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This is one of several very common HR interview questions that may refer to anything “out of the ordinary” or interesting in a candidate’s resume, such as a job that lasted for only a few months or that was seemingly unrelated to the candidate’s background, or an outright gap in the candidate’s employment history.
The purpose of these HR interview questions is to clarify these points and make sure there aren’t any red flags.
What questions should your HR department ask during interviews?
Why are HR interview questions important
What questions should your HR department NOT ask?
The purpose of these types of HR questions is clear: the HR professional wants to ensure that the candidate has researched the company and understands what they’re applying to.
Candidates don’t need to show deep knowledge of the company and its products, but they should certainly know everything that can be discovered via a simple online search – of course, if they have already used the company’s products/services or they know someone who works there, that’s a plus.
The best candidates will cite good reasons for moving on from their previous roles. Being negative or badmouthing their employer is a red flag. Of course, there’s a balance – honest candidates will often give an honest answer, and sometimes, their previous employer really is at fault for the end of their employment relationship.
Attitude is what matters in these HR interview questions. For example, it’d be reasonable if a candidate mentioned they left their previous job because their employer wasn’t paying their workers the fair market rate.
First, the job description itself was very well-written and gave me a good idea of what the role was about.
Second, I really liked the fact that this accounting role involves collaboration with others. I love accounting, but I don’t want to sit at my desk to look at numbers all day – I want to have the chance to work as part of a team where we can exchange opinions and knowledge of new accounting methods and organize the company accounting department in the best way possible.
I like workplaces that emphasize both autonomy and teamwork.
I like collaborating with others and exchanging ideas, but I also want to have flexibility to work uninterrupted for some time. Also, I value the absence of restrictions, such as a casual dress code unless I’m meeting with customers or partners.
Similar HR questions to this have to do with various “technical” aspects of the job, such as willingness to travel or relocate, or ability to follow a shift schedule.
HR professionals use this question to ensure they’re not speaking to a candidate who has excessively high salary expectations (or who is generally unable to meet the demands of the job).
Candidates shouldn’t be asked to divulge their salary history or current salary – in fact, it’s downright illegal to do so in some jurisdictions – but expectations are a good way to make sure both parties are in sync.
I have been following your company’s successes for some time now and I know you have a great software development team. I checked your careers page regularly and when I saw this job, I was thinking this would be the best environment for me to apply the skills I acquired during my internship & Master’s degree.
I have experience in web development and I’m really interested in the projects you’re mentioning in the job – in fact, one of them was the subject of my thesis.
I really think I’m a good fit for the job & can grow even more in your workplace.
This is one of the best HR interview questions to ask to start a conversation on requirements and responsibilities.
It’s useful to assess how much the candidate has understood the role.
Regardless of the stage in the hiring process, candidates should always have the opportunity to ask questions themselves so they can decide if the job is a good fit for them.
The other reason that HR uses this question is to find out if candidates are truly interested in knowing more. They should ask smart questions about the company, and preferably, questions related to the role, too.
During my time as a marketing specialist in Acme Inc., I got to write a lot of marketing copy. I was solely responsible for writing emails we sent to prospects and customers, including newsletters.
I also wrote short copy for social media and, occasionally, articles for our blog.
While similar to the previous question, this question proactively asks about the most important aspects of the role.
For example, if a company is hiring a copywriter, they’ll certainly ask about the candidate’s experience in different types of writing or editing.
In your job ad, you mention you want someone with talent in inbound sales. I was actually a sales associate at a local store in my area for about three years.
During this time:
This question aims to evaluate the candidate’s interest in the role.
Are they really motivated to get hired for this specific job or do they just mass-apply to every job ad under the sun? Candidates should show that this application was a conscious decision on their part.
I really liked my previous job and team. I started as a junior and worked my way up to a team lead in marketing. However, I think that my time in this company has come full circle – I’m actually the one who coaches others while I don’t learn anything myself anymore.
Learning is important to me, so I want a new job that will challenge me and help me develop further.
This can take other forms, too, such as “What can we do to keep you happy if you were hired?” or “What do you like about your current job that you’d like to find here as well?”
These are examples of culture fit interview questions that aim to assess the candidate’s suitability as an employee of the company. Usually, there’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on whether each candidate is a fit for each individual company.
With this question, recruiters can assess whether candidates have truly understood the role’s requirements and whether they think they can do the job.
The best candidates will readily explain how their previous experience relates to the job ad.
After I finished my master’s degree, I started working non-stop for six years. That’s why I decided to take a break from work and travel to other countries to volunteer.
This helped me clear my mind and help other people while acquiring new skills (like communication and organizational ability).
I’ve done some research on the average salaries for this type of role in my area and I think I would expect this role to pay between X and Y.
But I think we can discuss this further at a later time if you think I’d be a good fit for the role. Could you tell me the salary range you have in mind?
Could you tell me what the next steps in the hiring process are?
Also, I read an online interview where your CEO said that your company wants to work with voice recognition technology. I’m fascinated by that. Will this role involve work on these types of projects?
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Here's a list of the best human resources interview questions for candidates, plus sample answers. The purpose of these questions/answers is to gauge the candidates’ basic skills and interest in the role and to clarify various points about their application and resume.
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