Prepare for your Human Resources Generalist 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. Use your answer to highlight any specific knowledge you have about these laws and policies, as well as how you use them in your daily work.
Answer Example: “Yes, I am very familiar with the various laws and policies relating to human resources. I have been working in human resources for five years now, and during that time I have become well-versed in all of the relevant legislation and regulations. For example, I am aware of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 which prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability and race. I also understand the importance of complying with the Data Protection Act, 1998 when handling personal data.”
This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in this role. You can answer this question by listing some of the most important qualities, explaining what they mean and giving an example of when you’ve demonstrated them in the past.
Answer Example: “I believe the most important quality for a human resources generalist is being able to communicate effectively with others. I have found that if I can’t explain something clearly to my team members, then they won’t understand it either. To solve this problem, I always try to use simple language when talking with employees about new policies or procedures. Another important quality is being organized because there is so much information to keep track of when working as a human resources generalist.”
This question can help the interviewer determine how you would use your HR skills to help employees meet company standards. Use examples from previous experiences where you helped an employee improve their performance or behavior so they could continue working for the company.
Answer Example: “I would first meet with the employee to discuss their performance issues, as well as what they could do to improve. If they did not improve after our meeting, I would then provide them with additional training or resources to help them meet corporate standards. If they still did not improve after these steps, I would terminate their employment.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your recruitment experience. They want to know how you have helped companies find qualified candidates for open positions. Use examples from your past to highlight your skills in this area.
Answer Example: “In my last role as a human resources specialist, I was responsible for recruiting new employees. I worked with the hiring manager to create a job posting that attracted qualified candidates. Then, I reviewed applicants’ resumes and cover letters to determine if they were a good fit for the position. If they were, I scheduled an interview with the hiring manager. After the interview, I provided feedback on each candidate so the manager could make an informed decision.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenges in the workplace. Use examples from previous roles that show you can solve problems, communicate effectively and manage a team.
Answer Example: “In my last role as a human resources generalist, I had an employee who was consistently late to work. This behavior affected the rest of the team because they had to cover for him when he was absent. After discussing the issue with him several times, I decided to give him an official warning. He still did not change his behavior, so I decided to terminate his employment.”
This question allows you to show the interviewer what your priorities would be if hired. You can answer this question by listing three or four priorities that are important to you, such as providing excellent customer service, ensuring employees are happy in their roles and helping them grow in their careers or providing training for employees.
Answer Example: “My top priorities would be to provide excellent customer service to all employees, ensure they are happy in their roles and helping them grow in their careers. I also plan to ensure that all hiring processes are conducted efficiently and effectively so we can find the best candidates for open positions. Finally, I would like to make sure we have all the necessary HR tools in place to support our employees and managers.”
This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and how you would handle a challenging situation. In your answer, try to show that you are willing to stand up for employees’ rights and that you value teamwork.
Answer Example: “If an employee came to me with a complaint about their manager, my first step would be to listen carefully and take notes on what they were saying. This allows the employee to express themselves without feeling rushed or judged. After they’ve finished talking, I would then ask questions to clarify any points that I wasn’t sure about. This helps me understand the issue from their perspective and gives me an idea of what action should be taken.”
Human resources professionals often work with employees who are stressed out or frustrated. They need someone who can help them work through their problems and find solutions. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle stress well and provide support to others. In your answer, explain how you manage stress in your life. Share a specific strategy that has helped you reduce stress or anxiety.
Answer Example: “I am a very organized person, which helps me manage stress. When I have a lot on my plate, I use a calendar to keep track of all my appointments and tasks. This helps me stay focused and ensures that I am able to complete everything on time. I also take time each day to relax and unwind. Taking breaks throughout the day helps me stay motivated and productive.”
This is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the role. It’s also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the company or position that weren’t answered in the job description.
Answer Example: “I noticed that this position is part of a team that works closely with other departments within the company. I’m excited to learn more about how HR works with other departments to ensure the wellbeing of employees. Do you have any advice for someone new to this role about building relationships with other departments?”
Employers ask this question to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations in the industry. They want to know that you have a passion for learning new things and staying knowledgeable about human resources. In your answer, explain how you stay current with employment law updates. Share the resources you use to learn about these changes.
Answer Example: “I am passionate about my career, so I make it a priority to stay up-to-date on all changes in employment law. Recently, I took an online course on employment law updates. The course was offered by a trusted source and covered all the important aspects of employment law. I also subscribe to several professional newsletters that provide valuable information about human resources.”
This question is a great way to test your ability to work with others and provide feedback. It also shows the interviewer that you are willing to help others succeed in their careers. When answering this question, try to focus on how you would provide constructive feedback to help the candidate improve their skills and abilities.
Answer Example: “Absolutely. I believe that it’s important to help others succeed in their careers, so I would be more than happy to provide a recommendation for someone who is qualified for a senior position within the company. In my previous role as a human resources generalist, I was asked to provide recommendations for several positions within the company, including managers and directors. I always took the time to thoroughly review each candidate’s resume and background information before writing my recommendation.”
This question is a great way for the interviewer to see how you would fit into their company. It’s important to show that you have an interest in learning about the culture of the organization, as well as how you plan to fit in. Your answer should include what steps you would take to learn more about the company and its employees.
Answer Example: “Thank you for having me! My first step in getting to know the company’s culture would be to meet with as many people as possible. I would ask them questions about their roles, responsibilities and goals within the company. This will give me an idea of what makes this company unique.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience with using HR software. They want to know if you have experience using the software they use in their company. If you have used other HR software, explain what you liked about it and how it helped you with your job duties.
Answer Example: “I have experience using several HR software programs, including SuccessFactors, Workday and PeopleSoft. In my current role as a human resources generalist, I use SuccessFactors to manage employee records, create performance reviews and manage benefits. I find SuccessFactors easy to use because of its user-friendly interface. It also has many helpful features, such as automated reminders for upcoming deadlines and the ability to track employee progress on goals.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you are suited for this role. Before your interview, make a list of all of your skills and experiences that relate to this job. Focus on highlighting your most relevant skills and explaining how they make you an ideal candidate.
Answer Example: “I am an ideal candidate for this position because I have extensive experience in human resources. I have worked as a generalist for five years now, and in that time I have learned all aspects of HR management. I am familiar with all current laws and regulations regarding employee management, which makes me confident that I could handle any situation that arises. My communication skills are also an excellent fit for this position. I am able to easily communicate with all types of people, which helps me build relationships with employees.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your background and experience. It’s important to show that you have relevant experience for the position you’re interviewing for, but it’s also helpful to mention other industries or sectors where you’ve worked in the past. This can show your versatility as a HR generalist.
Answer Example: “I have experience working in both private and public sectors. I’ve worked in both large corporations and small businesses, so I’m familiar with the different needs of each organization. I also have experience working with nonprofit organizations, which requires me to be more creative with my HR strategies.”
This question is a great way to show your understanding of the company’s mission statement and how you can support it. When answering this question, make sure that you explain how your answer relates to the company’s goals and objectives.
Answer Example: “I think the most important thing that a human resources generalist can do to support the company’s mission statement is to ensure that all employees are happy, healthy and productive. I believe that if employees are happy and healthy, they will be more motivated to work hard and achieve their goals. As a human resources generalist, I would work hard to create an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of human resources practices and how you apply them in the workplace. Your answer should show that you know when updates are necessary and have experience making those changes for your employer.
Answer Example: “I recommend updates to employee handbooks and other policies every six months, at least. I understand that these documents are meant to be comprehensive and up-to-date, so I make sure to review them regularly to ensure they reflect any recent changes or updates. In my previous role, I was responsible for updating our employee handbook every year, which helped ensure that all employees had access to the most up-to-date information about company policies and procedures.”
This question is a great way to show your ability to adapt to changing environments. It also shows the interviewer that you are aware of current laws and regulations and how they impact the workplace. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific steps you would take to implement the change.
Answer Example: “I would first make sure I understood the law completely. Then, I would meet with my manager to discuss how we could implement the change in our company. After discussing options, we would decide on the best course of action. Next, I would create a plan for how we would implement the new law into our HR practices. Finally, I would communicate the changes to all employees so they are aware of their rights.”