In this article, we will be discussing how to answer some of the most asked HR interview questions asked in on-campus and off-campus interviews.
HR Interview Questions and Answers
Be it a IT Service-based company, IT Product-based company or Analytics based company, the HR questions mostly remain the same. They focus on testing the candidate’s communication skills, interest towards the role, enthusiasm to learn and basic work ethics. So keep these in mind and align every answer of yours accordingly.
However, do check out the below-mentioned tips to answers these HR interview questions.
Tell me something 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.
So, now how do you go about answering it? Where should you start from?
The best way to go about answering this HR interview 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 question that would come along – Why do 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.
- Keep your answer short and simple.
- Be confident and maintain eye contact.
- Try to match your skills and interests with profile being hired for. This would showcase your worthiness.
- Work on your strong selling points.
- Stay positive and happy.
- Do not memorize answer for this question. 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.
Where do you see yourself five years now?
Any interviewer for that matter wouldn’t really be interested in knowing what exactly would you be up to after 1825 days. If so then why do they ask?
The major reason behind any interviewer asking this question is to know more about your career aspirations, goals and also to analyze how you would fit in the role. So you need to express your interest in succeeding in that role, so that interviewer believes that you are likely to perform well.
You need to honestly express your interest in the role and explain how it would turn out to be a great career move for you. Also, you need to carefully align your future goals with the current role that they have offered. For example, 5 years down the lane if you want to see yourself as a Business Development Manager then it is hard for any interviewer to believe that you would give your 100% as a software developer.
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 long term. As the company would invest a lot in terms of training you, so you need to prove to be a good investment.
- Express your enthusiasm to work with the organization. Also tell me as to why do you think it can help you grow better.
Have an answer in mind before you go for the interview. Else you will end up with thoughts like this.
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 of value they 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”.
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
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:
- Stick With Recent Examples: Try to choose an example from the past unless something older is especially impressive. Relaying an outdated story about how you worked with a team to get the whole company access to high-speed internet doesn’t grab attention.
- Toot Your Own Horn: Pick an experience that shines the spotlight on you and shows how you contributed to a team that achieved spectacular results.
- Consider Relevance: Relay an example that’s most relevant to the company you’re interviewing with. Draw the parallel so they can see how you’d succeed on a team with them.
- Add Value: Choose an example that serves to demonstrate added strengths in addition to teamwork.
- Focus Your Response: Highlight your story in bullet point form rather than memorizing a script.
What do you know about the company and its products?
The aim of this question is to test your background work about the company and its products. Anyone who is keen on working with a company would do a good amount of research.
You need to know in detail about the products. A rough idea as to the usage and advantages of the products would do.
This will also help you come up with some good suggestions as to what can be improved in the products and how can they be made better (this can be told if the interviewer asks for opinion about their products). But you also need to be careful while doing so.
Firstly you need to analyze if the changes or improvements you suggested are feasible enough. Every product made by a company involves a lot of thinking, background research work and so much of effort into building it as whole. So when you point out mistakes or changes then you need to be confident as to why they should be done. It is not necessary that you need to come up with suggestions. But it might just help add up a lot of value to your candidature.
What is unique about you?
For this question, you need to think of what are some of the skills that you have when compared to others. Also, you need to have proper justification & examples to demonstrate your skill. One such example is:
“My natural ability to organize effectively makes me unique. I also have the ability to
relate problems with real-world experience and I will try implementing technical
knowledge that I have so far in sorting it out.”
What is your hobby?
This one again varies from person to person. But before answering this keep in mind
that hobby is something that you do on a regular basis to enhance your skill.
If you are a puzzle lover you can go with this. I am a puzzle person. As of date, I am into speed cubing. It means, I like to solve various types of Rubik’s cubes and other
puzzles within a time limit. I also love to solve Su-do-ku puzzles during train
journeys. But most importantly, I am into programming puzzles in 10 languages on
which I spend at least an hour daily. In order to polish my skills, I have taken up the
onus of conducting and arranging hackathons for my batch and for my juniors in the Computer Science Engineering department of my college. My friends call me Puzzle-man because of my hobby.
Do you have any questions / Would like to ask us something?
So, there is no particular question which is considered to be the best. But, please make sure you do not ask sensitive questions like regarding compensation, annual turn over etc.
One possible answer could be:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Yes, sir, I do have questions.
Some example questions are
- How did you come to work here?
- What do you love the most about working here? Tell me about the company’s biggest challenge this year and how will this job help to solve it?