HR Generalist Interview Questions

Craft an insightful interview for an HR generalist with our guide. We provide you with characteristics to look for, how to interview, and the questions to ask for the best new HR generalist hires.

Hiring the best HR generalist for your company is a key step in ensuring its long-term success. An effective interview process can help you find the right person for the job. It’s important to ask questions that will reveal candidates’ qualifications, such as their experience with human resources practices, their understanding of labor laws and regulations, and their ability to handle complex situations.

You should also ask questions about how they would handle certain tasks or scenarios you may encounter in the role. This will help you understand if they’re a good match for your company’s culture and values. Additionally, it’s wise to look at references and backgrounds to ensure they’re a good fit.

We’ve compiled a few tips and interview questions to help you identify the best HR generalist for your organization.

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What to Look for in an HR generalist

  • Strong knowledge of HR practices: Assess the candidate’s understanding of various HR processes, such as recruitment, employee relations, performance management, compensation and benefits, HR policies, and compliance.

  • Communication skills: Look for candidates who can effectively communicate with individuals at all levels within the organization. This includes verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Problem-solving and decision-making abilities: Evaluate the candidate’s ability to analyze complex situations, identify issues, and propose effective solutions. HR generalists often encounter challenging problems that require critical thinking and sound decision-making skills.

  • Adaptability and flexibility: HR generalists need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and work in a dynamic environment. Look for candidates who can easily adjust their priorities and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

  • Ethical behavior and confidentiality: Assess the candidate’s commitment to maintaining confidentiality and ethical behavior. HR generalists often deal with sensitive employee information and must demonstrate trustworthiness.

  • Relationship building: HR generalists work closely with employees, managers, and executives. Look for candidates who can build strong relationships, establish trust, and collaborate effectively with diverse groups of people.

  • Knowledge of employment laws and regulations: Ensure the candidate has a solid understanding of relevant employment laws and regulations to ensure compliance and minimize legal risks.

  • Analytical and data-driven mindset: HR generalists should be able to analyze HR metrics and data to make informed decisions and recommendations. Look for candidates who can use data to drive HR initiatives and continuous improvement.

  • Continuous learning and development: Assess the candidate’s commitment to professional growth and staying updated with HR best practices. Look for individuals who actively pursue learning opportunities and are eager to enhance their skills.

  • Organizational and time management skills: HR generalists often juggle multiple tasks and deadlines. Look for candidates who can effectively manage their time, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.

How to Interview an HR generalist

Hiring an HR generalist requires a thorough and thoughtful interview process. It is important to clearly define the job role and requirements. This ensures you attract the best-fitting candidates and speeds up early screening.

Targeted questions should be asked during phone and in-person interviews to assess a candidate’s experience, technical knowledge, and skill set. Multiple team members should be involved in the interviewing process to get different perspectives on each candidate. This can help to ensure that all aspects of the candidate’s experience and qualifications are evaluated and can help to reduce the risk of making a poor hiring decision.

Meeting face-to-face in person or through live video interviews with finalists before making a final decision can provide a better assessment of their qualifications, skills, and aptitude for the role. This allows for a more personal and in-depth evaluation of the candidate and can help to ensure that they are a good fit for the organization.

Best Types of Questions to Ask an HR generalist

Here are a few great questions to ask in an interview with an HR generalist candidate:

  1. What inspired you to pursue a career in human resources, and what do you find most fulfilling about the profession?
  2. How would you define your approach to employee relations and conflict resolution, and can you provide an example of how you have successfully managed a challenging situation in the past?
  3. What is your experience with recruiting and onboarding new employees, and how do you ensure a positive candidate experience?
  4. Can you explain your knowledge of employment laws and regulations, and how you ensure compliance in previous roles?
  5. Describe how you have managed performance management processes in the past, and what steps you take to ensure fairness and consistency in the process
  6. How do you ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are integrated into HR policies and practices in the organization?
  7. Can you provide an example of how you have created or improved an HR process in the past, and what were the outcomes?
  8. Describe your experience with HRIS systems and how you have leveraged technology to improve HR processes
  9. How do you prioritize competing HR demands and ensure that HR processes and practices are aligned with business objectives?
  10. How do you build and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders, including executive leadership, managers, and employees?

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