25 Tricky Questions in a HR Job Interview

1/14/2011 3 Comments

25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview.

Most of these questions are for experienced professionals who are looking out for a job change.

1. Can you please tell us about yourself.
Answer : This is more often then not the opening question of any interview. You should remember that this is more of a warm-up question. It is always advisable to keep it short. Please keep in mind that you don't take more than a minute or two to answer. Its better to start with your education, then work history, and finally your recent career experience, laying more emphasis on the last subject.

2. Tell us in brief what you know about our organization?
Answer : It is always recommended that you do your homework about the company in the internet or from other sources. If you are able to discuss products or services, revenues, management style, people, history and philosophy, you have already scored some points. But ensure that you don't explain everything about the organization, rather keep it short and precise.Your answer should convince them that you have taken the time to do some research and eager to learn more about them. A typical answer would be "When I was searching for jobs, I went through the profile of a number of companies and I found yours which is really impressive Try to answer in a positive tone about their organization.

3. How long would you stay with our organization if you get selected?
Answer : Every HR manager wants that an employee will work with them for a good duration or forever. You can say that that you are very much interested in a career with the company, but at the same time you need to tell that you would to get good work and feel challenged to remain with any organization for a long term. "As long as we both feel achievement-oriented.", or a "Win-Win" situation for both will help in sticking with the same company for a long time.

4. We have gone through resume, and we found that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What is your thought on this?
Answer : This is one of the questions which you need to answer carefully. Try to lay stress on the point that you have interest in establishing a long-term association with the company and people. Try to emphasize that your good performance in his job will lead to opening up of new avenues and opportunities. Tell them the importance of a strong staff and how vital it is to the organization. Suggest to them that since you are so over qualified for the position, the employer will get a fast return on his investment and that you are coming at a premium.

5. What do you think of your last manager you worked with?
Answer : This question is intended to find your relationship with superiors in general and your feedback about them. Try to be as positive as you can even if you had friction with your manager. A potential manager should not feel that at some point in the future you might talk about him in a negative way.

6. Tell us in brief why should we hire you?
Answer : It is the interviewer’s job is to hire the best person for a position. As such, this question will try to bring out your qualities that are required for the profile. Try to say that you can do the work and deliver exceptional results meeting all timelines and deadlines, You will fit in easily in any project and environment and will be be a great value addition to any team. Also you possess a combination of skills, have the energy, ability and experience that will make you an asset for any organization.

7. What do you look forward to if we hire you?
Answer : You should answer the question keeping in mind that it should be  oriented to opportunities in the company you are applying. Your answer should make the interviewer feel that your have a desire to perform well and be recognized for your contributions towards the company.

8. Are you a good manager? Do you consider yourself a successful manager? 
Answer : Of course you are a good manager. Answer this with a lot of confidence. Rely on examples from your career to justify your argument. Stress your vast experience, energy and smart skills. Tell that you have been a successful manager because you are very hard working, productive and also blessed with effective workforce who delivered results.

9. What do you find most attractive about this position you are applying for? What seems least attractive about it?
Answer : Try to mention four or five very attractive things about the job position, on the other hand you can mention a one small unattractive thing which will not be viewed negatively.

10. Why do you want to leave your present job?
Answer  :  The answer should be short and to the point. Elaborating it might make the interviewer feel that you are desperately looking for a change in job. Try to give and honest answer without hurting yourself. If you were laid off because of the job cuts across the company, mention it otherwise, indicate that the move was your decision, the result of your action.

11. Mention some of the reasons for which you want to work for in our organization?
Answer : It is advisable to do some homework so that you can speak in terms of the company's requirements. You can say that you have found out that the company is doing things you would like to be involved with, and that it's doing them in ways that greatly interest you to work for in that organization.  For instance, if the company is into hardcore research and development and have been producing excellent products, try to emphasize that you want to create new things and that you know this is a place in which your skills and expertise would come in handy. If the company is known for strong management, you should show that you would like to be a part of that team.

12. Brief us about your management style?
Answer : Do a comprehensive research to know about the company's style of management so that your management style will complement it.  Currently quite popular mainly in IT and Software industry is the participative style of management where an open-door method of managing is employed where you get things done by motivating people and delegating responsibility.

Other possible styles are cited below
Results-oriented approach : Every management decision that is taken is determined by how it will affect the bottom line in the company
Task oriented approach : Problem solving identifying what's wrong, choosing a solution and then implementing it
Paternalistic : Taking care of my subordinates and at times pointing them in the right direction.

13. Please give me your definition of the position that you are applying for.
Answer : Try to keep your answer brief. Answer this question thinking in terms of responsibilities and commitments. Ensure that you really do understand what the position before you begin to answer. If you don't know much, don't hesitate, just ask the interviewer; he or she may answer the question for you. 

14. What important trends do you see in our industry?
Answer : Do a comprehensive research of the company and the industry in the internet. Be handy with two or three trends that will illustrate how well you have done the research of your industry. You can present them current technological challenge, emerging and new technologies,  economic conditions, the market conditions and also the financial aspects which your business or industry is heading at present.

15.  What can you do for us that someone else can't for the same position?
Answer :  Perhaps an obligation,  but for this question you can blow your own horn and be a bit egotistical. You can mention about your exceptional skills about your record of getting things done, and mention specifics or a list of career accomplishments. Say that your skills and interests, combined with this history of getting superior results, make you a valuable asset for any company you work for. Mention your smart abilities, you ability to prioritize, identify problems quickly,  think out of the box and use your problem solving skills to bring quick results.

16. Tell us what you think is the most difficult thing about being a manager or supervisor?
Answer : There are various challenges you face being a manager. You can mention planning, execution, budgeting and cost-control and deployment and delivery. Apart from that the most difficult task is employee management - motivate and manage employees to get something going and completed on time and within the stipulated budget.

17. What do you look for when you hire people for your organization?
Answer : Apart from the job requirements that is set by the organization or the project, tell that you look for people with good skills, who can take initiative, are hardworking and have the adaptability to be able to work comfortably and effectively with co-workers. Mention that you would like to like to hire people are smart, knowledgeable, result oriented and who can move up in the organization because of their capability.

18. Was there ever a situation when you had to fire people? What were the reasons, and how did you handle the situation?
Answer :  Tell that it was a collective decision taken by the organization and that the situation was not easy, as it involved the career of an employee, but sometimes such decisions are taken keeping in view of the company. Mention that sometimes under performing resources were asked to leave the organizations, over which you don't have much control because those resources failed to met the parameters set by the company.

19. How do you feel about leaving all your benefits to find a new job?
Answer : You should answer this question very carefully. Mention that you are concerned, naturally, but you are not panicking. You are willing to accept new risks and new challenges in a new environment.

20. In your current position, what are the things you liked the most and the ones the least? 
Answer :  Be positive and careful, you can say a few points but don't overstate. It is recommended to describe more things that you liked than you disliked. Don't cite personality problems with the employees or with your supervisors and managers, which will create a bad impression. You can say that since the work you are doing right now is not very challenging you would like to explore new job opportunities.

21. If you look back at your professional career, what do you feel how successful do you you've been so far?
Answer : You need to provide a confident answer to this question. Say that are quite happy with the way your career has progressed so far. There are normal ups and downs which is part of any professional life, but overall you feel that you've done quite well throughout. You can also emphasize on your achievements.

22. At your age you should be earning more given your experience and skills. Don't you feel sometimes?
Answer : Try to answer this question in a very relaxed manner.  Tell them that this is one of the main reason why you are looking out for a job change. Don't be on the defensive but rather make them understand that you know about it, so you are looking for better opportunities.

23. Were you ever been terminated from your job?
Answer : Give an honest answer if you were terminated from your job. Explain the situations that led to it. The interviewer may spend some time probing you on this issue,as such present a clear picture. Just remember that the references that you provided are likely to be checked, so don't tell something which doesn't match later.

24. Tell us in brief about your long term goals?
Answer :
 Answer this question presenting a realistic view. Its good to orient your long terms goals with the company you are applying for. If you feel that you are good in managerial skills, you can say that one of your long term goals is to see yourself in a superior role in the organization.

25. What do you think how long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution in our organization?
Answer : Try to give a realistic answer. You can being by saying that you would be meeting the project demands from the very first day onward, however for a signification contribution, it might take six months to a year because during this time you could expect to know the organization, its policies, its vision and goals in a much better way and what is expected out of you.


  1. These questions are tricky. Although they do sound simple, you can become confused because you'll be required to analyze your answers.

  2. Thanks for the question and answers. helped a lot

  3. Thing you for preparing this question answer set. I have shared with my friends



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