30 HR Business Partner Interview Questions

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Getting ready for an HR business partner interview? An HR business partner interview is crucial to determine whether there is a match between you and the organization you’re applying for. Your job is to convince the organization that you can offer them the best solutions and help them achieve their business objectives. During the interview, you can expect to be asked some pretty tough questions.

In this article, we’ve listed the top HR business partner interview questions together with what to focus on when answering them. Let’s dive in!

Contents
Problem-solving interview questions
Role-specific interview questions
Behavioral interview questions
Competency-based interview questions
Oddball interview questions
The importance of practicing for your HR business partner interview 

HR business partner interview questions

When preparing for an HR business partner interview, it is a good idea to formulate some general answers addressing your skills and knowledge of HR. This will help you increase your confidence while being interviewed. One way to do this is to jot down a list of your strengths, your background, credentials and HRBP certificates, the industries in which you’ve worked, and the achievements you’ve accomplished.

You also want to include future goals for working with an organization, such as how you can integrate with any company, how your work aligns with the potential employer’s vision and objectives, and the processes you use to carry out these things in the short- and long term.

Need some HR business partner interview questions to start practicing with? Read through these to get an idea of what you may be asked in an upcoming interview.

HR Business Partner's Expertise
As Semos Cloud points out, HR Business Partner has to have knowledge and expertise in multiple areas to be successful in their role. That is all verified through relevant interview questions.

Problem-solving interview questions 

It’s important as an HR business partner that you demonstrate to a potential employer that you have the knowledge and resources to solve the organization’s most pressing employee and HR issues. Therefore, here is a rundown of some problem-solving-based interview questions you may get asked. 

Questions 

How will you help our company ensure better alignment between our HR metrics and business outcomes?

Tell us about a time you handled a complex HR matter at another organization?

What would you do to solve the problem we are having with employee turnover? 

When faced with a new problem, how do you start researching it? 

If you had a conflict with a member of our leadership, how would you work things out?

Tips to answer these questions

When answering these questions, use plenty of details about how you solve problems with tactfulness and with the organization’s benefit in mind. Give examples of similar issues that you have solved in the past.

Don’t make things up. Share real experience and explain how you are there to reduce risk and solve problems on behalf of the company you work for. Use actual facts when framing the success you’ve had, such as the percentage decrease in turnover or the increased number of employees who complied with training. Connect these results to business metrics.

Role-specific interview questions

The potential employer will want to decide if you, as their future HR business partner, will understand the role that you should fulfill in the organization. They want to ensure you will fit in well with their management team and the HR department. These interview questions give you an opportunity to show them you understand the importance of this role and its contribution to the organizational strategy. They also allow you to showcase your knowledge of Human Resources management.

Questions

Why do you want to work with our organization? 

How do you see yourself being able to blend in with our team? 

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Can you share how you protect the brand of a company you work for? 

How would you describe the typical day of an HR business partner?

Tell us how you make a partnership a seamless experience? 

Tips to answer these questions

Lean on your experience as an HR consultant and business partner when answering these questions. Companies are looking for partners who can jump in and understand their company right away while implementing and improving essential HR initiatives and contributing to strategic planning. They want to work with someone who is sensitive to their internal operations, culture, and company values. Be careful not to get too wordy with your answers, or you may stumble. Be concise and professional.

Behavioral interview questions

Being able to handle HR matters using mature and wise behavior is critical to business reputation, and is a key part of HRBP’s job description. Therefore, you need to be able to show the interviewers and the hiring manager that you know how to behave in certain situations, even the most difficult ones involving employees. These HR business partner interview questions can help you establish behavioral fit.

Questions

How much do you consider HR metrics in making changes to an organization? 

When you’ve dealt with a member of leadership making an employee-related mistake, have you intervened? How? 

What’s one thing that is a pet peeve about working as an HR business partner?

Have you had to terminate an employee, and how did it make you feel?

If violence broke out in the office and you were here, what would you do first?

Tips to answer these questions

You should answer behavioral questions with care as they reveal a lot about your personality and work style. Be sure to frame things in a positive light when you do answer them. Some of these questions may seem a bit odd, too, as they may be less specific to HR work and more about the types of expectations the organization and interviewers have. If you are in a virtual or face-to-face meeting, you need to maintain a positive look as these questions can elicit certain feelings that an experienced interviewer can read. 

Competency-based interview questions

A major reason to hire an HR business partner is for the benefit of always having access to the most recent HR information. Companies look for Human Resource Business Partners who have plenty of experience in HR and who understand the business as well as the laws inside and out.

They look for those who also maintain their credentials and professional development. Competent HR business partners also have a good understanding of different types of HR software. Competency-based interview questions can help you show you have the knowledge.

Questions

How familiar are you with our industry and its unique demands? 

What are your biggest strengths as an HR Business partner? 

How long have you worked in Human Resources as a consultant?

What drives results in a job as an HR business partner? 

How do you maintain up-to-date on HR and employment laws? 

Tips to answer these questions

Show off your knowledge of Human Resources policies and what you know about the organization’s industry. It’s important to establish confidence with them, and therefore your competence and lifelong commitment to HR matters.

It’s ok to talk about your strengths, and sometimes a variation is being asked to talk about your weaknesses. Instead of answering with weaknesses that are also strengths, such as planning ahead with lists or caring too much about your work being perfect, focus on how you’re working to overcome your actual weaknesses.

Situational interview questions

So much of your success as an HR business partner has to do with how you handle any crisis situation that comes up. This includes dealing with challenging employee matters and less than stellar HR metrics. A company needs a lot of support in these areas; therefore, they are looking at you to be able to handle difficult situations using your expertise. Share your approach by knowing how to answer these situational questions. 

Questions

If you discovered a member of leadership was doing something illegal, would you share this with someone else at the company? If so, why? If not, why not?

Please share a time you were able to contribute to better employee engagement. 

Can you tell us about something you are particularly proud of in your work experience? 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to face as an HR Business Partner? 

It’s your first day on the job here. What is the first task you will tackle? 

Tips to answer these questions

As you answer these HR business partner interview questions, think back to previous situations you’d experienced and how you handled them. Answer with logic and knowledge of labor legislation and employment rules. A good refresher course in HR may be helpful in gathering ways to answer these questions. What you don’t want to do is focus too much on yourself; instead, keep your focus on how you can handle difficult or unusual situations or employee relations issues with the company’s best interests in mind.

Oddball interview questions 

It has become popular for organizations to throw in some odd or unusual interview questions, which are meant to challenge the interviewee to think creatively for an answer. Here is an example of a few odd-ball interview questions you may encounter in your next HR business partner interview. 

If you won $50 million, what would you like to do with your life and career? 

What are three things you would bring with you on a deserted island? 

You are a brick in a wall. Which one are you and why? 

What superhero power do you wish you could possess? 

Why do you think that only a small portion of the workforce makes six figures? 

Tips to answer these questions

Before you fall out of your chair, note that these interview questions are meant to reveal more about your character and how you make decisions. They don’t aim to stump you. It’s ok to have a bit of a sense of humor when answering these questions but also show that you are sincere. There is no right or wrong answer here. Just be creative and have fun with these interview questions.

The importance of practicing for your HR business partner interview 

Whether you are an HRBP, a consultant, new to the world of Human Resources, or are trying to prepare for an upcoming interview — these HR business partner interview questions can help you to get ready to impress the decision-makers of the company you are aiming for, show your key strengths, and position yourself as the ideal candidate for the role.

It’s important to practice answering the interview questions so that you are calm and have your thoughts collected by the time you must interview. No one likes to go into an interview with the jitters or being tongue-tied!

Practicing either in front of a mirror, using a virtual meeting space where you can record yourself, or even having a friend conduct a mock interview can also be great ways to get ready. Listen for how confident you sound, watch your body language, and learn to look at the camera when in a virtual interview. 

Keep this list of interview questions nearby with ideas as you go through practice sessions. Bullet out the points you want to cover as you answer each question. Have a list of your achievements, strengths, and other positives to give you confidence.

Familiarize yourself with the organization you’re interviewing with. That way, you can make your responses more specific. What’s more, the interviewers will also appreciate your interest in the organization.

Add more talking points. You can expect to be asked a few questions outside of the ones we’ve given you. Take an online class in Human Resources to update your knowledge of HR laws, principles, and compliance as they are constantly changing.

Remember, a little bit of preparation goes a long way towards your goal of landing a great career in Human Resources. You have what it takes to be successful in your interview and accomplish so much more. 

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