HR interviews are the foundation of the interview process, as they are often conducted very early in the interview process and create a pivotal first impression. It’s important for job seekers to treat an interview with HR just like you would an interview with a potential manager or coworker, but with a catch. HR professionals ask less technical questions related to skills and more personality, behavioral questions. However, despite not focusing on your experience or skills, HR interviews can determine who moves on to the next step of the interview process and who does not. Here are five tips for acing your HR interview and moving on to the next step in the interview process:
1. Do your homework
It is important to refer to the company website for information on not only what they do, but also for valuable knowledge on corporate culture, articles, and other pertinent details. You can also Google financial information and check out LinkedIn for additional company or interviewer information. Having this background intelligence will make it easier to have a conversation with an HR professional about why you want to work at the organization and why you think you are a good fit for the position.
2.Thoroughly review your resume
For an HR interview, it is important to thoroughly review your resume and be prepared to talk about specific instances from past jobs. Not everyone is going to remember every single detail of their jobs for the past several years, but HR professionals will often ask about certain situations, like a time where you had a conflict with a coworker or when your work was criticized. Because of this, it’s important to go through your resume beforehand to jog your memory in case you are asked a question regarding an issue or event at a past job.
3. Write things down
Writing down questions in a notebook before the interview gives you the opportunity to research questions ahead of time. The HR interviewer will undoubtedly ask if you have any questions about the job, company, etc., and having questions prepared will ensure you get the information you want. Remember, HR is interviewing you to find out if you are a good fit, but you are also interviewing the company per se, as you need to find out if you think the job and company are right for you. With prepared questions, you limit the risk of forgetting the questions you want to ask. Also, write down notes while you are interviewing. Maybe there are additional details about the job description that you can use as reference for your next interview.
4. Be on your best behavior
This should go without saying, but it is extremely important to be well dressed/groomed if doing an on-site interview. Be sure you look professional from head to toe, as it is important to make a positive impression on your HR interviewer. Also, you should be polite and cordial during any interview, but especially with HR, as they are more prone to judge personality and behavior. Do not bad mouth anyone or anything—not your former job, coworkers, managers, company, etc. This is a huge red flag to HR professionals. If you badmouth your former company, what is to say you wouldn’t badmouth this company in the future?
5. Reiterate your interest
In closing, it’s always important to thank the HR professional for his/her time and express your interest again about the position and why you are a good fit. Tell him/her you look forward to meeting with others to further understand the position and company. If you want to take it one step further you can follow up with a “thank you” letter to the interviewer(s), but make sure you proofread it and it’s free of spelling and grammar mistakes.
Though an interview with HR can be nerve-wracking, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you keep these tips in mind and treat it with the same importance that you would an interview with a potential manager, you should have no problem acing it.
Leave a Reply