Why this matters:

All HR departments use a system to track employee data and statistics. These systems play an important role in the internal functioning of a company, and can help reduce error, streamline processes, and organize important information. An HR professional should be able to learn this software as an essential part of their job.

What to listen for:

  • Knowledge of different types of HR tools, such as HRIS, HRMS, HCM, and ATS
  • Knowledge of the different functions of HR software
  • Proficiency in the software used by your organization, or a willingness to learn new technologies

Why this matters:

Fostering and maintaining a positive company culture is an important part of an HR professional’s job. This question will assess the candidate’s emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. You are looking for them to have a clear understanding of the role of the HR department in shaping the company’s work environment.

What to listen for:

  • The ability to see, include, and appreciate different perspectives
  • Specific programs or processes they would implement, and actionable steps for doing so
  • Examples of different approaches for creating a positive work environment — and rationale for why to choose one over the other

Why this matters:

The HR department is responsible for determining how the company as a whole is doing, and part of that means measuring the impact of their efforts. This question will assess the candidate’s ability to think strategically, as well as their familiarity with metrics for measuring internal efficiency.

What to listen for:

  • Familiarity with common metrics used to assess KPIs, such as eNPS, attrition rate, and ROI
  • Knowledge and familiarity of different methods used to verify data
  • Examples drawn from previous work experience

Why this matters:

This question is about the candidate’s ability to use their time efficiently. Human resources roles can be demanding at times, with meetings, daily work, and unforeseen issues that need to be dealt with. An HR professional should be able to use their time wisely and stay calm in stressful situations.

What to listen for:

  • Strong problem-solving abilities
  • Strong organizational skills
  • The ability to keep a level head in stressful situations

Why this matters:

HR professionals have to deal with all kinds of people. They may have to handle an unruly employee after letting them go, or solve an office conflict. This question assesses the candidate’s ability to keep a cool head, as well as their ability to have empathy while also standing their ground.

What to listen for:

  • A strong sense of empathy and compassion
  • The ability to be firm without escalating a situation
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Why this matters:

Coaching is a task that every HR professional will have to do at some point in their career. The human resources department is responsible for supporting an organization’s employees, and staff should feel comfortable coming to an HR professional for help and advice.

What to listen for:

  • Strong listening skills
  • The ability to think outside the box
  • An approachable demeanor and friendly personality

Why this matters:

This is an opportunity for the candidate to showcase their own relevant strengths and other qualities. The answer should reveal what they value and how they approach their career.

What to listen for:

  • Values that align with your company’s culture and mission
  • Confidence in themselves
  • Evidence of a growth mindset is a plus, as this indicates that the candidate understands the importance of self-improvement

Why this matters:

This question gives the candidate an opportunity to talk about the areas of HR that bring them joy. It is a good way to get to know them a little bit more and understand their reasoning for choosing this career path.

What to listen for:

  • Excitement for certain aspects of HR
  • The ability to articulate themselves well
  • A strong understanding of the different responsibilities of HR professionals and the importance of their role within the organization

Why this matters:

The HR department has many legal responsibilities. This question shows how proactive the candidate is in staying informed about important news in their field. You are looking for the candidate to reference specific ways they would stay up to date with labor laws and regulations.

What to listen for:

  • An understanding of why it’s important to stay on top of industry news
  • A desire to keep learning
  • Examples of materials they read to keep up, such as HR publications or magazines
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