Top Human Resources Manager Interview Questions with Example Answers [2020]

Prepare for your Human Resources Manager interview by going through these most asked Human Resources Manager interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: How far is your place from here?
  • Question Overview: This is a question that's asked to test the applicant's sense of direction and ability to read a map. It's best to ask this question if you're interviewing in a rural area where there are few landmarks.

    Sample Answer: I'm about five miles away.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to read a map
    • - Sense of direction
    • - Level of comfort with public transportation

  • Question: Tell me about a time you had to overcome adversity, why should we hire you?
  • Question Overview: The best way to learn about an applicant's character is to ask them to describe a time when they faced adversity. The ideal candidate will be able to describe a situation in which they were forced to take on a leadership role, and how they handled the situation.

    Sample Answer: I was recently promoted to human resources manager at my company. When I took over the position, I realized that I was in over my head. I had to take the initiative and learn everything I could about the position before I could even begin to make a difference.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of self-awareness
    • - Level of self-confidence
    • - Ability to take initiative

  • Question: How will you gain respect from others?
  • Question Overview: This is a question that's best answered with a story. The applicant should describe a time when they had to gain the respect of others, and how they went about doing so.

    Sample Answer: I had to gain the respect of my employees when I took over as manager. I did this by showing them that I was willing to work just as hard as they were, and that I was willing to learn from them as well.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of self-awareness
    • - Level of comfort in a leadership role
    • - Level of creativity

  • Question: How do you approach improving the culture of your team?
  • Question Overview: The human resources manager is in charge of creating a positive work environment. As such, they should be able to describe their methods for improving the culture of their team. The ideal candidate will have a number of methods at their disposal, including team-building exercises and motivational speeches.

    Sample Answer: I like to schedule a team-building exercise every quarter. It's important to keep the team on their toes and remind them that we're all in this together.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of creativity
    • - Level of comfort in a leadership role
    • - Level of self-confidence

  • Question: Why did you leave your last job?
  • Question Overview: This is a question that's best answered with a positive spin. The applicant should focus on the positive aspects of their previous position and use it as a springboard to discuss why they're interested in this position.

    Sample Answer: I left my last job because I felt that I had reached my limit in terms of growth. I'm looking for a position where I can continue to learn and grow.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Positive spin on their last position
    • - Rational self-evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses
    • - Insight into their level of humility and ability

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Question Overview: The human resources manager is a position that requires a great deal of flexibility. The ideal candidate will be able to see the long-term picture and have a plan for their career path.

    Sample Answer: I'd like to be in a position where I'm able to make a difference in the lives of others.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of ambition
    • - Career goals
    • - Ability to self-evaluate

  • Question: What are your thoughts on union avoidance?
  • Question Overview: Union avoidance is a controversial topic, and you'll want to be sure that the applicant is well-versed in the issue. The ideal candidate will be able to discuss the pros and cons of union avoidance without taking either side.

    Sample Answer: I believe that union avoidance is a matter of personal choice. It's important to remember that both sides have valid arguments.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of knowledge of the topic
    • - Level of comfort with controversial issues
    • - Ability to remain neutral in an argument

  • Question: Tell me about a time when you didn't get along with someone.
  • Question Overview: This is a question that's designed to gauge the applicant's ability to work with others. The ideal candidate will be able to describe a situation in which they were able to resolve the conflict in a positive manner.

    Sample Answer: I had a disagreement with one of my co-workers about how to handle a particular situation. We were both passionate about our positions, but we were able to come together and find a solution that benefited everyone.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to work with others
    • - Level of self-awareness
    • - Level of self-confidence

  • Question: How have you managed to push back when business leaders were trying to drive an initiative?
  • Question Overview: The human resources manager is often the last line of defense between the company's goals and the employees who will be asked to carry them out. It's important to know how they'll handle themselves when faced with a difficult situation.

    Sample Answer: I've always been able to find a compromise that works for everyone. I'm able to look at the situation from all angles and come up with a solution that benefits everyone involved.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of self-confidence
    • - Level of comfort in a leadership role
    • - Level of problem-solving prowess

  • Question: Why do you want to work for us?
  • Question Overview: This is a great opportunity to learn about the applicant's interest in the company. If they're applying for a position in a different department, ask them to describe why they'd like to work for the company as a whole.

    Sample Answer: I've always been interested in the field of human resources. I've also been impressed with your company's reputation for excellence.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Level of interest in the company
    • - Level of interest in the position
    • - Level of interest in the industry