HR Interview – Tips and Tricks – Priyanka from IIM Lucknow

HR interview forms a very important evaluation criterion for every recruiter. It is that step of the interview process that looks beyond your technical skills and identifies the company fit. Hence, it is very important to focus on your HR answers to land up that dream role of yours.

I have tried to come up with a list of some basic yet crucial HR questions and the approach to answer these questions. Have a look.

1. Tell me about yourself?

One of the most frequently asked questions. This is usually the conversation starter in which the recruiter tries to know you a bit better. It forms a basis of what direction the further interview will take.

Approach: The structure of this answer must be as follows-
Start with a basic background (example education, work experience). Keep this part short and to the point as the interviewer  already has your resume. Try talking about things and work that might not be a part of your resume. (It helps to gain the interviewer’s attention)

After that talk about your skills. Always support all your skills will examples. It always works to talk about skills that will be relevant to your job requirements.


2. What are your weaknesses?

Remember everyone has weaknesses!

Never in an interview say that you do not have a weakness. This questions require a lot of thought, diplomatic honesty and need to be structured as follows.

Approach: Don’t just state your weakness. Tell about your weakness, followed by how you are working to remove that weakness. The answer must comprise of your weakness, what actions you have taken to overcome it and what has been the outcome or result of the steps you took. The aim of this question is to see how you work on improving yourself and it’s always good to support the answer with examples.


3. Why should we hire you? 

It is a proxy question for ‘What are your strengths?’

Approach: This requires the same structure as to stating your strengths. Try talking about strengths that will help you fit better into the role or the industry you are applying for. Mention your strength and then justify how it is a good add to the job description. Then support your claim with examples from past work experience, graduation or personal life.

Note: Citing examples from personal life is ACCEPTABLE. Just make sure you steer the interview towards the right strengths. And use the personal examples objectively and not get swayed with a lot of peripheral details.


4. Where do you see yourself in 2 or 5 or 10 years?

It is not necessary to have an elaborate plan in mind for this question. The recruiter only wants to see if you have some basic life goals and how is the job going to get you to those.

Approach: If it is a short-term (2-year) question, it’s better to be more elaborate on the job role and kind of growth you expect from the company or industry you want to move into. Do a research on the kind of roles offered in the industry and specifically the company you are applying to, the job descriptions for these roles and the job hierarchy for the sector/industry. For long-term goals it’s better to keep the answer more generic, starting from your short term goals and moving on how those short-term goals might help you to achieve your long-term ones.



About the Author:

Priyanka is a second-year MBA student at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and is a member of InsideIIM’s second student team. She is also a part of PRiSM, The Marketing Cell at IIM Lucknow.