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What are the most asked Human Resource interview questions?


Ben Adams Norfolk, VA

In particular, I am seeking a solid list of questions and answers (or best practice) most often asked to Human Resource professionals. Thank you.

27 March 2019 15 replies Interviews



Paul Trejo Austin, TX

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your years of service. Here are some useful tips for interview questions.

Rule #1....Never complain about anybody/anything in any of your previous jobs.
Rule #2....Never confess about anything negative in any of your previous jobs.

Never complain. Never confess. These rules are solid -- if you break them, then "Game Over."

The HR person is in a contest with you -- he or she will try to get you to break either Rule #1 or Rule #2. Either way, whoever breaks these rules will never be called back.

Always put the best spin on why you're leaving your past job. That's crucial.

Another HR strategy is simply to keep you talking, so that you will eventually, without any prompting, just break Rule #1 and Rule #2 in the course of rambling on and on.

SOLUTION: Always have a hat full of positive, very short anecdotes about problems you solved on the job. Whenever you are asked a question, pull an anecdote out of your hat (so to speak) and tell the short story. (One short paragraph maximum.) It's a winning strategy.

Another rule of thumb: anybody who answers every HR question with just "Yes" or "No" is suspicious. Either they are hiding something, or they are not friendly enough. They will almost never be called back.

Remember: Never complain. Never confess. Talk positive about the good stuff you did. You loved everybody you ever worked with. Never talk about mistakes. Only talk about how you SOLVED problems.

That's the winning strategy.

Best wishes,


Bob Farmer Atlanta, GA

Some of the questions you need to be prepared to answer are as follows:
What were some of your accomplishments you had during your military service?
Describe one or more challenges you faced and how you handled them.
Why/how do you think you would add value for our company.
Tell me what you know about our company.
How has your military prepared you for the business world.

Best of luck.


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

As a well-seasoned HRD, my core areas of inquiry revolved around the answer to this fundamental question, "ARE THIS CANDIDATE'S TALENTS IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE TALENT DEMAND OF THE JOB?" The value of educational and experiential accomplishments pale in comparison to understanding the talents that the candidate brings to the table.


Mary Stern Santa Barbara, CA

Hi Ben,

Many HR professionals are trained in "behaviorally based"interviewing techniques. One of the premises is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. They are trying to evaluate your fit for the company. They will ask questions about key decision points in your career such as why you chose the Navy verses the Marines. There is no right or wrong answer. It's looking at the "why's". Another question might be " tell me about a project where your were the team leader. What were the results and obstacles?"


Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

Hi Ben,
A quick google search will help you with this, eg

I've had a few HR interviews in my career and I've come across the following questions a number of times:
- Tell me a little about yourself (Answer: give them your elevator pitch)
- What are your strengths? (Answer: Give them one or two with examples)
- What are your weaknesses? (Answer: Don't say 'I work too hard' or 'I'm a perfectionist'. Think of something that you are weak in and what you are doing to improve it)
- Why should I hire you? (Answer: Tell them how your skills will match the job description and will contribute to the company)
- Tell me about a time... success/ failure (Answer: use the STAR technique to answer with example and what you've learned) Here's a link to using the STAR technique:

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,


Louis Schwarz Somerville, NJ

Hi Ben. For me the two main questions that frame the interview are: What are your strengths? and What are your weaknesses?
Think about these answers. Do not say anything about anyone else, this question is about you. Your answers should be all positive, what you can do for the company and the company' challenges and future. Not what the company can do for you. What you bring to the game is important. Weaknesses are something everyone has, so admit it, be honest. Frame your weaknesses as something you are aware of and you are mitigating them. Openness is the best way to address weaknesses.
Good Luck.


Denise Kalm Walnut Creek, CA

In my view, most of the time, HR is there to weed you out. They are looking for some reason not to pass your resume on to the hiring manager. Salary questions are particularly tough because if you mention a dollar value higher than the range for the job, you're out. That's not true later on in the process. So when they ask, punt. Ask for the range for the job, then say that it's fine, even if it isn't. The hiring manager can rebrand the job if you qualify for a higher rate. If they won't tell you, say that it's early in the process and that you're sure they will pay a market rate. And that salary is only part of the comp package. Try to move it along. Find out what they like about the company. Learn from them. And always write a nice thank you note. HR never gets much appreciation and this will go a long way to helping you move forward.


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

I will be VERY brief: Focus on how your talents fit the talent-needs of the position.


Patrick E Alcorn Arlington, TX

Almost every question is the same: Why should I hire YOU? Tell me about YOURSELF, i.e., what makes YOU the right person for this opportunity? Tell me about a time when YOU...succeeded in doing what this opportunity will require YOU to do? Learn and use the STAR method of answering questions: What was the SITUATION? What TASKS were required in the situation? What ACTIONS did YOU execute in the situation? What were the RESULTS of YOUR actions? Regardless of the question, you should be able to provide a real life example from your background that demonstrates (not just tells) the answer. Whether you are talking about you skills, strengths, weaknesses, successes, etc. be prepared to answer with an example--using the STAR method.


Phillip Batson Tacoma, WA

The one question I was asked was more of a statement. Tell me a time about a stressful situation you have been through, and how you reacted and handled that situation. Which to me is asking about how well you are able to solve problems quickly, calmly, and decisively when the need occurs.


Jeremy Hawks Cabin John, MD

Glassdoor has a function where people post the questions they were asked in their interviews. Simply choose a company you're interested in and select the 'interviews' option.


Julie Carr East Haven, CT

Most questions are typically template asking about skills and past employment.
To differentiate yourself in answers, always give a measured result of success.

Example - project lead resulted in finishing contract before deadline, generated growth 3 months after launch, company received vendor participation award from client. etc etc.

We tend to go on and on about what we do, our strengths and weaknesses and not the positive results.

Prior to an interview prep yourself to make them feel they would be grateful to have you on the team versus you being grateful for a job. Business can't survive without great people that bring great results :)


Gail Baccetti Lake Geneva, WI

Be prepared for open-ended questions that will make you think. Here are some examples:
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake, and what you learned from it.
- How would you handle it if you disagreed with your boss? With your co-worker?
- Which of your accomplishments makes you the most proud, and why?
- Which aspects of this position excite you the most, and why?
- Describe your perfect work day.

It is not easy to prepare for this type of question, since you don't know what it will be! But try to think of your experience from a behavioral aspect, as Damin mentioned, and come with ideas or incidents you want to share. If the interviewer doesn't ask anything like this, you can also be ready to offer it if they ask whether there is anything else you'd like to add. It shows that you have analyzed your work history in order to learn and grow.

Of course, you will probably also encounter more standard questions, such as:
- Why did you leave this position (or the military)?
- What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?
- What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Ben, I hope these potential questions have helped. Feel free to contact me at if you need any further assistance, or if you would like me to conduct a mock interview over the phone to give you some training and feedback.



barbara hawes Brielle, NJ

Most asked by HR professionals? or what do most candidates ask HR professionals? I am assuming the first question-- you can be prepared for almost anything as Damin replied. What skills do you bring to the table? what are your weaknesses (your response: describe an event in which your weakness turned in your favor, or was actually a strength--- i.e, when encountering a situation in which you are did not feel competent, asking for help not only taught you how to do it better but also teamwork accomplished it better than if that person did it alone, because you brought other needed skills to the table..... or describing a weakness in terms of a strength-- sometimes I work over, because I want to make sure it's done right and have to check it twice. etc. )


Damin Kirk Hazelwood, MO

Hi Ben -

The answer depends on what type of interview it is. Some companies do behavioral interviews where they'll ask about specific situations you were in rather than just ask about your resume. I'd say you can count being asked the question 'What qualifies you for this position' or something similar. Outside of that, it varies widely.


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