Interviewing With Human Resources

Your meeting with HR is never going to be as straightforward as a meeting with a Sales Manager, Director, VP or CEO. A Manager/Leader will always be optimistic. They are seeking out the good, the achievements, and your incredible milestones. An HR interview is very behavioural based. HR is not out to become your friend in an interview, they are there to assess you, analyze what you are saying, and ultimately looking at ways that you are NOT good enough for this opportunity. They are going to be very nice to you. You will feel good coming out of the interview, but you will soon realize – they can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  



  1. Show your drive. Show you are a hard worker. Show them you have the tenacity to be a leader in your segment.
  2. Be likeable and at the same time show confidence. Be an expert, but also be humble.  Arrogance is a complete turn off for Human Resources and it ultimately can lead to the end of your progression in the interview process. 
  3. Be as transparent as possible. They do not want to ‘dig’ for answers, feedback, or a complete story. They want you to be very detail-oriented. A good method to use is the ‘STAR’ Method (Situation / Task / Action Plan / Results). That being said, have a good cadence to your answers – move the story along – do not concentrate on minute details.  
  4. Show them you have a bright and curious mind. You are always looking to learn. And exemplify ways that you are continuing to learn (additional coursework/reading/industry events etc….).  
  5. Know a bit about the HR leader you are meeting. Look them up on LinkedIn. Inquire about their interview style ahead of time.  
  6. Take the time to carefully read the job description and requirements. Look at ways that your current (or past) skills align with what they are looking for in a candidate/leader. If you are not coming from a competitor to the brand/company, you are going to have to exemplify why you are the right fit for this opportunity and the company (ie – how are your skills transferable to what they are seeking.)  
  7. Know your resume inside and out. Proofread it to make sure there are no grammatical errors. Attention to detail is critical. HR professionals have an eagle’s eye.    
  9. Get to the point – watch your time when answering questions 
  10. Answers should not be drug out – be detail-oriented, but REEL it in 
  11. Energy – enthusiasm – drive
  12. The answers need to flow – biggest concern in past , spending too much time on minute details



  1. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  2. Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
  3. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  4. Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  5. Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.
  6. Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  7. Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.
  8. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
  9. Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
  10. Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split-second decision.
  11. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
  12. Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
  13. Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.
  14. Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.
  15. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  16. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
  17. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
  18. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
  19. Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.
  20. Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
  21. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  22. Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
  23. Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.
  24. Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).