Most Frequently Asked HR Interview Questions and Answers
Most Frequently Asked HR Interview Questions and Answers
Some of the most frequently asked HR interview questions and answers are discussed here. Before we get into details of how to answer each of those questions, let us look at some basic Do and Don'ts you should be aware of before you answer these questions.
- Keep your answers short and simple.
- Be confident and maintain eye contact.
- Try to match your skills and interests with the profile being hired for. This would showcase your worthiness.
- Work on your strong selling points.
- Jot down important points, but never ever memorize them.
- Stay positive and happy.
- Do not memorize answer for any of the questions. This would instantly create a negative impression.
- Never go too much in detail about things (unless asked).
- Never get deviated from the topic in focus.
- Never express your negative thoughts on any issue.
- Never give one-word answers.
HR Interview Questions with Answers
1) How to answer ‘Tell me about yourself’?
This is the first and foremost question asked in 80% of the interviews. While the question sounds pretty simple, the answer to it is what can make or break the interviewer's perception of you.
Now how do you go about answering it? Where should you start?
The best way to go about answering this question is
- Start off with a brief of yourself (name, where are you from, your educational background and a little about your family background).
- Then you talk about your interests and skills. You can also mention one of your major achievements if it fits the circumstance.
- You can mention about your projects and your contributions. While you do, the interviewer might pose questions related to these. So it is advised to have complete knowledge of the projects you have worked on (their working, technologies/components used, applications, advantages and disadvantages, circuit diagrams/logic, etc).
- You can explain your strengths & weakness. If you have decided to mention these, then you must be prepared to answer the questions that would come along - Why do you consider them to be your strengths/weaknesses, How did you analyze your strengths/weaknesses, What have you done to overcome these weaknesses, etc.
- You can preferably end the answer with a summary about your participation in extracurricular activities and also about hobbies.
Remember: Never get too personal on this question. The interviewer would only want to know the professional side of you. Never end up with answers like these....
2) Where do you see yourself five years now?
This question might be asked in two cases.
- When the interviewer feels you have good skills and everything else is pretty fine but just wants to know your future plans.
- When the interviewer isn’t that satisfied with your performance and yet he wants to know how serious are you about your career.
In both these cases, you need to handle this question well. If you do so, then in case 1 you’ll crack the interview and in case 2, the interviewer might give you another chance (impressed by your answer). So keep in mind the below things while you answer:
- Better to keep your answer very generic if you are not sure about the company’s career paths.
- Express your interest in working with the company for a long term. As the company would invest a lot in terms of training you, they would want you to be a good investment.
- Express your enthusiasm to work with the organization and tell them how it aligns with your future plans.
- Have an answer in mind before you go for the interview. Else you will end up with thoughts like this.
Some sample answers are:
1) I want to be more knowledgeable, more responsible and in a much higher position than today.
2) I want to become a very good asset to the company and also be the one they would not afford to lose.
3) In the next 5 years, I would like to be a more skillful, more confident and more reliable person holding a good position in your organization.
4) “I am a person with very simple needs. The constant curiosity within me is what pushes me to learn new things every single day - be it on technology, politics, business, science or math. Also, this is what makes my answer to this question quite simple. Five years later, I want to see myself gaining more knowledge in various fields. This would also help me contribute more to the company.”
3) Why should I hire you? / Why do you think you are a perfect fit for our company?
Before we try to answer this question, it is good to understand the interviewers intent behind asking this question. He would want to understand your skills and interests which can help in their company’s growth. So, you can give some strong examples demonstrating your worthiness. A few examples are:
- I am a very quick learner and hence you will be able to cut down on the time spent in training me. In my final year, I had to work on a project using a completely new technology and I was able to do it in a short span of time.
- I have some good exposure to the industry’s working culture and environment as I did a couple of internships previously. So it will be easier for me to adapt to your working environment.
These are just a few examples of how you can strongly demonstrate each of your strengths and show them how much value you could be to the organization. You can also highlight skills like
- Leadership skills
- Technical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Optimistic nature
Note: Never reply back to this question saying “Why not” or “Why do you think I am not a good fit for this role”.
4) What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
The toughest part of this question is to express your strengths without bragging and your weaknesses without making it sound terrible. You need to carefully answer this question based on the role you have applied for.
If you have applied for a role which involves a lot of teamwork, then demonstrating your ability to work with diverse teams and handle things with ease might be a plus.
If you have applied for a software developer role and has no interest in coding or being a developer, yet it is not advisable to convey this to the interviewer. Remember that being honest is good but no one would want to hire someone who isn’t interested in the role.
Also, while you tell about your weaknesses it is good to tell them what you have been doing to overcome them.
Some weaknesses that people mention in the interview are:
- Perfectionism (Perfectionism can be a strength or a weakness. So you need to have valid examples to prove that it can be problematic too)
- Fear of public speaking
- Overly responsible
- Fear of risk-taking (This is also a must-have skill for certain roles. So analyze your job role and decide if this has to be considered)
- Overly focused
Some strengths that people can mention in the interviews are:
- Leadership skills
- Good communication skills
- Oratory skills
- Attention to detail
5) Are you a team player or a team leader?
This is a tricky question too. By choosing one of them, it is evident to the interviewer that you lack the other skill.
A lot of times candidates try to exhibit confidence in themselves and hence choose “Team Leader”. If you fail to justify your work as a team leader then you might end up messing your interview with your confidence. Unless you have some past experiences where you as a team leader achieved great success, it is never advisable to go with this choice.
The interviewer might assume you are bossy and overconfident.
A safe play would be to go with “Team player” as everybody loves a team player. When talking about your teamwork, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Gather some recent examples/experiences: Share some recent experiences of how your contribution as a team member has had a significant impact on the team's success.
- Be sure of your choice of words: Try to keep it simple yet impactful and avoid bragging
6) Why This Company?
In order to answer this question, make sure that you visit the website of the company and read about the services they provide, their achievements, their work culture, and their values. Mention any specific detail about that company which is unique only to them. This will show the interviewer that you have done your homework. Ensure that you also go on to tell how the company is making a difference and how the company's goals are in line with your career goals and plans. You could also talk about their In-house projects and tell them how you will perfectly blend in given your skill sets and creative drive.
7) What are Your Goals?
You could also be asked to talk about your short-term goals and your long-term goals or the panelists could also ask you the most dreaded question of all “Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?”
It’s essentially the same question but it has been phrased differently. You should have answers which are well thought through for each of these questions. You will have to be very specific about your short-term goals which are basically a gist of what you aspire to be in a span of 1 or 2 years.
Here’s a sample answer:
I have learned that long-term goals are best achieved when they are broken into smaller chunks or smaller goals. My short-term goal is to find a position in a green-minded and booming company where I would gain experience and get to hone my skills. My long-term goals would depend on where the company goes. I would like to take up a leadership role where I can continue to contribute to the company’s growth.
Note: You should give the interviewer the expression that you are planning on staying for a while.
8) What Are Your Salary Expectations?
This is one of the most important questions in an HR Interview. As a fresher, you shouldn’t be very picky about the salary or CTC. You should tell them that you are interested in learning and that you are in it for the experience and not for the money. So, don't mention any number. You can ask them to pay you according to the company norms and regulations. This is the safest answer you can give.
9) Are You Willing to Relocate Anywhere?
This question is put forward in every interview especially if the company is an MNC. A positive answer like "Yes, I would be willing to relocate" is expected for this question. Although if you have a strong and genuine reason for not being able to relocate, you should be very honest about it and disclose it then and there. It is better to be upfront about it than to cut a sorry figure later.
Sometimes just to check how you handle the pressure they can further ask you what you would do if your parents don't permit you to relocate. This is usually asked to check your composure and your ability to think on your feet. As long as you don’t say anything that can do serious damage you should be fine. But it would be great if you could tell them how you will be able to convince your parents or if it is otherwise, you should be able to justify your answer.