HR Managers are key to the hiring process, so what happens when you need to hire one yourself? Not to worry. We’re here with a selection of 50+ HR Manager interview questions that’ll reveal how your candidates tackle things like:
📋 strategic planning
😊 creating a positive work environment
and employee engagement
What Does an HR Manager Do?
An HR Manager, also known as a People Operations Manager or an HR Generalist, is like the magic glue that holds a company's people and policies together. Homerun’s Head of People, Rita Wittek, shares, “This person is often jack of all trades, handling a wide array of tasks like fostering an atmosphere of employee well-being and satisfaction while ensuring the company remains in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.”
This means leading the way in attracting and hiring talent, smoothing out any issues between team members, staying up-to-date with labor laws and ensuring the company’s values shine through in day-to-day operations. ✨
HR Managers are also the ones responsible for nitty-gritty logistics like designing comprehensive and inclusive benefits packages, crafting onboarding policies that welcome new hires with open arms and creating performance management initiatives that motivate people to do their best while providing support and guidance to those who may need it.
According to Rita, Human Resources is a “trade you learn by doing” and therefore it makes sense to be open to diverse talent and not only people with a degree in HR. Find out more about candidates’ skills, experiences and potential with the following interview questions for an HR Manager.
No need to ask them all, of course. Pick and choose the ones that matter most to you!
General HR Manager interview questions
- What do you enjoy most about working in human resources?
- Could you tell us about the HR tasks you've handled in your previous roles?
- How do you keep up with the latest HR trends and regulations?
- What big changes do you think are coming to HR in the next five years?
- How would you go about building a company culture from scratch?
Behavioral interview questions
- Can you share a challenging employee situation you've dealt with successfully?
- How do you handle team members who resist change?
- Describe a time you had to let an employee go. What was the process and how did you handle it?
- Can you share some examples of retention strategies you’ve used that kept employees satisfied and motivated to stay?
- How do you keep employee spirits up during big company changes such as layoffs or reorganization?
Fostering a diverse culture
- What steps have you taken to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
- Can you share examples of successful diversity recruitment initiatives you've led?
- How do you handle complaints about discrimination or harassment?
- Tell me about a time when you made the workplace more equal and open to everyone.
- What strategies do you use to ensure a culturally diverse workforce?
Payroll and benefits
- Making sure people get paid the correct amount on time is important. How do you make sure this happens in your role?
- Can you talk about your experience with setting up employee benefit packages?
- Do you have experience using different benefit platforms? If so, which do you prefer?
- When there’s a compensation discrepancy (e.g. gender pay gap), how do you sort it out?
- Are there any cost-cutting measures related to payroll and benefits that you've implemented?
Administration and compliance
- Staying on the right side of labor laws is crucial. How do you do that in HR?
- Tell us about how you keep all the HR paperwork (or digital documentation) in order.
- Can you share about a time when you did a successful HR audit?
- How do you deal with team members who have complaints or disputes?
- What steps do you take to keep HR data safe in compliance with data privacy laws?
📣 Like these interview questions? Check out our interview question templates for other roles as well!
- How do you go about finding the right people to join the team and planning for the future?
- How do you measure employee engagement and what steps do you take to improve it?
- What's your way of welcoming new hires into your company culture?
- Share some ideas or projects you've tried to boost employee productivity.
- How do you handle succession planning within the company?
- Explain your approach to creating an effective onboarding program.
- When it comes to helping new hires settle in, what are the key things you focus on?
- Got any creative onboarding tricks or stories you can share?
- What signs or metrics do you keep an eye on to know if your onboarding is working?
- How do you use feedback from new hires to make onboarding even better?
Training & development
- How do you figure out what kind of training team members need, and how do you deliver it?
- Tell us about a time when you launched a successful program to help employees grow.
- What methods do you use to check if your training programs are effective?
- Share an example of a time when you helped your team build new skills.
- How do you keep employees excited about learning?
- Walk us through how you handle employee performance reviews.
- What's your approach to helping team members improve when they're not meeting expectations?
- Share some projects or strategies you've implemented related to performance management.
- How do you deal with colleagues who aren't reaching their potential?
- What do you do to recognize and reward our high-performing employees?
Employee relations and conflict resolution
- What is your experience working together with managers and/or team leads?
- Handling conflicts between team members can be tough. In general, how do you tackle these situations?
- Ensuring fair treatment for everyone is essential. How do you manage this?
- What do you do to keep the workplace positive and minimize conflicts?
- Tell us about a time when you stepped in to mediate a dispute between two team members. What happened and how did you work it out?
Wrapping up your HR manager interview
You’ve asked your candidate all the interview questions for a Human Resources manager that you need. But there’s still one important question left: “Do you have any questions for us?”
This not only provides valuable insights into the candidate's curiosity and interest, it allows them to clear up any uncertainties they might have about the role or company. Leave plenty of time for questions from the candidate and as you wrap up, be sure to provide them with information about the next steps in the hiring process.
After you’ve said goodbye and conferred with your hiring team, you may want to set up a second interview that includes some questions from other key stakeholders and an assignment. Rita suggests giving candidates a case study with a problem to find out how they would solve it. “That way,” she says, “you can get an in-depth understanding of the candidate's practical skills, problem-solving abilities and cultural fit within your company.”
📣 Set up your second interview in seconds with our interview invitation email template
Remember that every interaction you have – from the emails you send to the assessment and actual interview – should always leave the candidate with a positive impression and a clear understanding of the next steps. You can then decide together if you’re ready to embark on the journey of creating a stronger, happier and more cohesive team.