Employee Relations Interview Questions

Written by ruth mayhew
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Employee relations interview questions focus on a candidate's knowledge and understanding of topics essential to strengthening the employer-employee relationship. These questions range from behavioural to situational and address topics such as labour and employment law, processes for handling workplace investigations or the importance of employee recognition and how to plan employee events.

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Employee Relations Jobs

Jobs for human resources professionals with specialised expertise in employee relations are similar to jobs for HR generalists because they require knowledge of all the human resources disciplines. Seasoned employee relations specialists and managers are capable of handling employment matters that involve compensation and benefits, safety, recruiting or training and development. In addition, they are well-versed in the ability to identify and resolve workplace issues stemming from unfair employment practices, discrimination and harassment. Many high-level employee relations specialists and managers are adept in designing strategic improvement in the workplace using employee opinion surveys and action plans.

Career Questions

Employee relations interview questions that help employers determine why a candidate has chosen this field and how his career goals evolved are questions such as "Describe what inspired your interest in employee relations," "What do you like best about the employee relations discipline and what do you like least about it?" or "How did you first get involved in the employee relations section of your employer's human resources department?" Candidates with experience and expertise in a variety of human resources disciplines are likely to have found an aspect of employee relations that's suited to their personal interests, such as helping employers reach organizational goals through improving the value of human capital.

Learning Curve

Some employee relations professionals gained entry to the field by default, meaning the department needed someone to fill a vacancy. The candidate may not have initially set her sights on a career in employee relations but the opportunity to volunteer in the area spawned an interest. Other employee relations specialists consciously set out to develop their expertise in the area through learning the application of labour and employment laws and how to improve workplace factors such as employee engagement. Interview questions about human resources certification, continuing education and professional training are essential for employers who require these credentials. They aid in determining employee relations expertise. A sample interview question about expertise is "Explain the activities or courses you completed for your most recent Senior Professional Human Resources recertification requirements."

Labor-Management Relations

Labor relations specialists -- responsible for negotiating collective bargaining agreements, handling management's response to employee grievances and creating a productive relationship between management and labour -- are often well-versed in laws such as the National Labor Relations Act. Interview questions for labour relations specialists focus on knowledge of labour-management rules, negotiation skills and knowledge of labour law. Labor relations specialists and employee relations specialists fulfil similar roles; however, they work in union and nonunion work environments, respectively.

Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural interview questions are an ideal way to determine how a prospective employee relations specialist handles workplace issues that require use of analytical thought processes and communication skills. Examples of behavioural interview questions for employee relations specialists are "Explain your process for investigating workplace complaints concerning possible sexual harassment," and "How would you identify and resolve a workplace issue that involves discord among several employees in one department?" Responses from an experienced employee relations specialist give insight to the way she communicates with employees from different levels and her knowledge of human resources best practices for applying labour and employment regulations.

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