“Um…Could you please repeat the question?”

At this point in time, some of my fellow 2nd year MLHR students have job offers in hand- and some do not. Some have been done with interviewing since October- and some are spending their free time prepping for additional rounds of job interviews. I’ve had my fair share of HR interviews, and thought I’d share with you all some of the more challenging interview questions that I’ve been asked. No matter how hard you prepare or how many practice interview questions to dream up, there will always be a few curve balls- and it’s all about keeping your composure.

  • What do you consider to be your biggest setback or personal failure?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments to date?
  • Why do you want to work at this specific company location?
  • Why didn’t you get a 4.0 GPA in undergrad? (this applies even if you got a 3.99/4.0!)
  • When were you on a team in which you were not one of the high performers?
  • Where do you see yourself in 15 years? (yes that’s right, 15!)
  • Tell me about a time when you confided in someone that you shouldn’t have.
  • Tell me 10 words that people would use to describe you.
  • What makes you sure that HR is the right career field for you?
  • Which of our competitors do you consider to be a high performance organization?

I tend to beat myself up over answers that I give to curve balls- the perfect answer always comes to me when I’m in my car, driving home after the interview. I guess what I’ve learned after having to field all these questions (and more)  is that you should never stress about saying something that sounds perfect. You just might be more memorable and authentic if you’re the one interviewee among all the others who offers up the unvarnished truth, the one who says “To be honest, here’s what happened…”

The panel interview: because there's nothing so enjoyable as having 3 people fire questions at you, sometimes at the same time