Most organizations have a qualifying first round of interview before the technical round. This first round is conducted by the HR department (whether in house or outsourced HR) to understand the personality and temperament of the candidate. So HR selection may not be the deal maker but it can certainly turn out to be a deal breaker.
No matter how much you hone your interview skills like body language, dress code etc. there are some tricky questions which can catch you off guard. Getting some interview training will give you an edge over the other lesser prepared candidates. Here are the reasons behind 5 tricky HR Interview questions and ways to handle them to improve your interview skills.
Tell me about yourself
The reason for asking this questions is to understand whether or not you fit the profile well. Remember, the interviewer already has you CV, so you need not take them through your biography. Concentrate on your skills and experiences which directly address the needs of the profile in question. Keep your answers short.
A behavioral technique, where a case interview is conducted. You are given a situation and asked to make a decision. Beware, the interviewer is actually not interested in the perfect solution to the problem. What you need to demonstrate is the correct approach. Since it is impossible to have all the facts in front of you, don’t try to give your verdict on the spot. That may reflect badly on your analytical skills. Instead, lay out the process you’ll undertake to find the solution. It’s your approach to select the best course of action that will be evaluated.
Rate me as an interviewer
The interviewer is not checking his/her impression on you. This question is usually asked to understand whether you can evaluate other people rationally. But just being an HR professional does not ensure that a person is open for criticism. This leaves you in a fix. Neither can you overly praise the interviewer because this will make you look like a suck up, nor can you criticize openly. So stay away from numerical ratings. Pay a genuine compliment which he/she can believe based on your interaction during interview.
What is your greatest weakness
This question is not asked to punch holes in your neatly drafted CV. This is to ascertain that you can evaluate yourself critically. Don’t camouflage your strength as a weakness. Most experienced HR professionals see through that ploy. Genuinely talk about a weakness of yours which does not directly affect the job profile in question, because this is a competency based interview question. For e.g. In an interview for a marketing position, do not state that you are scared of presentations. In fact if you need to improve presentation skills which is a core competency required by the job, why apply anyway?
Describe your ideal job
This is not to understand your dream life. This question often stems from the interviewer’s insecurity in hiring you if you look overqualified, but cannot object directly. There is an underlying feeling that why is a big shot like you applying for a small time job like this. This is a subtle way to get the candidate to reveal that his/her aspirations are more than the job can offer. At this point expressing genuine interest in the company and the position being discussed, will reassure the recruiter.
Even if someone gives you the ideal answers to all Interview questions in HR selection round, you may still not get the job because it will look scripted. Spend a little more time brainstorming about the job best suited to you and you won’t have to take interview training. I may be the billionth person to say this, but “Be yourself!” And the position is yours.