Prepare for your Head of Human Resources interview. Understand the required skills and qualifications, anticipate the questions you may be asked, and study well-prepared answers using our sample responses.
This question can help the interviewer determine your level of expertise in human resources and how it applies to their industry. Use examples from your experience to show that you are familiar with the laws and regulations in your state or country, as well as any specific industry requirements.
Answer Example: “In my previous role as head of human resources for a large corporation, I was responsible for ensuring all employees were aware of their rights and responsibilities according to federal and state laws. I also worked with management to create our own HR policies and procedures based on these regulations. For example, we had a policy that all employees had to take a paid maternity leave after giving birth.”
This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you possess the skills and abilities needed for this role. You can answer this question by listing several qualities, explaining what they mean and how you use them in your work.
Answer Example: “A successful head of human resources should be organized, detail-oriented and have excellent communication skills. They should also be able to work well under pressure, prioritize tasks and manage their time effectively. Finally, they should have an understanding of legal requirements related to hiring and firing employees.”
The interviewer may ask this question to assess your understanding of the role of the head of human resources and how it relates to other leaders in the organization. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of collaboration with other leaders, as well as your own responsibilities as head of human resources.
Answer Example: “The relationship between the head of human resources and the CEO is one of collaboration and cooperation. As the leader of human resources, I understand that my role is to support the CEO in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. This includes helping the CEO understand how hiring decisions, employee training programs and other HR initiatives can impact the company’s performance. At the same time, I would expect the CEO to support my decisions as head of human resources.”
This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the HR process and how you can use it to benefit a company. When answering this question, explain what steps you take when developing policies and procedures and what types of policies and procedures you have developed in the past.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of human resources, I was responsible for creating and implementing all company policies and procedures. I started by researching current best practices in the industry and then created a team of employees from different departments who helped me brainstorm ideas for new policies. After deciding on which policies we wanted to implement, we then drafted them into written form. Finally, we reviewed the documents with legal counsel before distributing them to employees.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you handle conflict and whether you have experience dealing with difficult employees. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you helped an employee improve their performance or behavior.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of human resources, I had an employee who was consistently late to work. This behavior affected their coworkers because they had to cover for them when they were missing from their desk. I met with the employee to discuss their tardiness and explained the consequences if they didn’t change their behavior. After our meeting, the employee started coming to work on time.”
This question allows you to show the interviewer what your priorities would be if hired. It’s important to highlight how your experience has prepared you for this role and what you plan to do once you’re in it.
Answer Example: “My top priority as head of human resources would be to ensure that we have a strong hiring process in place. I’ve worked in several organizations where we struggled to find qualified candidates, which led to turnover among our employees. I believe that hiring the right people is one of the most important things we can do as an organization. To do this, I would focus on creating a clear job description and conducting thorough interviews with potential hires.”
This question can help the interviewer assess your judgment and decision-making skills. Your answer should show that you are willing to take action when necessary, but also that you respect employees’ rights.
Answer Example: “If I learned that an employee was violating company policies, my first step would be to have a discussion with them about the issue. I believe in providing employees with plenty of feedback and guidance so they can improve their performance. If the violation was minor, I would give them a warning and give them time to correct their behavior. If the violation was more serious, I would consider disciplinary action up to and including termination.”