HR Assistant Interview Questions

joseph cole

Updated on February 27, 2023

A Human Resources (HR) Assistant is an entry-level HR professional who provides support to the HR department in various administrative and clerical tasks. They play a great role in maintaining employee records, assisting with recruitment and hiring processes, administering employee benefits programs, and handling employee inquiries and complaints. Hiring an HR assistant can bring several benefits to a company from handling day-to-day HR works to maintaining compliance with employment laws and regulations.

Onboard the right candidate for the HR assistance position by asking the questions that make a difference in the interview process. Take charge of your hiring process. Get started today!

General Roles and Responsibilities of an HR Assistant

The general roles and responsibilities of an HR assistant may vary depending on the organization and its specific needs, but some common tasks include:

  • Assisting with the recruitment process, such as posting job vacancies, reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, and conducting background checks.
  • Ensuring a smooth onboarding process for new hires, including paperwork, benefits enrollment, and orientation.
  • Assisting with employee relations matters, such as addressing employee concerns and questions, and helping to resolve any conflicts that arise.
  • Managing HR-related documents, such as employee files and HR forms. Maintaining accurate and up-to-date employee records.
  • Assisting with benefits administration tasks, such as enrolling employees in benefit plans and handling employee inquiries regarding their benefits.
  • Ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, such as EEO, FMLA, and ADA.
  • Assisting with training and development programs, such as coordinating employee training sessions and tracking employee training progress.
  • Assisting with payroll processing tasks, such as reviewing timesheets and ensuring accurate pay calculations.

Skills and Experience an HR Assistant should have:

An HR assistant should possess a range of skills and experience to effectively carry out their duties. Some of the key skills and experience that an HR assistant should have are:

  • Administrative skills: An HR assistant must have strong administrative skills, including the ability to organize, prioritize, and manage tasks efficiently.
  • Communication skills: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for an HR assistant to effectively communicate with employees, management, and other stakeholders.
  • Attention to detail: An HR assistant must have excellent attention to detail to ensure accuracy in handling employee data, preparing reports, and managing other HR-related tasks.
  • Technology proficiency: Proficiency in using various HR software and tools is necessary to manage HR-related data, track employee records, and prepare reports.
  • Basic knowledge of HR policies and practices: An HR assistant must have a basic understanding of HR policies and practices, such as recruitment, employee relations, benefits administration, and compliance.
  • Customer service skills: An HR assistant must have strong customer service skills to assist employees with their HR-related queries, resolve issues, and provide support.
  • Relevant education and experience: A degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field is preferred for an HR assistant position. Relevant work experience in an administrative or HR role is also beneficial.

HR Assistant Operational and Situational Questions

Operational and situational questions are asked in job interviews to assess a candidate’s technical skills and knowledge and also their ability to think critically and make decisions in different scenarios. Here are some examples:

  • What do you find interesting about your job role?
  • HR Admins have a repetitive type of work, how do you stay motivated? What do you expect from your company?
  • From the time a candidate is offered a position to the time the candidate is hired, how much work is involved? What paperwork is essential?
  • Do you have any experience using HRIS systems?
  • If you are asked to make an employee database from scratch, what details would you include, like name, SSN, and birthdate? How do you maintain the accuracy of this database?
  • How do you prepare data-driven reports? Have you ever made a serious mistake? How did you rectify it?
  • How do you handle complaints related to compensation? When do you seek assistance from your supervisor?
  • Define confidential information. How do you manage confidentiality in the workplace?

HR Assistant Role-specific Questions

Role-specific questions are designed to assess a candidate’s suitability for a position as an HR Assistant. These questions typically focus on the candidate’s knowledge of HR policies, procedures, and best practices, as well as their experience in HR-related tasks:

  • What experience do you have with onboarding new employees, including completing paperwork, coordinating with other departments, and ensuring all necessary training is completed?
  • Can you describe your experience with HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) and/or applicant tracking systems? Which systems have you used in the past?
  • How would you handle a situation where an employee comes to you with a complaint about their manager? What steps would you take to investigate the issue and address the employee’s concerns?
  • What is your understanding of current employment laws and regulations, and how have you kept up-to-date on changes in these areas?
  • Have you ever had to terminate an employee? If so, can you describe the process you followed and any challenges you faced?
  • How do you prioritize your workload when you have multiple tasks to complete, such as handling employee inquiries, processing paperwork, and coordinating with other departments?
  • How would you handle a situation where an employee requests time off that conflicts with the company’s needs, such as during a busy period or when multiple employees have already requested time off?

HR Assistant Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to assess a candidate’s past behavior and how they have handled different situations in their previous roles. These questions can help the hiring manager understand the candidate’s approach to various scenarios, as well as their ability to work well with others and handle challenging situations. Some examples of HR Assistant behavioral questions might include:

  • Can you describe a time when you had to handle a difficult employee situation? How did you approach the situation, and what was the outcome?
  • Have you ever worked on a project where you had to coordinate with multiple departments? How did you ensure that everyone was on the same page, and what challenges did you face?
  • Can you describe a situation where you had to enforce a company policy or procedure that was unpopular with employees? How did you communicate the policy change, and how did you handle any pushback or resistance?
  • Have you ever worked on a project that required you to learn new software or technology? How did you go about learning the new system, and what challenges did you face?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to balance competing priorities, such as handling employee inquiries while also meeting a tight deadline? How did you manage your time, and what strategies did you use to stay organized?
  • Have you ever had to deal with a sensitive or confidential HR issue? How did you ensure that the matter was handled with discretion and confidentiality?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to adapt to a new process or procedure? How did you approach the change, and what was the outcome?


An HR Assistant plays a crucial role in providing support to the HR department in various administrative and clerical tasks. From maintaining employee records to assisting with recruitment and hiring processes, an HR Assistant can bring several benefits to a company. In addition, it is essential to ask the right questions during the interview process to onboard the right candidate for the job.

Operational, situational, role-specific, and behavioral questions should be asked during the interview process to assess the candidate’s technical skills, knowledge, decision-making abilities, and past experiences. By following this process, employers can find the right HR Assistant for their organization who can help maintain compliance with employment laws and regulations and ensure smooth HR operations.


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