Every interview you have allows you to learn more about the job you’re applying for, the company where you’ll work, and what the opportunity means for your future. The more information you can gather during an interview, the better your chances of asking the right questions and determining whether or not it’s an opportunity that’s right for you. Not every interviewer is going to be forthcoming about the details of the work or the employer, so it’s up to you to figure out which are the right questions you ask to get the information you need.
Remember, interviews aren’t only about an employer trying to hire something. Interviews should also allow you to ask questions about the company to see if it’s a good fit for you or not. Unfortunately, many interviewers forget that an interview with a candidate is also the candidate’s opportunity to interview them and learn about the company to decide if the company is someone the candidate wants to work for.
When you’re interviewing for an HR role, you should have all of the information you need to make sure you get the job and that it’s a job that can make you happy and advance your career. Additionally, you’ll need to learn about the company itself to determine if the culture is somewhere you can fit in. To help you get those answers, you’ll need to ask good questions.
During every job interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them, and that’s your chance to get all of the answers you need to decide to make an offer. Here are the questions you should ask when interviewing for an HR role.
What role does HR play within the company?
In some companies, the human resources department might only be in charge of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, payroll, and employee benefits. However, other companies give HR more responsibilities, especially where employee health and wellness are concerned. Many large companies understand the importance of HR and employee well-being, so they’ll put HR in charge of coming up with ways to support employee health. Ultimately, different companies have different ways of utilizing their HR department. Before you can decide whether an HR role is right for you, you should determine how HR functions within the company.
Learning about HR’s roles will give you meaningful information about how the organization views the department. For example, some companies are highly active in improving the employee experience, while others have a more administrative role.
HR’s role within an organization will tell you what type of work environment you can expect. For example, if HR plays a role in employee health and wellness, you can expect a healthy environment that cares about its employees’ well-being. However, if HR simply exists for recruiting, you’re likely interviewing for a company that doesn’t have a defined company culture and may have high turnover rates.
What will my main responsibilities be?
Understanding the role of HR is a great first step to determining whether or not a job opportunity is a good fit for you. However, you should also have a complete understanding of the types of duties you’ll perform daily. As we’ve mentioned, HR can be responsible for different things depending on the company.
Before you decide whether an HR role is right for you, you should ask the interviewer to explain your daily responsibilities. For example, you should know if you’ll spend the majority of your time managing payroll and performing administrative tasks, such as business reporting, or if your role will be more focused on employee engagement.
The more you understand your responsibilities, the better you can visualize yourself in the role. Additionally, you’ll be able to make better decisions based on real information about your duties. If you want to focus on employee engagement and wellness, you may not want to take on an administrative role where you will have limited contact with the employees.
Who is in charge of HR?
Knowing who is in charge of HR can help you see how much a company values the department. If the company has a Chief Human Resources Officer, you can bet that the company values the role of HR and understands its importance. However, if no C-level executives are working in HR, it might mean that the company doesn’t value HR’s role within the company and with the employees. HR needs to have a say in daily business operations, especially since they’re typically in charge of keeping employees engaged.
If the company you’re interviewing with doesn’t have an HR officer, you should ask why. Some companies might not have the resources to put someone in an HR leadership position, while others may not understand the value of having human resources at the leadership table.
How will the company evolve in the next few years?
If you’re interviewing for a job, you likely want a career that will allow you to build your skillset while advancing through the company. As businesses evolve, HR’s role can change over time, especially when growing and hiring new employees.
Companies growing or planning to expand will have different challenges, so it’s important to understand what’s in their future. For example, if a company is actively growing, you can expect to do job interviews and onboarding for the majority of your time.
By asking about the company’s future, you can also learn about its mission and values. For example, suppose your interviewer tells you the HR department will become more of a priority and wants to engage employees better to reduce turnover rates. In that case, you can expect the company to value employee happiness and wellness.
Is there growth potential?
Everyone has to start somewhere, but that doesn’t mean you should be stuck in the same job for many years. Most people get jobs to eventually advance, gain new skills, and earn more money. However, if there’s no opportunity for growth within the business, that’s something you’ll want to know so you can keep your options open or reject the job offer altogether, especially if you’re someone with career goals.
Landing a Job in HR
Asking the right questions can tell your interviewer that you care about the position and are looking for a job that’s the right fit. However, it’s important to ask questions that can help you gauge whether or not a job can provide you with the learning and career development you’re looking for.