When preparing for an HR administrator job interview, it's important to spend time researching the kind of person the company usually employs, what values they're looking for and trying to gain a feel for the company’s culture.

HR administrator jobs vary enormously depending on the size and structure of the organisation, but in general, individuals in these roles are required to spend their time dealing with various employee issues and recruitment matters.

This can involve anything from conducting questionnaires to researching employee satisfaction levels, through to conducting one-on-one interviews with potential new employees. This article is intended to help candidates prepare for an HR interview.

By using Randstad Business Support job seekers can have their CV’s checked out and will only receive details of jobs that most closely match their specific requirements. Meanwhile, employer’s benefit because they can be certain they will only receive details of applicants who are best suited to the position being advertised, thus saving them both time and money.

It's important to demonstrate a high level of knowledge about the responsibilities associated with the position being applied for, while also creating a positive first impression. Chances are, if successful, the individual will be working directly with the interviewers, so both parties should be keen to establish a rapport in order to lay the foundations of a positive future relationship.

Candidates should aim to fully engage with the interview process, viewing it as a conversation if they feel it is appropriate.

Information for HR administrator candidates.

HR assistants need to be comfortable communicating with a wide variety of different people and should have the ability to show empathy and understanding towards the situations they are in.

As a result, the interview process should be viewed as an opportunity to demonstrate these skills and to put the interviewers at ease during the process. Candidate should not worry about being a little nervous, however, as this will simply demonstrate their passion for the position.

If the candidate has any previous experience in a relevant line of work they should aim to reference this where possible, providing concrete examples of how their experience has prepared them for the role they are applying for. 

Spending some time learning about how the company operates and considering whether any of their practices could be improved in any way is also good preparation for an HR interview.

HR administrator interview questions. 

Interview questions can generally be broken down into experience, preference, and general style questions.

Experience-based questions and answers.

Tell us about a time in your recent past when you've had to handle confidential information?

If you have been handling confidential information in a recent role you can discuss this. Otherwise, you could talk about a time when you were privy to private information when helping a friend or family member with their affairs. Say that you always work with great integrity and respect the privacy of all individuals you work with.

When have you helped an employee deal with a problem that was affecting them at work?

You should hopefully have some examples of how you have helped somebody, either in a previous HR assistant role or as a team member. If this is your first HR role you can use examples of helping to train people in your team.

What experience do you have in HR?

If you do have experience, provide details of companies you have worked for and your responsibilities. If you do not have HR experience, say that this is the first role that you are applying for but you are very keen to work in HR.

How have you used creativity in an HR position?

Say that HR provides many opportunities to add creativity to a company when a more creative attitude is taken. A successful business is about creating a culture of creativity and HR can guide a business in this matter.

How would you approach a workplace dispute involving a close friend of yours?

You should say that you would be happy to offer impartial and confidential advice to your friend; however, to avoid the risk of seeming biased you might suggest that they consult another member of the HR team.

Preference-based questions and answers.

What is it about human resources that interest you?

First, answer honestly; you must have good reasons for wanting to work as a human resources assistant. Go on to say how human resources is at the heart of an organisation and working in HR provides opportunities to influence the ways employees are developed within a company.

What do you believe is the role of the HR department in relation to the mission, vision, and strategies of the business?

To answer this you should first provide a general answer about HR and how its role is to ensure that staff are aware of the company mission, vision, and strategies, and to also provide training in order to educate people how to bring the company values into their daily work.

Ideally, you should then provide some examples that are specific to the company that is interviewing you; this will demonstrate that you have researched the company.

Why do you enjoy working closely with people?

An answer to this question should be personal to you, but also say that you enjoy communicating with people and like to help. By working closely with people you can better understand their needs and aspirations and help them to achieve their goals.

Which area of HR do you enjoy working in most?

This should be an honest answer based on your own experience. If you have still not chosen a favourite area to work in then you should provide an answer that is relevant to the role for which you are applying.

HR is generally subdivided into recruitment, administration, performance and compensation, training, departmental coordinators. Some HR departments will also include compliance. Choose an area that interests you and be able to provide a reason why you wish to work in that area.

Do you have any ideas to improve our recruitment process?

This is not an easy question to answer. You could ask them to explain what their recruitment process is; as you have only experienced it from the outside, and then go on to suggest that it is difficult to provide an honest appraisal without having the opportunity to experience it from the HR perspective.

General interview questions.

  • Why do you want work for us?
  • What do you know about the role?
  • Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
  • What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want this job so much?