How to answer HR interview questions

Written by chanel adams
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How to answer HR interview questions
Being prepared for common questions gives you an advantage at your next job interview. (Getty Images)

Job interviews can make some people nervous. Most job seekers admit to feeling uneasy or panicky before their interviews, according to the Careerbuilder website. There are some ways to relax before a big job interview. All you need to do is prepare for what's ahead. Once you're prepared, you will be less nervous. You will walk into the job interview with confidence, knowing that you will do fine. You should also prepare yourself for the questions that the HR (human resources) manager will ask.


  1. 1

    Prepare yourself for the opening question. This HR manager might ask, "Tell me about yourself." They may want to determine your values, preferences and lifestyle. Focus on goals that are relevant to the position. You can also ask them if they want work-related answers or something broader.

  2. 2

    Learn how to answer a common question, "What is your greatest strength?" When asking about strengths, HR managers want to find out what your knowledge, skills and personal attributes are. You can answer this without sounding arrogant by saying, "My last manager told me that my sales are the best within the company." You can show other strengths such as determination, teamwork, leadership and the ability to meet deadlines.

  3. 3

    Turn a negative question such as, "What are your weaknesses?" into a positive. You can say, "I have a tendency to work too much." You can own up to other weaknesses such as forgetting names. This shows the HR manager that you are self-aware of your weaknesses. This is also a test of honesty and self-knowledge.

  4. 4

    Tell the employer how you unwind or relax when you're not working. HR managers are usually looking for employees that can lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This could indicate what type of personality you may have. Include aspects to the position such as being social and outgoing during your time off.

  5. 5

    Be prepared for the question, "Do you have any questions?" They will want to know how much you researched about the company and are interested in working for them. Ask questions such as, "Are there opportunities for travel?", "Do you have any unanswered questions?" and "How long have you been here?"

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid being generic. Answer questions that are meaningful and memorable for the HR manager.
  • Use examples from your past work history to illustrate your qualifications, strengths and experiences.
  • Make your answers relevant to the position and your CV.
  • When asked about your hobbies and activities, don't tell the employer that you go to parties or night clubs. They want someone who's mature, responsible and reliable.
  • Be honest and be yourself. Any hint of dishonesty or deception will come back to haunt you later.
  • Don't answer questions that are inappropriate or illegal. All job questions should be focused on the position, responsibilities and qualifications.
  • An employer or HR manager should never ask about your race, gender, sexuality, marital status, religious preference or country of origin. These questions are discriminatory and most instances would be illegal under anti-discrimination laws.
  • Don't ask questions about salary, development opportunities and benefits until after you've been offered the job.

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