The Art of Interviewing Part 4 – Human Resources


As a Portland staffing agency, we help managers craft the right interview questions to uncover top talent for roles in Accounting, Finance, Engineering, IT and Human Resources.

Conducting interviews is one of your most important duties as a hiring manager. Asking the right questions and active listening can offer valuable insights into a candidate's experience, worth ethic, personality, and hard and soft skills.

Our 4-part blog series covers the most important job interview questions for hiring managers to ask candidates in a job interview in 2024 and beyond.

Here is what we’re covering:

  • All parts - General Interview Questions
  • Part 1 - Accounting & Finance
  • Part 2 - Engineering
  • Part 3 - Information Technology
  • Part 4 - Human Resources

  • Use these industry-specific questions as a starting point and pay close attention to the candidate's responses to learn more about them. You can spot exceptional talent for your team that is ready to succeed with careful planning and attentive listening.

    General Interview Questions
    1. Take me through your resume. What skills and experience do you have that best suit you for this position? This question allows candidates to highlight skills and experience that may not come up otherwise. Pay attention to instances of measurable hard and soft skills that are relevant to the position. This might serve as a rough indicator of qualifications.

    2. How would your former employer characterize your work style and areas of strength? This behavioral question gives insight into how previous managers felt about working with the candidate.

    3. Describe a situation at work when you made a mistake and how you handled it. When you ask about a candidate’s mistakes their answer reveals their character, level of accountability, and whether they have a growth mindset. Look for candidates that learn from their mistakes and avoid repeating them.

    4. Where do you see your career in 5 years? Career goals reveal a candidate's drive and long-term employment potential. Strong performers looking for growth opportunities are often those that are focused on picking up new skills and taking on more responsibility.

    5. What questions do you have for me about the role or company? When a candidate asks thoughtful, well-researched questions, it shows they're thinking ahead and planning for how they can contribute to the organization. Good questions give insight into a candidate’s level of preparation, inquisitiveness and demonstrates their initiative.

    Human Resources Interview Questions
    HR managers should ask behavioral interview questions to evaluate sourcing tactics, conflict resolution, inclusivity, engagement strategies and other core competencies.

    1. What are the best practices and recruiting processes you would use to attract top talent? For HR professionals, interviewing and sourcing abilities are crucial. Be on the lookout for tactics such as utilizing networks and employment branding, creating attractive job listings, and conducting inclusive, skills-based interviews.

    2. How do you handle employee grievances? The ability to manage conflicts and form relationships is crucial. Candidates should display evidence of impartial active listening, research, mediation, and win-win solutions.

    3. What are the characteristics that you believe are most important for an HR manager? Effective HR management requires a combination of hard and soft skills. Look for strategic ethical thinkers with emotional intelligence, humility, inclusivity, teamwork, and concern for all parties involved.

    4. How would you go about enhancing staff retention and engagement? Employees who are fulfilled and engaged are essential. Lookout for data-driven ideas based on best practices that encourage inclusivity, flexibility, professional growth, health and wellness programs, and two-way communication.

    5. How do you stay up to date on changing best practices, trends, and regulations in HR? The HR industry is continually evolving. Listen for a dedication to lifelong learning through publications, activities, workshops, and mentorships in HR. Stagnant knowledge increases the risk of liability.

    The best hiring decisions are made when the right interview questions are used in conjunction with active listening. To create insightful questions that uncover top talent qualified for your roles, use the examples in our blog.

    Pay close attention to the candidate’s answers to understand if their background, knowledge, and skills have prepared them for success in your organization. These interview tips will help you make hiring decisions and recruit top professionals who are prepared to contribute from day one.

    Struggling to hire top talent? Let our staffing experts help you a plan to find the right candidates for your team. Contact us today!