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6 behavioral interview questions to ask HR employees

6 Behavioral Interview Questions to Ask Potential HR Employees

You’ve probably heard the old adage “good help is hard to find” countless times in your life. But there is an even harder form of help to find. We’re talking about finding the right people to run the lifeline of your company – your potential HR employees.

The Human Resource department consists of the wonderful men and women that assist you in recruiting, hiring, and nurturing (among many other job duties) your future team members. 

The task of hiring the correct people for your Human Resources department is without a doubt one of the most important things your company could ever do when starting up.  

Any hiring process for future employees can be stressful within itself. But finding the right team to help you build from the ground up is essential. This is where your Human Resources department comes in. Any form of neglect when choosing your HR department could make or break the foundation of your business. 

But how in the world do you find the right people for the job?

It’s important to alleviate some of the stress that can go into the HR hiring process. Here are the six best behavioral interview questions to ask potential HR employees during the interview phase

Your Human Resources Department

Be mindful of how important each member of your HR department will be. A great candidate will have the proper education and experience needed to excel in their respective roles in the department.

Most applicants will be filtered through your Human Resource department. The employees in HR will be the ones deciding who will get interviews, and they will also be the ones to send out those politely written rejection emails. 

It’s crucial that each HR employee is well informed of what is required of them before they are even hired. As always, communication is key. Thoroughly discuss your company’s mission statement during the interview process.  This will let potential HR hires know what you wish to accomplish on a daily basis. 

If you set your expectations during the interview process, you can save a lot of time in the future, so communicate your needs. But also listen to the needs of your potential HR employee. Early communication will greatly decrease the likelihood of unexpected departures.

Once you build an ideal HR team, you will want them to stick around as long as possible.

Now let’s get to the questions! 

Question 1: How Would You Handle Being Assigned a Duty That Isn’t in Your Job Description? 

Ask candidates how they would feel about being asked to handle a task that wasn't on their job description.

You could state this question as:

“During your career, you’ve probably been asked to do more than one thing that wasn’t listed in your job description.

Think back to one of those situations and ask yourself how it made you feel to be asked to do something you weren’t initially hired for?”

As an employee in any company, you may have been overwhelmed at times or even frustrated when being asked to complete a task that was outside of your normal job description.

But as a leader of an organization, delegating assignments becomes a normal part of what a managerial role requires. 

When looking to add to your Human Resources department, you will want to look for people who don’t mind taking on an extra task or two when needed. Chances are, your company will want to be frugal with its resources, or you may not have the budget to always pay outside help to perform simple tasks. 

In this case, asking this question could reveal if a person’s attitude is the right fit for your organization. 

Do they feel taken advantage of when asked to complete an extra task, or do they jump at any opportunity to help?

Set Expectations

If you know that your company has many moments throughout a workweek where extra help may be needed, then express this fact to the HR candidates early on. 

Having an employee that is very organized could be a great benefit to any company. However, having someone that is so organized that they are unable to tolerate additional work assignments when needed, wouldn’t benefit your company as a whole. 

Organizational skills from employees and schedules that list expected tasks are efficient to the proper function of all workplaces. But, there are times when the needs of the business will cause you to deviate from your normal routine. 

When this happens, you will want an HR team of flexible workers that are more than willing to come together to get any task done. 

The question “How would you handle being assigned a duty that isn’t in your job description?” is an initial one. Ask yourself as well as the potential HR employee, what the expectations are when it comes to teamwork and the need to delegate certain tasks. 

Question 2: What Would You Consider a Confrontational Situation and How Would You Resolve It?

Knowing how to detect and respond to conflict is critical to any member of the HR department.

HR employees will need to have the interpersonal and observational skills to know when a situation is actually becoming confrontational. 

It’s important to remember that perception is everything when it comes to workplace disagreements. When interviewing an HR candidate, you will want to try and get an understanding of their personality type. 

You do not want to hire someone who seems to take everything personally and isn’t great at communicating. That sort of individual could be the source of conflict rather than the source of conflict resolution. 

Be sure to ask your potential new hire for examples of workplace conflicts they may have had, or observed. Ask how they responded, and the ultimate outcome. Asking this question will tell you if this person is really in alignment with the position of an HR employee. 

Question 3: How Would You Organize Your Schedule Around an Unexpected Deadline Change?

Deadlines can be a very stressful part of work culture. Oftentimes, even the best employee can struggle with meeting certain deadline expectations efficiently. 

Stress can get much worse when a deadline unexpectedly changes to a much sooner time than initially expressed. 

During these times, you will want to have someone on your team that is great at adapting to unexpected changes. This person should also flow naturally with the fast paced environment that characterizes a lot of successful businesses.

Asking, “How would you organize your schedule around an unexpected deadline change?” will let you know how the HR candidate copes with stress. It will also let you know how they stay organized, and if they are able to adjust at a moment’s notice when needed to suit the needs of the organization. 

Question 4: What Do You Believe is the Most Important Part of Any Job Role?

The idea of quality varies with each individual’s mindset. Things such as environment, upbringing, life experiences, and personal expectations all influence someone’s idea of “good” or “acceptable” behavior. In the workplace, these are known as ethics. 

When trying to decide if someone would make a great fit for your HR department, you will want to gain a better understanding of their own personal workplace ethics

The thing that a person values the most in a job role will be the thing that they strive to focus on more. You want to be absolutely sure that any potential HR employee has workplace values that align with your company’s culture. 

Build on this question. Ask for other things that the HR applicant may esteem as highly important. The more things that parallel your company’s ethics, the more likely it is that the particular candidate would be a great fit for a core position within the department. 

Question 5: What Is Your Response to Being Misunderstood by a Peer or Department Leader? 

Another very popular motivational adage is, “teamwork makes the dream work”. This adage is a great way to push employees to work together and get important workplace assignments completed in a timely manner. 

Oftentimes, the idea of teamwork is greatly overshadowed by competition in the workplace. This drive to compete against one another instead of working together possibly comes from the desire to move higher up in the company’s ranks and/or gain greater financial rewards. 

Some people are just naturally competitive and like to be the best wherever they are. No matter the reasoning behind someone’s competitive nature, attitude has a lot to do with how employees interact with each other. And such attitudes as competitiveness or defensive behavior at times only serve to divide a team. 

Ask your HR candidate how they would respond to simple misunderstandings in regards to communication with a peer or leader. 

Their response will let you know a lot about their attitude towards others, and how they respond to authority. 

Be sure to ask for detailed examples and overall conclusions to similar situations they may have had prior to interviewing with you.   

Question 6: What Trait Do You Look for in People When Forming a New Acquaintance? 

Depending on the applicant’s answer to this question, you can learn a lot about the characteristics they admire in others. The characteristics they admire in others may also be the characteristics they possess or wish to have. Most of the time, whatever a person values, they will try to mirror in their own personality. 

Ask the candidate what traits they seem to gravitate towards in people. If they like to keep the company of quiet or soft-spoken people, they may be an introvert that believes it is better to listen rather than to speak. 

Ask the candidate to expound on their reasons about why they gravitate to such persons. From there, you should be able to decide if they would be a great part of what you want to accomplish with your company.

The Importance of Hiring The Right People for Your HR Team

Finding the right people to build your Human Resources team can be a daunting task. When you first begin to sift through those piles of applications, you may not know where to start.

Just keep in mind that it’s normal for the interviewing process to take a while. And it can take more time to find the right people to work on the backend of things, such as with your HR department. 

You want to find the right people for the job, so avoid rushing through typical interview questions. Those types of questions appear too generic and the “correct” answers can be found during a basic internet search. You want to ask questions that will get the applicant thinking about the position in question. They need to know just what it takes to join your team and excel in the role.  

Being able to ask the right questions will help make the hiring process much easier and get you the right people to assist in building your company’s foundation. 

We want to help be a part of your success story. Be sure to contact us to see how we can be a part of your foundation too.