Interview Question Guide

HR Manager

HR Managers lead the HR department in the logistics of employee management. Their role includes collaborating with senior managers and department leads to determine budgets, developing hiring and training strategies, managing employee performance, handling employee concerns and overseeing employee benefits. They are in a managerial position meaning they lead and support the HR department in executing the organization's people strategy. HR Managers also support their organization in building an overall employer brand, improving employee engagement and developing a healthy working culture. Performing this role requires excellent strategic planning and organization skills as well as problem-solving abilities.

Core skills for HR Managers




Strategic Planning


Problem Solving


Training & Development


Compensation & Benefits


Talent Management

How to effectively interview HR Managers

While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as an HR Manager in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in a HR Manager role will go a long way in helping you decide. 

But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions? 

The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates. 

At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the HR Manager role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral and situational questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created an HR Manager Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process. 

Example interview questions to ask

Question 1

Tell me about a time you contributed to an organization's employee retention strategy. What did you contribute, and what challenges did you face?

Answer Tips

  • Exhibits a comprehensive understanding of the key factors influencing retention
  • Explains the situation and improvement objectives, and their contribution
  • Discusses incentives (e.g. perks, rewards, recognition, work-life balance, etc.)
  • Discusses the outcome of their contributions (e.g. reduced attrition)
  • Highlights key learnings and takeaways from the experience

Question 2

Part of your role could involve organizing training programs for managers and employees. How would you determine which content to provide training on, and how would you know if the training programs were effective?

Answer Tips

  • Consults with management and employees to identify training needs
  • Analyzes responses and compares to industry-specific labour market trends
  • Designs role-specific programs (e.g. teams, professions, seniority, etc.)
  • Suggests methods to assess employees' performance in training programs
  • Analyzes results, incorporates feedback and improves training programs

Question 3

Imagine we are planning to restructure our [insert team/function name]. However, there is a disagreement among management about the best structure to choose. As our HR Manager, how would you solve the situation?

Answer Tips

  • Suggests clarifying the business objectives and each manager's concerns/opinions
  • Suggests facilitating a professional discussion with the relevant parties
  • Examines best practices, policies, evidence and historical data
  • Suggests a clear action plan
  • Has a solution-oriented mindset and is open to compromise

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