Now, I am a content editor and lead a team of writers and interns.
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HR Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced Candidates
9. How would your current managers describe you?
This question tests your honesty while explaining what your current and previous managers think about you and your performance.
In my last company, our performance was reviewed every quarter, and my manager gave me an exceptional rating for the whole year. I was even rewarded at the end of the year for my performance. However, one thing that my manager always asked me to do was to pay attention to key aspects rather than details that don’t matter much. I learned a lot in my last company, and I am sure it helped me hone my skills and knowledge.
10. Why did you leave your last job?
As you mention the reason for changing the job, be careful that you don’t blame your previous employer or criticize the company. Do not say that the salary was less, or the work environment was unhealthy, or the work management was poor. The aim such HR questions and answers in interview is to assess if you are a credible candidate or not. They want to know how professional you are and if you are fit for their organization. Keep the answer professional and short.
If you had to leave the last company because it went defunct or was laying off employees, then give that reason, as you can’t do anything in such a situation. You can say that it happened due to an unforeseen situation.
It is a professional shift as I want to expand my horizons and seek new challenges. I have worked for my last company for quite a few years now and am grateful for all the opportunities I got there. However, I want to explore different avenues and gain new experiences and skill sets. I believe that this company is the perfect place for me to learn and grow.
11. Why is there a gap in your resume?
This question is common when the interviewer sees a gap of a few months or years in your resume. If you also took a break from your job, for whatever reason, you must be prepared for this question. Yes, you must be honest, but to a certain limit. State the truth about the gap, but also frame your answer in a way that justifies the gap and doesn’t become your weakness.
You can say that you want to upskill yourself or want to pursue a course to find a better opportunity. While sharing the reason, also talk about how the gap helped you grow and gain new qualities.
I started working immediately after completing my graduation. I continuously worked for around 6 years without any break. However, it gradually started affecting my productivity, and I also realized that I needed to maintain my work-life balance. So, I decided to take some time off to focus on my health and family. I also traveled and enrolled in an online course to stay updated with the latest trends. When I joined the new job after that break, I came up with a new perspective that was evident in my work and productivity.
12. Share an experience where you made a mistake and learned from it.
This is one of the trickiest interview questions by HR teams, and you need to be clever while answering. It is not easy to talk about your flaws when your dream job is at stake. However, if handled correctly and smartly, it can benefit you. You just need to be honest and confident. Make sure you don’t blame somebody else, but address your mistake and show how it made you better at your job.
The interviewer wants to know how well you can manage a mistake or complex situation. Also, they want to assess how self-aware you are. Explain the mistake, what you learned from it, and how you fixed it. Mention that you never repeated that same mistake but only evolved after that.
In my first job, I was asked to work on two projects together. Although I was new, I accepted the task without a second thought as I was eager to prove my potential. However, I faced several challenges and soon realized that I was not yet prepared to work on two projects. I couldn’t tell my managers the same and could not meet the deadline.
Later, my team manager understood the situation and explained to me that I should have been honest. That was the time I learned that you should always update your supervisor about any situation or issue you are facing and commit only to the task that you can handle.
13. Why did you change your career path?
If you have changed your career path, then be ready to answer this question. It is a tricky question, but make sure you are not intimidated by it. Focus on justifying your career choices, but don’t cover up your mistakes. Just be honest and confident while showing how your choices worked well for you.
Moreover, portray how your previous role helped you in the new one. When you show how you made even your irrelevant experience relevant, it can give you bonus points.
After 2 years of working as a Content Creator, I realized that the field may have limited scope for me. So, I decided to enroll in the digital marketing course, an emerging industry offering more opportunities. As I already had experience in content, I used that experience to come up with innovative taglines and social media campaigns as a digital marketer.
HR Interview Questions and Answers for Manager Position
14. Have you ever led a project team?
This HR interview question tests your leadership skills. The interviewer wants to assess your competency in a specific situation. Also, they want to see if you can take charge of a team and work professionally under pressure.
For the past two years, I have been working as a team lead, handling a team of 8-10 members comprising designers, testers, and engineers. Our team has successfully delivered 2 projects and is working on 2 more currently. As a team leader, I make sure to be patient with each colleague but never compromise on work and quality.
15. What is your biggest achievement so far?
When you prepare for questions and answers for HR interview, focus on your achievements as well because they show your capabilities and strengths. Be confident while answering, and don’t hesitate to share all your achievements, whether they’re in school, college, or job. Emphasize work-related and recent accomplishments more. You can narrate it like a story to get their attention, highlighting challenges and actions taken. After this, describe your individual performance and results.
Although I have achieved several milestones and accolades in my career, I would like to share the most recent one where we were working on a critical product. The team was working round-the-clock for over a month because we knew it was an important project, and we couldn’t spare any effort. We upskilled ourselves to ensure every aspect is correct and we meet the deadline. We also hired more resources, and I was responsible for training new team members. I knew the management trusted me, and I left no stone unturned to deliver the best results. Once the product was launched, all managers and stakeholders were happy and proud. I was even rewarded for my hard work and dedication.
16. Tell me about a time when you faced failure.
Similar to your achievement, you must narrate the story of your failure. However, define your failure clearly so the interviewer can understand your perspective on failure. Also, don’t forget to mention what was your takeaway and how you used this opportunity to learn and grow. The way you address your failure and learn from it will show your personality and professionalism.
It was when I led my first project. I didn’t estimate the timeline, and the pace of the work was not fast enough. We were running late and had to work extra hours to ensure we delivered the work two days after the deadline. I was not happy and realized that I should have been more active and critical from the beginning. I learned my lesson, and since then, I have always made sure to divide time and tasks according to the time at hand.
17. Tell me about a time when you experienced some difficulty at work.
As you research what are the interview questions for HR round, prepare a few behavioral questions as well. The purpose of these questions is quite clear- to understand how well and calmly you can handle tough situations. They want to understand your behavior and approach during difficult times. Also, they want to check how you prioritize the project despite all challenges and overcome the issue without compromising on your productivity and quality of work.
The most difficult project I ever worked on was to launch a product for a client. That product was their gateway to the global market, and my team had to put the best foot forward. The client was quite specific about requirements but also had conflicting ideas. We had to rework our strategy and campaign multiple times. It was our determination and commitment that the client and stakeholders were happy with the output. It was a stressful project, but the results were worth all the effort.
18. Have you ever handled conflicts within a team you are leading?
If you are applying for a team lead or manager role, this would be an obvious question the interviewer would ask you. The intention is to understand how well you can handle a team and conflicts between members. Also, they want to know if you can resolve issues and deliver a project without hassle.
There were a few times when two team members wouldn’t agree on something or face conflicts. As the team lead, I handled the situation and made sure that our work was never hampered. First, I identify the issue and then talk to the members involved. I try to understand the perspective of each of them. I use my counseling and leadership skills to ensure that we reach a mutual solution and prioritize our work.
19. How do you deal with criticism?
The aim of this question is to check how well you take feedback and negative reviews. Also, the interviewer wants to evaluate if you strive to become better. So, show the hiring team that you are always open to constructive feedback and never shy away from learning. Don’t come across as a stubborn person, but show that you respect every input and take it as an opportunity to grow.
As a human, I might make mistakes. But I am always eager to learn new things and become better at my work. If my seniors or team members provide me with negative criticism, I take it positively and work on improving myself. This helps me grow and make progress in my career. When team leaders and managers with years of experience give me feedback, I accept it with respect, and rather than ignoring their suggestions, I try to put in more effort the next time.
20. Tell me about a time when you were not satisfied with your performance.
There are multiple reasons interviewers ask this question. They want to know the extent of ownership you take for your tasks. Also, they want to see if you assess your performance and work to become better. Moreover, it shows how well you address your mistakes and cope with them. Your answer also reflects how much you care about your job and the company.
When I joined my first job, I was too dependent on my team to get things done. But, I realized that this is neither a professional nor a right approach. I want to take the responsibility for my work. Even though I am a team player, I should make individual contributions too by completing tasks assigned to me. I learned from my mistakes and started focusing more on my work. The more I worked with minimal help, the more confident I became. I was lauded for my dedication and hard work multiple times. And the biggest thing I learned was adaptability.
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Going through an HR interview successfully is much more than just about providing the right answers. it’s about showcasing your unique qualities, understanding the role and the company culture, and aligning your skills and experiences with the needs of the organization.
Remember, each HR interview question is an opportunity to show your value and fit for the role. Preparation is key, but so is being genuine in your responses. Take the time to reflect on your experiences, understand your strengths and areas for growth, and be ready to articulate them in a way that resonates with your interviewer.
Ultimately, an interview is a two-way street – it’s as much about finding the right fit for you as it is for the employer. Approach it with confidence and curiosity, and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression.
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