How to Ace The HR Interview

In this world of constant competition, interviews are a process by which employers distinguish the best from the storm of good job aspirants. Unlike written tests and CV, interviews allow the interview takers to know the candidates personally, their thought process and motivation, soft skills, level of commitment, and productivity as an employee. Since your interview will determine whether you land the job or not, it is important that you give an interview with which you are genuinely happy.

Just like any job interview, acing the Human Resource interview too takes preparation, self-confidence and courtesy. It is important that the job aspirant avoid viewing the job recruiter as his or her enemy. The interviewer’s goal is to hire the best person for the job and the questions asked are simply ways of deciphering if you are well suited for the job, it is definitely nothing personal. A positive mindset will result in a positive interview.

Following are a few tips that will help you ace the Human Resource interview:

  1. Reread, review and Revise your resume. When asked about yourself, avoid talking about your personal life and family issues, instead talk about your educational background and work history. Do not hesitate to talk about personal accomplishments if they pertain to the job you are applying without sounding arrogant or boastful.
  2. Usually, before the face-to-face interview session, the candidate’s first contact with the employer is over the telephone. It is the first time the candidate can pitch for oneself and see if it is a mutual match. Always speak in a quiet place and if you are expecting a call, charge your phone sufficiently. Avoid stuttering and repeating yourself, instead speak at a normal pace and with confidence. Ask questions about the company and job offering, it shows interest.
  3. There has been a rise in virtual interviews through Skype calls. It is important that one treats a virtual interview with the same seriousness and professionalism as a face to face interview after all your career is on the line. Make sure you have a professional username and dress appropriately for the interview. Keep the background as clean and presentable as possible and avoid sitting near the window or in a cafe/restaurant where there is bound to be noise and distraction. Sit straight, smile often and avoid looking nervous or under-confident. Your body language will affect their decision to hire you.
  4. Only a small fraction makes it to the face-to-face interview. Interviews can be daunting for people who are introverts or under confident and inexperienced. The only way to crack even the toughest of interviews is by having faith in one’s capabilities and having a positive mindset.
  5. Research adequately about the organization you are giving the interview to. Visit their website, read articles and check the LinkedIn accounts of the company leaders and employees. You are bound to discuss about the company’s history, projects and development, leaders and future goals. In addition, make sure your answers are consistent, with those you gave during the phone call or skype call.
  6. Dress appropriately, be on time and greet your interviewers with a pleasant tone. Remember that punctuality and good etiquette are virtues that your interviewers will take note of. If you are a seasoned HR professional, you will be expected to know how to conduct yourself in an HR interview and if you are new to the field, you will be expected to have done considerable homework about the careers in HR. The bottom line is, do not take the interview casually irrespective of your work history.
  7. Be ready to answer questions on why you left your previous job. No matter how rough your previous job experience was, avoid badmouthing you ex-employers and company. Use your answers to show that you are more suitable for the job you are presently applying for than your previous job. Talk about the positive aspects of your previous jobs and how it has helped you grow.
  8. Prepare an answer on your strengths and weaknesses. In an office, you will have to work with others, and it is important that you mention that you are both an independent worker and a team player. Provide examples of projects that you accomplished while working with a team. If you are new to the HR field, talk about your adapting and adjusting skills and how you are willing to learn and improve.
  9. The interviewers are interested in knowing if you are capable of managing conflict. Think beforehand of a situation, where you were faced with a challenging issue and how you solved it through compromise and understanding. Mention how you are capable of working with people who have opposing viewpoints and place the task over and above your personal interests and ego.
  10. Acknowledge your shortcomings and mention ways of overcoming them. The interviewers are keen on recruiting people who are willing to learn and develop themselves professionally over time. Give instances of how you have improved in a particular aspect you were once weak in. Avoid blaming people or circumstances for your weaknesses, this will only reflect poorly of yourself.
  11. Interviewers often ask why you are interested in taking up this job. Explain to the recruiters how your skill set will fit perfectly with the requirement of the job. Prepare a concise answer on why they should hire you and how you will contribute positively to the company’s growth. Make it seem as though the job requirements describe you perfectly.
  12. Try to get a sense of what your references will say about you. Try speaking to them beforehand so that you are not caught off guard.
  13. When talking about salary, try to find out the salary that the industry usually pays for the position you are seeking. Justify your demand by pointing out unique skills or your years of experience and education. If the employer is offering a range that is widely different from yours even after negotiating, be professional and accept that the job is not fit for you.
  14. Thank your interviewers for their time and patience after the interview is over.

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Bradley Wood is a freelance writer who lives in Pomona, Los Angeles. He is pursuing graduation from the University of California (UC). Bradley frequently contributes his high-quality articles in Academics and Education to our site to help students in their day-to-day life.