Two Sneaky Tips For Nailing Your Next HR Interview — Before You Even Enter The Room…

by Alan Collins

You’ve done it!

You’ve landed an interview for your HR dream job and it’s now time to seal the deal.

So how do you prepare?

To find the answer, I tapped into my HR network of interviewers from a couple of today’s most coveted companies.

I tried to dig up insights beyond the typical “have a firm handshake” and the “dress for success” tips that everyone knows about.

Below you’ll find two quick tips to help you before you even walk into your interview sessions…

Tip #1:
Arm yourself with three
specific stories.

You must be able to sell yourself if you’re going to making a lasting, positive impression.

Even though it’s a lazy question, I guarantee that someone is going to ask you the typical “what is your greatest strength and weakness?” question.  Even if you are not asked this question directly there will be an opportunity to go over what you’re good at and what you could improve on.  So here’s what you need to prep in advance.

Your Greatest Strength Story

This story highlights a positive attribute of yours.

You will show how this attribute relates positively to the HR role you’re interviewing for and show how it is only one of many reasons that you can become a value-added contributor.

Be sure to craft a story that shows off your experiences and wisdom and don’t be afraid to include volunteer work experiences here.

Example: I have a number of strengths that would be of immense value in the position. However, the one that relates most to what we’ve discussed in my flexibility in getting results with tough clients.  An example of that is the brutally difficult situation I faced with the General Manager of our XYZ division… 

Your Greatest Weakness Story

This story describes something you could do better.

Whatever weakness you go with make sure you sit down and take time to craft a story that shows how this weakness is actually a strength in disguise.

Show how your weakness helps you in other areas of your work, talk about what you are doing to improve it and always end the story with something positive about you.

Example:  A few months ago, I found that I wasn’t as naturally organized as I wanted to be.  It was because I didn’t have a system to keep track of my major HR priorities and I’d lose some momentum on them and fall behind.  Let me tell you how I solved it…which wasn’t easy…and wound up turning it into one of my biggest assets…

Your Closing Story

The third story you need to be armed with is the most important: the closer.

You’ll lay this one on the interviewer at the end of the interview to make sure that they remember you.

This story should summarize the most impressive of your skills and attributes (the ones most relative to the position you’re applying for) and you should touch on what the company will be missing out on if they don’t hire you.

Be as compelling and charming as you can at this point.

Example:  There’s one item I’d like to mention that we didn’t get a chance to talk about.  It directly addresses the issue you’re facing in driving engagement among your senior manufacturing folks.  I won our President’s Award for leading a key task force in tackling this exact issue and improving our engagement by 50% in one year.   Here’s what our issue was and how we were able to solve it….

It is important that you take time to sit down and craft these three stories as meticulously as possible.

You are the person that knows your skills the best.

Study yourself and your experiences so that you know what you have to offer and build a story on it. When you know exactly what you bring to the table, you can gain immense leverage in your interviews.

Tip #2:
If you can, schedule your
interview for Tuesday
at 10:30 AM.

This isn’t always possible, but do it if you can.

According to Glassdoor, 10:30 AM on Tuesday is the best time for interviewing.

Here’s why…

Your interviewer has a crap load of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.

10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:

But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the last interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented last.”

Bottom line: if the organization is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.

That’s it.

Wish you much success in nailing that interview.



Comment on this article or provide additional insights by clicking HERE.

Want even more tips, tricks and secrets that can help you crush your next HR interview, then check out:  HR INTERVIEW SECRETS: How to Ace Your Next Human Resources Interview, Dazzle Your Interviewers & LAND THE JOB YOU WANT!

For more details go HERE.


Once you’ve landed your new HR position, if you’ll be leading a new HR team and want to get off to a fast start in your new organization, you’ll certainly want to check out:

THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS:  How To Start Strong, Hit The Ground Running & ACHIEVE SUCCESS FASTER As A New Human Resources Manager, Director or VP.

For more information about this book, go HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals including HR INTERVIEW SECRETS and THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS.  He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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3 Responses to “Two Sneaky Tips For Nailing Your Next HR Interview — Before You Even Enter The Room…”

  1. Anund Says:

    As always, on the money.

  2. akbar Says:

    I love it…

  3. TTMAI Says:

    Thanks a lot Alan