Are you interviewing for a new job? Is going to interviews really daunting to you? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
A lot of people find interviews challenging and even fearsome. They feel anxious and nervous but that’s mostly because they are unprepared.
If you’re looking for a new job and going for an HR interview, you need to be prepared. Also, practice answering the most common questions asked during HR interviews.
But more than that, there are a lot of things you need to take care of before going for your interview.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are pro tips in different aspects that will help you get over your interview jitters, prep you and make sure you nail your HR interview.
Tips For HR Interview
Do An Extension Research On The Company
Before showing up for your interview, do research on the company and the people who will be conducting it. Know more about what their business or brand and what they are all about and how they operate.
When you know about the company, its brand, its mission statement, and other details, it shows that you’ve done your homework and actually prepared for this interview.
That’s a hint to the interviewer that you are committed to working with them and serious about the job position.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
Have copies of your resume and cover letter with you when you go into the interview. Make sure your CV is up-to-date and includes all the recent promotions or achievements.
Also, do remember to take a copy of your cover letter with you. You never know if you might be asked to write one.
Be Open And Honest In The Interview
The human resource department has the word ‘human’ because it is about the person and communicating with people, at the end of the day.
It’s very important that HR sees you as who you really are so they can know your true personality. It tells them whether you are suitable for the organization as well as the given position or not.
It’s better to just act naturally and be relaxed, rather than trying too hard to look natural. Find an opportunity to demonstrate that you have good interpersonal skills and to act professionally.
On the day of an interview, be sure to arrive early, introduce yourself politely, and dress appropriately.
This means thinking about the company’s brand identity, but also dressing in ways that feel comfortable for you on the day.
One of the known phrases in the corporate world is “dress for success.”
The same concept applies to job interviews. If you want to get hired, the first easiest thing you can do is dress appropriately.
You may have been told not to wear jeans or sneakers to an interview, but there is no rule against wearing business casual attire unless you’ve been asked to.
In fact, many companies prefer candidates who dress professionally. When in doubt, it is better to be cautious and dress more formally than you usually do.
The way you dress for an interview also depends upon the type of company or employer for which you’re applying. Sometimes, it also depends upon the environment and situations.
Do consider all the factors like their company culture, work environment, and job requirements when deciding what to wear.
You can also ask your hiring manager or recruiter for advice on what type of clothing to wear. First impressions can be important when determining whether someone gets hired.
If you’re unsure, business casuals are usually a common and generally acceptable choice for an HR interview.
Remember To Show Enthusiasm For The Job Interview
During this first interview, you need to show enthusiasm for the job. Remember that HR determines whether or not a candidate fits into their current company culture.
You should be prepared for anything, in a sense. Don’t show up for an interview without doing some research into the company and its values and its history first.
Find out what they do, their number of employees, and the most recent news. The interviewer is certainly going to ask you questions about the company and notice your viewpoint, preparation, and enthusiasm for it.
If you’re not well-informed, then you’ll make a bad impression regardless of your background.
Help the recruiter understand who you are, why you’re interested in working for their company, how you found out about the job and your vision of the role.
Explain to them clearly why you’re interested in the job in the first place and what motivates you the most to go for it.
Show that you’re passionate about this job, in fact for this very opportunity to interview for the company. Tell them why you’ll be a good fit for the company and the best for the position. It’s not the time to be shy or be reserved.
Be Present & Proactive In Your Communication
Candidates who let their minds wander when they’re asked questions by interviewers tend to be less engaged during interviews.
Even if you already know the business well, it’s always best to listen carefully. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions too or add your viewpoint to what they’re saying.
You can also just simply affirm their points and back them with your additional points.
Remember, If you don’t do that, they probably going to think that you’re not interested or at least not enough.
This is an opportunity to have a conversation, not just rehashing your professional story. Make sure you ask lots of questions, respond to them, rephrase, and try to engage in a conversation.
Understand the format of an interview which is a form of a conversation between two people who want to get to know each others’ personalities better.
It’s not a series of hollow one-sided monologues, or even worse, a confrontation or interrogation.
Practice On How You’re Going To Tell Your Story
You need to be able to summarize your experience in one sentence or a paragraph.
So you should be capable of going through your career, one year at a time and one job at a time. Before the interview, practice telling your story out loud in front of a mirror.
One simple method to do that is just to stick to your CV, and don’t go off-topic unless you’re asked for more details.
When you go through your CV, make sure you explain your strategic decisions as well as any sudden changes, switches, shifts, or lapses in your professional timeline.
Be open, determined, and honest because those are the exact qualities an HR recruiter expects from their ideal candidate.
It’s okay if you’ve made mistakes in your career or tried something different that didn’t work, just be honest about it, and don’t try to hide and explain everything.
Make sure to be precise, clear, and diplomatic about it. This will help you stand out from others who don’t know what they want.
Don’t Get Technical In Interview Unless Asked To
Remember that the interview with the hiring manager is not meant to test your technical skills or your knowledge of the company. Don’t use jargon specific to your field when explaining something.
Avoid using acronyms. It’s not pleasant for the interviewee (or anyone else) when they are spoken to using very technical language. Keep things simple and clear.
If you don’t, you might look pretentious. If you’re asked to go into more detail, then do so.
Be reflective about your experience
The hiring manager may ask questions about conflicts from your past jobs and how you handled them. They do this to examine your integrity and ability to integrate.
It’s important to prepare for such questions before the job interview. In case, you haven’t had any difficult situations before in your career, be prepared to get engaged in role-playing problem solving as they throw you a hypothetical problem.
They will describe it as a fictional conflict within the company, and give you time to come up with your opinion as well as the solution to this situation.
Give Consideration To The Salary Question
Another question that will come up during the interview is what compensation you’re expecting from the company.
Give this plenty of consideration before you go to the interview so you are not caught off guard at that time and make some silly mistake. Also, look up the perks available at the company that they are offering.
See what are the offers on which you would like to negotiate, then choose a salary range that suits your need, experience, and skillset.
Don’t sell yourself short or underestimate yourself but on other hand, be realistic about it as well.
Work On Your Language Skills
During the hiring process, the HR interview is the one occasion when you can expect to be asked to demonstrate your language skills.
If the job requires some level of proficiency in Spanish, French, or Mandarin, the recruiter may switch to that language at any time during the interview.
Make sure you can communicate clearly so that people understand you.
Preparing For Interview Questions Asked In HR Interview
You will need to learn about tackling interview questions such as “Why do you want to work here?” and “What makes you qualified for this job position?”.
You’ll also learn how to handle tricky situations like “How would you deal with difficult coworkers?” and “What kind of personality traits should we look for in our employees?”.
And finally, you’ll learn how to answer questions like “Do you have any experience working with X?”, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, and “What skills do you bring to the table?”.
Just like that, here are few more questions that you need to get prepared for HR interview
- What is your current role?
- Tell me something about yourself.
- How long have you been in this position?
- Where do you see yourself after the next 2 years?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why did you leave your last employer?
- What are three things you would change if you could start over again?
- What are the most common mistakes people make while interviewing?
- Describe a time when you had to work under pressure.
- What was the best thing about working here?
- What were the worst things about working here?
- How do you handle stress?
- Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
- How do you deal with deadlines?
- Can you tell us about a time when you failed?
- How do I know that you’ll fit into our culture?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What is the hardest part about being an employee?
- What is one thing you wish you knew before starting your first job?
Familiarize Yourself With The Job Description & Duties.
Before interview. job candidates should familiarize themselves with the job position. They should also be able to answer questions about their education, experience, and skills relevant to the position.
The interviewer will ask you a series of questions that are designed to help them determine if you’re qualified for the job.
Make sure you do extensive research for the job position to get familiarized with it enough. Find other job postings with the same job title and review them. Examine their job description.
This will help you to prepare yourself to answer all those potential questions in the interview regarding the job role and duties.
With consistent assessment, you need to identify the tasks most frequently mentioned in job descriptions, as these may be among the ones employers emphasize during the interview.
Practice Your Interview Communication Skills
Learn the basics of public speaking, including what makes for good content, delivery style, and audience engagement.
You can improve your communication skills by practicing them through online tutorials, talking to your reflection in the mirror, or enlisting the help from a friend to ask you questions commonly asked during an HR interview.
The continued practice may help improve your ability to speak with more confidence, making the employer feel more confident that you’re the right person for the job.
Here’s few tips on how to practice and prepare for your first interview communication
- Find out about different types of presentations and practice delivering each type.
- Find out about the history of the organization. It can be helpful to find out more about the organization’s past successes and failures.
- Find out about any special projects or events that might be coming up soon.
- Learn about the company’s current initiatives.
- Ask open-ended questions to get a sense of the interviewer’s personality.
- Try not to use yes/no questions. They’re often too direct and come across as confrontational. Instead, try asking open-ended questions such as “What are some ways we can improve customer service?” or “Why should someone choose this company over another?”.
- Ask follow-up questions. A simple way to do this is to repeat back what the interviewer has said.
- Think about how you could make the interviewer’s life easier.
- If you have worked at the company previously, mention it. If you haven’t, but think you’d be interested in working there, then mention that too.
- If you have done work similar to the one being offered, mention that.
- If you have been asked specific questions, mention them. For example, if you’ve been asked about a previous project, mention it.
- Include any relevant personal information.
- Be prepared to discuss why you want to work for the company.
Learn & Implement About STAR Interview Method
The STAR interview method involves asking questions that help you provide stronger responses to questions related to competency and experience. These questions may begin by asking for a description or telling a story.
STAR is an acronym that stands for:
- Situation: Describe the situation or event.
- Task: Describe the task you needed to finish.
- Action: Describe what actions you took to complete the task.
- Result: Describe the results of your actions.
This is a very effective way to get your questions answered and it’s also a great way to learn about the company you are interviewing with.
How does STAR Interview Method work?
Start by asking open-ended questions that will help you understand more about the organization you are interviewing with.
These questions should be specific enough to allow the interviewer to provide details about the organization without being too general. For example: “What do you see as the biggest challenges facing this company?”
Next, ask closed-ended questions that will allow you to gather information about the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.
Examples include: “How does this company measure its success?,” “What are some ways this company could improve customer service?”
Finally, use STAR questions at the end of the interview to ensure that you have covered all the areas you want to discuss. The STAR questions are:
- S – Summarize the organization’s mission statement. What does the organization stand for? How does the organization define itself?
- A – Ask about the organization’s history. Where did the organization come from? Who founded it? When was it established?
- T – Talk about the organization’s current situation. What has changed since you started working there? Why?
- R – Reflect on the organization’s future. What would make the organization successful in five years? In ten years?
- E – End the interview by discussing any concerns you might have.
Pro Tips For Different Types Of HR Interviews
Tips For the Phone HR interview
- Be prepared to answer questions about your work experience, education, and skills.
- Practice your answers out loud so you don’t sound nervous.
- Keep a positive attitude throughout the entire process.
- Read through your resume again and the job description. Make sure you’re prepared for the interview. Before going for the phone interview, get both documents i.e job description and resume ready for the meeting. You need to take the call in a quiet room.
Make sure that your phone is fully charged and that you have good cell reception.
- Have some examples of your best work ready to show off.
- Check the LinkedIn profile of the person you’re going to speak with.
- You should be ready to answer the question you don’t want to address. For most applicants, the question they’re asked most often is “Why did you leave your previous job?”
- Make sure you have a good idea of what the job is all about before you go in for an interview.
- Make sure you stand up and smile. Even if they can’t see you, your body posture will affect your tone.
- Ask a question about the company before applying for a job there. It shows interest.
- Before you end the call, make sure you understand the company’s timeframe for future development.
- If you have been invited to an in-person interview, dress appropriately. Don’t wear anything that makes you look sloppy or unprofessional.
Tips For a Virtual HR Interview
- Make sure your headset or microphone works before logging into the video call. And Arrive at least 5-10 minutes earlier than your scheduled meeting time.
- Make sure your Skype name is professional and not just a default name. It should also be appropriate, and too personal, funny, or anything.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion Once you get the position, you may be able to dress however you want, but Downing says to act like you’re interviewing for a real job.
- Create a professional environment. Candidates should make absolutely sure that there’s nothing distractive or unprofessional in the backdrop, and that any background noise is kept to a minimum.
- Don’t multitask during an interview. Recruiters can see if you’re distracted by something else.
Tips For The First in-person HR Interview
- Dress professionally, and be prepared to do a quick wardrobe change if you are asked to wear something different than what you normally would wear to work (i.e., don’t show up wearing your pajama pants).
- Be aware of how you present yourself. If you appear disheveled or unprepared, it could reflect poorly on you.
- Have a few questions prepared ahead of time to ask the interviewer. These questions can help you learn more about the company and the role.
- Try to avoid asking questions that require a lot of detail. Instead, focus on general topics such as why this particular employer is right for you.
- Keep your conversation light and friendly. Avoid being overly aggressive when talking to the hiring manager.
- Smile! This is one of the best ways to project confidence.
- Show enthusiasm. You want to convey that you’re excited about the opportunity.
- Ask follow-up questions after the interview. A simple “thank you” goes a long way.
- Follow up quickly. The recruiter may already have another candidate lined up for the position, so don’t wait too long to let them know you’d like to move forward.
- Make sure you send thank-you notes to everyone who interviewed you.
- After you receive the offer, always keep in touch with the company. Send emails regularly to stay updated on news and events.
- Finally, be patient. Some companies take longer than others to fill positions.
- Remember, you only get one chance to make a great impression. So, make sure you put some thought into every aspect of your application.
- Make sure your answers match up with what you told us during your phone interview and what’s on your resume.
- Be punctual. If you are late, it will be a bad start to your career.
- Dress well. You don’t have to wear a suit but make sure that you look professional and clean.
- Bring copies of all your credentials.
- Have a list of questions to ask them.
- Interviewers often ask you about your strengths and weaknesses, so be prepared for them. Many people know how to prepare for the former but not the latter.
- Don’t trash your former employer or company. Instead, point out previous challenges in a professional way, explain how you overcame them, and show examples of your success.
- Research the company.
- Mock interviews are a good way to practice for real. There are lots of online resources available for people who want to improve their job-hunting skills. However, asking a friend to walk through scenarios can be helpful, too.
Tips for follow-up HR interviews
- Be prepared to answer questions that you didn’t expect. For example, if the interviewer asks about your salary expectations, be ready with a response. If they ask how many hours of work you want per week, be ready with an answer.
- Ask questions about the organization, such as “What do you think is the biggest challenge facing this business?” or “How does this company plan to grow?”
- Keep it positive! Interviewers are looking for candidates who are excited about the opportunity and eager to learn more about the company. Avoid negative comments, especially when talking about why you left your last job.
- Ask about the company’s corporate culture. You don’t need to ask questions about management style and the company’s culture if they’re not relevant to the position. They actually show that you’re a serious candidate. You can expect honest answers.
- Follow up via email after the interview to thank the recruiter for his/her time. This will help you stay top of mind with the hiring manager.
- Send a handwritten note thanking the person for taking time out of her day to meet with you.
- Always send a thank-you note after receiving a job offer.
- Make sure to keep in touch with your references. You never know when a reference might need a quick update about you.
- Get feedback from friends and family members who worked at the company. They can give you insight into the culture and working conditions.
- Research the company online. Check out Glassdoor reviews, LinkedIn profiles, and other public sources to gather information about the company.
- Look for ways to connect with current employees. Find out where they hang out socially, and reach out to them on social media.
- Don’t forget to network. Reach out to contacts outside of your network to find out if anyone knows someone who works at the company.
- Talk to everyone you know. You should talk to the receptionist while you’re waiting. It’s a great way to figure out what kind of people you’ll be working with.
- If the last few people who held the job were let go, that’s an indication that there might be trouble ahead for you. If they’ve been given promotions, you know you have an opportunity.