Interview questions for HR Administrator


1. As an HR administrative assistant, you will be the face of your department. How do you plan on maintaining a positive attitude while receiving multiple requests throughout the day?

I am an outgoing and agreeable person by nature and value communication between many different personality types. I understand that an inherent duty of this position is to be able to maintain a rapport with individuals from a wide variety of professional positions and diverse backgrounds. I acknowledge that a constant barrage of requests could be tiresome to some people, but I enjoy helping people and absolutely look forward to assisting with the many types of interactions. Helping new employees navigate their recently secured positions is a welcome and exciting challenge.

2. Can you tell me about your experience with human resource management systems?

Human resource management systems (HRIS) are used in HR departments to ensure that the team can efficiently manage and retrieve necessary information. Any HR assistant who assists managers and staff should be able to navigate this software.
I have more than three years of experience using Oracle HRMS. I prefer that system because I can easily access payroll as well as performance management in one application.

3. Many people will come to you with generalized questions you may not be able to answer. How will you direct people to the appropriate department?

It will be imperative for me to familiarize myself with the department staff so I can efficiently point people in the right direction. Each member of HR has a specific skill set and duties that have been meted out accordingly. It is my job as a new employee to learn who is responsible for what task, so I can assist other new employees in finding the answers to their questions.

4. How would you handle a situation in which employees consistently turned in their timesheets late?

HR assistants must stay on top of the payroll, which sometimes requires having time sheets turned in promptly each week. The candidate’s answer will allow you to gauge how well they handle stressful situations and solve problems. It can also show their ability to communicate with employees.

5. At times, employees may ask you to do things that have nothing to do with your job, simply because they are not sure who else to ask. How will you help them find the solution to their problem?

Being new to a job can be overwhelming, and I am happy to help orient employees to their new department. Seeking out the right person is never a burden, because you always meet new people and learn in the process, which means you can respond more efficiently next time.

6. What have you learned from mistakes on the hr admin assistant job?

Candidates without specific examples often do not seem credible. However, the example shared should be fairly inconsequential, unintentional, and a learned lesson should be gleaned from it. Moving ahead without group assistance while assigned to a group project meant to be collaborative is a good example.

7. You will be responsible for multiple phone lines. Do you have experience handling high call volumes?

In several of my previous positions I was required to operate multi-line phones. I have a lot of experience operating complex phones with various levels of transfer and voicemail capabilities. I am also familiar with systems in which you can transfer voicemail to emails and vise-versa.

8. Describe a typical work week for hr admin assistant position?

Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to discuss what they do while they are working in detail. Before you answer, consider the position you are applying for and how your current or past positions relate to it. The more you can connect your past experience with the job opening, the more successful you will be at answering the questions. It should be obvious that it’s not a good idea talk about non-work related activities that you do on company time, but, I’ve had applicants tell me how they are often late because they have to drive a child to school or like to take a long lunch break to work at the gym. Keep your answers focused on work and show the interviewer that you’re organized.

9. You will frequently be asked to send out departmental emails and updates. How would you describe your writing skill level?

In every position I’ve held, I’ve been required to email on behalf of various employees. In some cases, I acted as liaison between my boss and all internal and external contacts and ghostwrote about 90 percent of his office emails for him. I also have experience updating websites and sending out newsletters, which both require excellent writing skills.

10. What methods do you use to maintain and uphold confidentiality?

HR assistants maintain sensitive files regarding visa and social security documentation, salary information and even banking information for direct deposits. They must quickly learn who has security clearance to access employees’ personal data.
“In my last HR assistant position, I was in charge of maintaining new-hire documents, including social security numbers, addresses and full names. I would scan these documents into our HR management system before shredding them.”

11. Have you encountered conflicts of personality at work in the past, and how have you overcome these tense situations?

It’s almost impossible to go through your professional life without encountering some sort of conflict. In a particularly tricky situation in which a coworker repeatedly made errors in orders and misinterpreted requests from fellow employees, I implemented a rule that all communication involving orders or meeting requests must go through email, so there would always be a paper trail. In this way we were able to avoid having to rely on one person’s word against another’s.

12. What is your expected salary?

I believe that an ideal remuneration for any position recognizes the ability, rewards the performance and provides the employee an opportunity to indulge in his hobbies and passions. I am sure that this company also takes care of these.

13. How would you compensate for the lack of experience you have for this position?

As we discussed in the last question, your ability to understand and pick up new things quickly should be able to compensate for the lack of work experience you have.

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