So, you get invited to an interview for HR Assistant and now you are feeling nervous and wondering what will be the questions? Fret not because we are here to help you with the top 10 HR Assistant interview questions that will nail you the job.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I see myself as someone who is competent in administrative jobs and a good communicator. I believe to succeed in this job; these 2 elements are the most important thing and that is exactly what I do in these 3 years of working as an HR Assistant. It will be a great opportunity if I can expand my experience, grow and contribute to the company.
2. What Are The Roles Of A HR Assistant?
HR Assistant is someone who helps the Human Resource Team on a daily basis. The roles include:
- Administrative and clerical work.
- Help manage recruitments.
- Assisting with payroll.
- A contact person between employees and the HR team.
- Maintaining and updating employees’ records.
3. What Are The Qualities That A HR Assistant Need To Be Successful?
The qualities needed to be a successful HR Assistant are:
- Good communication skills since this job require me to liaise with all levels of employees in the workplace.
- Trustworthy because I will be handling P&Cs documents.
- One needs to be good at organizing tasks.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The biggest challenge that I face in this job is managing urgent requests or documentation from the management with tight deadlines. If the requests or documentation don’t involve other departments, then it will be easier to complete. But, if it involves other departments too, it will be difficult because we need to follow up with them and they have other work that they prioritize too. Therefore, in order to get a commitment from another department, I always use my negotiation skills and try to understand their urgent task too. This way, I can discuss with them what I can do to help them with their task (if I can) in order for them to fulfill my request. If there is nothing I can do, I will negotiate with them to get my request after working hours.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A HR Assistant?
When I arrive at the office, the first thing I would do is read through and reply to all the emails. Typically the emails are about training, new hires, and payrolls. Next, I will prepare for the new-hire onboard process and training that will be held that day. I will remind all the trainers to be punctual for the training. I will also arrange for light refreshments for the new-hire training. In the evening, I will go through and screen resumes from candidates based on the opening that we have in the company. I will also prepare the documentation for the new hires and send them to the recruitment team for final approval. The last task that I will be doing will be reporting and updating the employees’ records to the HR manager. It will be a different routine on the 15th of every month because I will be assisting on the payroll.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I had 3 years of experience as a Human Resource Assistant in my current company. This is the first company that I work with and while working I managed to polish my skills in tasks/work organization, negotiations, communications, and being a people person. The skills that I acquired helped me a lot in my daily work routine.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
To me being organized and being a people person are required for this role. By being organized, we will be able to prioritize our tasks accordingly and we can help ensure that the daily operation of the HR Team will be smooth. By being a people person, it will be easier for any level of employees to come to us for any issues.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
One of the biggest challenges that I foresee in this job is the remote work that has been implemented by many companies. Remote working will have an impact during new hire training. For example, let’s say we have one trainer that will have his training online for the new hires, there are times that training or information cannot be delivered clearly or as intended. How did I realize this? We do have tests for new hires to answer before we send them to their work station and there are times when most of the new hires are not able to meet the minimum target mark for the test. As a result, I always need to arrange more than one-time training on the same topic in order for the new hires to properly understand. I do believe that physical face-to-face training is important compared to online training. But, at the same time, we need to adapt to the new way of working. It is challenging indeed.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
To stay motivated at work, I celebrate small wins such as completing the monthly payroll or being able to screen 50 resumes. I will just buy myself a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. Apart from that, I will always avoid any office conflict and politics. By avoiding conflicts, I am able to befriend a lot of people and that will make me happy.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
I can still remember it was in July 2020, the first month of my becoming an HR Assistant. I was given the task of assisting in payroll. The task required me to check whether the overtime form was tally with the one in the system and whether the overtime form had been approved by the respective department. But, I did not cross-check the overtime form and the one in our system. I only checked the system and not the overtime form. As a result, we overpaid the employee because during that time, we had a hiccup with our attendance system and some employees’ attendance had shown more working hours than the others. Since that incident, I always triple-check my work and be extra meticulous so that the same mistake won’t happen again.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I understand from your job post that you are looking for an HR Assistant that can ensure your daily HR activities run smoothly. Here I am; the best fit for the job you are looking for with 3 years of experience in the field. In my current job, I ensure our daily HR activities run smoothly with no pending items. I am also a self-starter and self-learner which makes it easier for me to start and complete my job with minimal to no supervision from my manager.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
My greatest achievement as an HR Assistant is when I am able to do cost reduction in our payroll system. When I first started, I always had difficulties with the payroll system as it was not user-friendly and kept on logging me out of the system. It is understandable because it was an old and outdated system and maintaining the system was difficult. What I did was, I searched for a system/software for payroll and I tried all of their features, and compare their interface and price. In the end, I managed to pick 1 payroll software that is user-friendly without burning my pocket. I managed to save $20k/year.
13. Are You Well Versed In Labor Law?
Yes, I am well versed in Labor Law. Whenever there is any update on the Labor Law, training and briefing will be given to our HR Team. There is also a test and certification that we need to go through internally to make sure we fully understand the Labor Law. Understanding the Labor Law, it can help me to better communicate and find a solution when an employee comes to me with his/her problem and I am able to advise him/her without violating the law.
14. How Do You Ensure Employees’ Data Are Always Up To Date?
In order to ensure employees’ data is always up to date, I will send out an email to all employees on a monthly basis to get their updated data such as contact information, address, and next of kin. The employees can easily reply to that email and I will update their current data in the system. For employees who do not have a personal computer, for example, the production operators, I will either arrange a slot for them to reply to the email or provide them with a hardcopy form for them to fill in and update their data.
15. How Can We Trust You With Our Employees’ Confidential Data/Documents?
For any confidential data/documents, once I have finished using them, they will straight away be shredded. We have a different shred machine for the HR Team in order to maintain confidentiality. I do not talk or discuss with others about confidential items. Apart from that, there are folders and documents that only authorized persons can access to protect the information. Usually, the documents in those folders are “read-only” files and cannot be downloaded without permission.
16. Do You Have Experience With The Human Resource Management System (HRMS)?
Yes of course I have experience with the Human Resource Management System. I even tried out different software for HRMS in order to choose the best one for our company. With HRMS, I can complete my payroll task at ease with the built-in payroll system, time, and labor.
17. Do You Enjoy Interacting With People?
Yes, I enjoy interacting with people. Since I know my job will be dealing with a lot of people from different levels, I have polished my communication skills throughout these 3 years. As a result, I am now a people person and the employees are comfortable talking to me about their problems and complaints.
18. How Do You Ensure The Employees’ Handbook Is Up To Date With Current Policies?
We have an internal quarterly review of the handbook. During the review, we will revisit all of our policies and we will add new ones based on the current situation, for example, the COVID 19 vaccination policy. Whenever there are new policies, of course, the HR Team will be the first team to be briefed at. I will immediately take note and update it in our handbook. The handbook will then be reviewed and approved by the HR Manager to eliminate any errors.
19. Are You Familiar With Recruitment?
Yes, I am familiar with recruitment. For recruitment, my tasks are screening resumes, identifying potential candidates, doing background checking, and issuing employment letters. After the candidates onboard, I will arrange their needs such as desk and stationery. I will also arrange for their new hire training on their first day at work.
20. Have You Conducted Training For New Hires Before?
Yes, I have conducted many new hiring training internally. Whenever there is a new hire joining our company, the first session will be my session. I enjoy doing training as I can showcase my public speaking skills and it can boost my confidence. My training topics include a general introduction to our company, company policies, rules and regulations and compensation, and benefits.
21. How Good Are You With Excel Since We Are Using It Daily In Our Company And How Do You Use It?
I would rate myself as excellent when it comes to Excel. I am able to plot graphs, and charts, create pivot tables, and use formulas for easy data key-in. The graphs and charts will then later be transferred to my daily HR report. With all the data that is available in excel and has been plotted into graphs and charts, the summary of the data can easily be seen and interpreted in order to make a good decision.
22. How Do You Solve Conflicts Between People From Different Levels?
As someone who needs to be a bridge to all levels of people in the organization, firstly, I need to be a good listener and listen to both sides of the story. There was once, a production operator came to me and complained that she was accused of not following the machine SOPs that had been set and was given a “Show Cause Letter”. I then got the other side of the story from our Operation Manager and asked him what actually happened. In order not to be biased, I also spoke to other operators who were there during the incident. Once I gathered all the information, it seemed that the machine was faulty during that time and she was trying to get the product out of the machine after pushing the emergency button. This action did not violate the SOP. Therefore, we are able to solve the miscommunication that happened between both parties.
23. Can You Multitask And Meet Tight Deadlines?
I certainly can multitask and meet tight deadlines. I am an organized person. I always have a list of tasks that I need to do and sort them based on priorities. By prioritizing tasks, indirectly all tight deadlines can be met. There was one time when I had 5 tasks with tight deadlines while I still needed to do my daily routine. What I did was, delegate my routine task to my co-worker for the day and only focus on the 5 urgent tasks.
24. Are You Able To Work In A-Team?
I am able to work in a team, either being a team member or a team leader. I do not believe in a one-man show and the benefit of working in a team outweighs its disadvantage. For example, annually the company will hold a Technical and Non-Technical Conference where the employees will present their cost reduction projects. The HR Team decided to participate in the Non-Technical category and I was representing the team. We decided to present a retention topic and begin to discuss and delegate tasks among ourselves. We review our results and data regularly and print them nicely for the conference. Unexpectedly, we won first place in the Non-Technical category at the conference that year. It was all thanks to the teamwork and team spirit that we have.
25. Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
In 5 years, I am seeing myself as an expert in what I am doing now. I am planning to upgrade myself. I am planning to enroll myself in a part-time HR degree course. Rest assured that while doing my part-time HR degree, it will not affect the quality of my work in the office. The reason why I wanted to upgrade myself is I want to be a subject matter expert and I want to be someone who everybody can refer to regarding HR-related matters. I also would like to advance myself on the managerial ladder.
I hope these 25 questions will help you in your interview session. All you have to do now is be prepared, calm, and confident when answering the interview questions. Be yourself and enjoy the session. If you have questions for the interviewer, then ask out! Leave the interviewees with a positive impression. I am wishing you the best of luck with your upcoming interview.