Top 21 HR Generalist Interview Questions In 2024 [With Answers]

What is the recipe for becoming a successful business organization? Well, maybe effective marketing activities. Not this, then it will surely be the high-quality of products offered. Still, want to argue. Okay, let’s come to the core. Human resources or the employees hired by a business organization act as its beating heart, who not only pumps their positive energy into the business processes but also circulates blood, known as the sweat of their hard work.

These employees perform most of the functions in accordance with the guidance received from the top-level management and are critical to the success of a company. This increases the importance of an HR Generalist who is responsible for employee hiring, development, and retention. Readout our best collection of interview questions from below:

HR Generalist Interview Questions

21 Best Interview Questions To Study

1. What Are The Four Core Managerial Functions Of HR Generalists?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the core concepts of human resource management.

Sample Answer

Sir, the role of an HR Generalist is diverse as the name suggests, and is quite general in nature. Our tasks are primarily influenced by these four core functions, which are:

  • Planning: It holds a lot of relevance in which hiring managers create plans and adopt appropriate strategies to hire the right talent for the business organization, that would fulfill the criteria set and has the ability to execute the requisite tasks.
  • Organizing: Hirings managers strive to create a workplace environment in which employees can thrive and perform functions in a collaborated manner with efforts directed towards achieving a common goal.
  • Controlling: This function focuses on performance appraisal and guides the hiring managers to develop evaluation systems in which employee performances are controlled and evaluated.
  • Staffing: This is the primary role of a hiring manager, wherein he or she understands the human resource need of an organization and accordingly hires.

2. How Would You Describe The “Organizational Hierarchy”? Feel Free To Choose Any Direction.

This question tests your understanding of the corporate framework following which you will hire human resources.

Sample Answer

Sir, an organizational hierarchy is the structure of an organization following which the company is divided and delegates its authorities. Usually, a company is headed by a CEO followed by the board of directors and managers pertaining to the lower, middle, and upper levels. When visualized, this takes the shape of a pyramid, wherein one can see the different corporate levels in which a company is segregated. It is necessary to establish a perfect organizational hierarchy so as to promote the flow of communication as well as the quality of operations.

3. Explain The Role Of Emotional Intelligence Directed Towards Maximizing The Human Competency.

Being an HR Generalist, you will be responsible for extracting the best from the human resources using several measures and techniques.

Sample Answer

Sir, emotional intelligence could widely be regarded with influencing and manipulating the belief system of the employees so as to obtain their best performance and maximize their competency levels. In my opinion, every hiring manager should create a conducive working environment wherein employees interact with each other, share camaraderie and feel connected. This satisfies their emotional needs and promotes self-awareness.

4. Share The Three Best Qualities That Every HR Generalist Must Possess.

This question tests how much you understand your own profession.

Sample Answer

Sure, sir, These are:

  • Quick-witted: Undoubtedly, the hiring manager needs to possess an analytical mindset with the ability to create appropriate arguments. He or she acts as a mediator between the human resources of the company and the management, which requires an excellent strength of wit.
  • Empathetic: A human resource generalist is not only devoted to the management but is also committed to addressing the various grievances of the employees working in the company. Thus, he or she must practice empathy and have the unique ability to think from the mindset of the employees.
  • Excellent Communication Skills: An HR Generalist is frequently involved in employee training and development purposes, for which having excellent communication skills is almost inevitable.

5. What Are Some Of The Best Monetary and Non-monetary Techniques To Motivate Employees?

This question tests your practical working knowledge.

Sample Answer

Sir, in my humble opinion, “Employee recognition”, as a non-monetary technique and “Incentives”, upon target completion, as monetary techniques are the best strategies to motivate employees. Further, an effective implementation, will not only help the organization to achieve productivity but also help to gain their loyalty and commitment.

6. What Is The Difference Between Orientation and Training? Explain From The Context Of Employee Development.

This question tests how much you are aware of the various terms used in your profession.

Sample Answer

Sir, Both these terms are different from each other, and possess the undermentioned differences:

BasisEmployee OrientationEmployee Training
StageOrientation is organized for the new employees of the company, on their first day of the office.Training can happen at any stage, even before the formal joining process.
ObjectiveTo make the new employees aware of the company’s culture and the surroundings in which they will work. Further, such employees are also made aware of the tasks, which they will perform along with the details of their reporting manager.To enhance the efficiency of the employees and make them aware of the new business processes and techniques.
DurationUsually lasts from a few hours to a whole dayDepending upon the agenda, it can run from a few days to weeks.

7. How Open Are You To Accepting Negative Feedback and Criticisms?

This is a common question, wherein your attitude towards criticism is being checked.

Sample Answer

Sir, I completely understand the relevance of this question. Most employees, feel offended or irked when they receive negative feedback or criticism for any of their processes. However, this is not the case with me, and rather, I view these as an opportunity to improve my personal performance. Negative feedback provides you with a readymade template using which you can identify your weak areas and adopt strategies to nullify them. Hence, be assured, I am very much open and positive towards them.

8. Name The Three Best Human Resource Software That Are Widely Used In The Industry.

This question checks how much you are acquainted with the technology, especially the various software used in your industry.

Sample Answer

Sure, Sir, These are:

  • Bamboo HR
  • FreshTeam
  • Zenefits

9. In A Corporate Setup There Are Simply Several Employees With Different Mindsets, Qualities and Approaches. They Might Climb The Corporate Ladder Faster and Become More Successful Than You. How Do You Save Yourself From Inferiority Complex?

This is a psychological interview question, which is asked by the interviewers to check your emotional intelligence. Share an appropriate response and try not to avoid this question.

Sample Answer

Sir, an inferiority complex has always existed and has made several genuine men its victim. Right from childhood, our thought process is manipulated by the society in which we live, wherein words like success, getting ahead, a mad race, etc. are deeply ingrained in our minds. When humans are not able to meet the expectations of the society we receive the heat of sarcasm and feel inferior.

We simply can not change our society, but can surely mend our own ways. The trick lies in self-comparison, wherein a person compares his own performances and strives to identify as well as plug all his weaknesses. I follow it and simply remain happy.

10. Discpline and The Resultant Monotony Go Hand in Hand, With Latter Often Overpowering The Employees. How Do You Keep Yourself Motivated At Your Workplace?

Corporate jobs follow a tough routine wherein everything is fixed, from duration to processes to remuneration. Humans are not designed to work under so many fixed elements, which ultimately leads to monotony and boredom. In such cases, the motivational factors come in handy that prompt the employees to stay committed and keep the ball rolling. Thus, an interviewer is interested in knowing your own motivational factors that prompt you to work hard and help you in defeating the psychological ill-effects of practicing discipline.

11. I Know That You Must Have Applied To Various Other Organizations As Well. But, Why You Chose Us and Want To Associate With Us?

Through this question, an interviewer wants to understand your level of commitment and seriousness towards the business organization you sought to work with. The best source to prepare an answer for this question is the official website of the company, from which, you must note all the major achievements and facts associated with the company. Compile the information and prepare a well-structured answer.

12. Describe Yourself In A Single Word.

This is a tricky interview question, wherein you are required to summarize your whole personality into a single word. In order to present a perfect response, deeply analyze your own self and note down all your major strengths (at least three) on a piece of paper. Prepare answers/explanations for these strengths using any real-life professional work experience. Choose your best one, learn the response, and let the rest of your strengths act as a backup. This will come in handy when the interviewer wants to dig deeper and might tell you to share one more word.

13. What Is Your Preferred Mode Of Working – In A Team or Individually?

It is common for the interviewers to ask about your preferred mode of working. It is recommended that you always opt for “team” mode as most companies now follow it due to better productivity and employee efficiency. However, you can certainly go for “individually” too if it suits your style, but make sure that you are able to justify it using real work experiences and events.

14. We All Like Success, Because It Gives us Happiness and Joy. Similarly, Nobody Likes Failure, Which Is Bound To Happen Someday. I Would Like To Know, How You Manage Your Failures?

It is an established fact that failures leave a devastating impact upon the human mind and lead to depression. An employee in such a state delivers sub-standard performances and is not able to achieve his goals and targets. Thus, an interviewer through this question wants to know about your strategies and techniques, using which you are able to manage your work-related failure.

15. We Are An Established Business Organization and Assign Several Processes To Our Employees. How Do You Ensure A Timely Delivery?

Through this question, an interviewer wants to know about your prioritization technique, using which you are able to arrange and order your tasks in a specific order so that you are on time and able to submit your tasks timely. Ordering on the basis of the difficulty level of the tasks or on the basis of time consumption are some common techniques.

16. “Quality” In Our Processes, Is What Makes Us Competent and Successful. How Do You Interpret This Term “Quality”?

This is a word-based interview question, through which an interviewer wants to know about your interpretation of the term “quality”. Usually, quality is achieved when employees are able to deliver performances that lead to client satisfaction and meet the established benchmarks or criteria. It is recommended that you be original and deliver a structured repsonse.

17. The Management Of Human Resources Is Challenging and Tough. How Do You Manage Your Stress Levels?

Stress strikes employees like a thunderbolt, which not only impacts their routine performances but also makes them lethargic and loathed. Thus, an interviewer is always interested in knowing the various strategies used by you to manage your stress levels. Deep breathing, positive pep talk, and meditation, help to alleviate stress levels.

18. What Are Your Weakneses As A HR Generalist?

This is a common interview question, wherein you are required to share your loopholes or negative aspects. It is recommended that you always study and gain a comprehensive understanding of the requirements of the job, and post this, share only those weaknesses that do not conflict with these requirements.

19. We Prefer To Hire Employees That Remain Committed To Us and have Unique Capabilities? What Can You Offer Us That Someone Else Cannot?

This is a trending interview question, wherein an interviewer wants to know about your unique capabilities and skills, that make you different from others and give you a competitive edge over the other candidates. For this always prepare a response that is genuine and closely relates to your personality. Further, never sound haughty or get carried away while narrating your answer.

20. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Through this question, an interviewer wants to know your worth, which is estimated and calculated by you. Share an appropriate salary bracket, which is based on the comprehensive research of the industry to which you belong. While researching, calculate a mean salary and do not deviate more than 15% from it.

21. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

It is common for the interviewers to conclude an interview session with the help of this interview question, through which all your doubts and apprehensions in regards to the company, its culture, ethics, rules, general policies are requested. This question provides you with one last opportunity using which you can impress your interviewer by asking a few relevant counter questions. Readout our model questions mentioned below for a better understanding:

Model Questions

  • How is your own experience working in this company?
  • Please share a list of all the anti-harassment policies that are followed by the company to secure its employees from possible instances of harassment, teasing, bullying at the workplace.
  • Is it the policy of the company to offer paid leaves to its employees, especially in medical emergencies?

Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (For HR Generalist interview):

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