November 10, 2023
10 min read
Whether or not you already feel comfortable, you should plan to practice answering HR interview questions before the actual interview.
Our guide will tell you everything you need to know, including the best ways to prepare for an HR interview, the most common queries you should expect, and examples of both good and bad answers to interview questions.
As mentioned above, there’s no question about it: You definitely need to prep for the interview. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming.
Here are the five best ways to prepare for an HR interview so you can boost your chances of success.
It should go without saying, but you need to be very familiar with your resumé. Interviewers expect you to be comfortable talking about your past work experience and what your role and responsibilities were for each company.
If you feel anxious or are nervous that you might blank when asked about it, you can always bring a copy of your resumé with you or have it handy during a virtual interview.
As you might already know, arriving on time for your interview is absolutely imperative. For an in-person interview, plan to get to the location around 10 to 15 minutes early, just in case.
However, if your interview is virtual and you have a Google Meet or Zoom link, don’t click into the meeting before your scheduled time. Sometimes, recruiters use the same link for every candidate, so there’s a chance entering the meeting room early could interrupt someone else’s interview.
If you happen to be running late, don’t panic. Just give your interviewer a heads up via phone or email.
Showing up on time to your interview tells your interviewer that you’re punctual and respect other people’s time.
Carving out a little time to research the company and the role will benefit you more than you know. Even if you really want the position, you might find out that the company has less than positive reviews online.
The most straightforward way to start your research is by checking out the website of the company you’ll be interviewing with. You can also explore their social media pages, like Facebook, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), or Instagram. If it’s a big company, like Google or Apple, make sure the social media accounts are verified and not spam accounts.
Plan to find out key pieces of information about the company, like:
With regard to the position you’re interviewing for, make sure you’re very familiar with the job listing, including its requirements and responsibilities. This information will help you tailor your HR interview question answers to best showcase yourself in a good light.
When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” during an interview, they really mean it. Most interviewers and recruiters expect applicants to come with questions.
That being said, it’s especially important to take the time to brainstorm and prepare your own questions to ask. For example, some of the most common interview questions for interviewers include things like:
Whatever you do, don’t plan to “just wing it” when it comes to your HR interview. Go ahead and take the time to practice answering some commonly asked HR interview questions so you’re prepared.
A great way to get the most out of practicing is through Yoodli, a communication coach that uses AI technology to analyze your responses and make suggestions to improve.
All you need to do is download the Yoodli app for your desktop and check out its interview simulation capabilities. The goal of Yoodli’s simulator is to present a realistic interview environment for you to practice in.
Users can choose what kind of interviewer they want to practice with, whether that’s serious, skeptical, or friendly. You’ll be prompted with a number of questions — such as HR interview questions — and follow-ups through generative AI.
One of the best parts of Yoodli is that it not only analyzes your response, but it also provides actual metrics so you can see exactly where you need to improve. These include data on your speaking rate, word choice, filler word usage, delivery, and even your body language.
This tool then uses your responses and data to give you feedback that’s individualized based on how you answered questions. For example, if you accidentally use words that others might find offensive, Yoodli will suggest inclusive language alternatives for you to swap out.
To learn more, you can review Yoodli’s overview video outlining exactly how this tool can help you practice HR interview questions:
As such, here are the top most common HR interview questions to prep for:
When it comes to answering interview questions, sometimes it helps to be aware of not only what a good response looks like, but also what a bad response would be.
Here are five HR interview questions with both good and bad responses.
Specificity is the key to questions about your skills and experience, especially when an interviewer asks why you in particular are qualified for the role.
A good answer could be something along the lines of: “I have 4 years of experience working in newsrooms as both a writer and an editor. I also have extensive knowledge of AP style, plain language, reporting ethics, and communication law.”
A bad example might be: “I’m a great writer and editor, and a good communicator who’s passionate about news and the news cycle.”
This HR interview question is meant to help an interviewer gauge your attitude when it comes to doing difficult things. Being positive and enthusiastic when answering is best.
A good answer could be: “During my work in the journalism industry, one of the obstacles I had to overcome was handling criticism and negative feedback from readers. However, this type of feedback made me a stronger journalist and I learned I could use this criticism to my advantage by using it to inform my future work.”
A bad answer might be: “I got a lot of heat on social media for some of the articles I wrote. Even though that really sucked, I figured I could just ignore all the comments and delete my social media apps so I don’t have to see it.”
The key to answering this HR interview question is naming both your strengths and at least one weakness (as well as how you’re working on said weakness).
A good answer could be something like: “One of my greatest strengths is my ability to be self-motivated. I genuinely love the work I do. Some of my other strengths include my ability to work both as a team player and independently, as well as my problem-solving skills. Although I do tend to be a perfectionist, I’ve put in a lot of work to overcome this tendency by working on my work-life balance and by setting realistic goals and deadlines.”
A bad answer would be: “Some of my strengths are that I’m a hard worker and that I’m good at problem-solving. I don’t really have any weaknesses.”
Because this is one of the most common HR interview questions, you should be especially prepared to answer this one. It’s a good idea to create and memorize an elevator pitch, not just for this question but also for networking purposes. Being specific is important here.
A good answer could be: “I’m a health journalist with a master’s in health journalism and 6 years of experience in the industry. I have a passion for all things health, but particularly LGBTQ health, public health, and harm reduction. In my previous role, I worked as a features editor at a local newspaper in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. I’m also skilled in content strategy and SEO.”
A bad answer might be something like: “I’m a team player who loves to work hard and step up to the plate when needed. I’m good at things like communication and writing.”
With this question, the goal is to show the interviewer that your intentions are true and that you genuinely want the job.
A good answer might be: “I love this company’s commitment to DEIB and celebrating differences. [The company you’re interviewing with] has a history of supporting a positive work environment and I was also impressed to learn that the company makes a significant effort to give back to the local community.”
A bad answer could be: “I want to work at [the company you’re interviewing with] because it offers good benefits and the salary is six figures.”
Instead of going into your interview planning to answer HR interview questions as they come, start practicing common questions before your conversation. Although you don’t necessarily want to have memorized responses that could sound ingenuine, it’s a good idea to have an experience answering these queries.
Luckily, Yoodli’s interview flow is the perfect way to get a few hours of practice in. Take advantage of this communication technology tool to boost your chances of getting the position you want.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.