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Human Resources Interview Questions

One of the best human resources interview questions is this one...

Describe the ideal working environment to do your best work.

If you've done your homework on this employer before your interview, you're going to know if they are big, small, or medium in size.

Company size is often measured by annual sales and number of people.

  • Large companies = more than $750M in sales, 2,500+ people.
  • Medium companies = $150-750M in sales, 500-2,500 people.
  • Small companies = less than $150M in sales, under 500 people.

It's important to know this because size matters in how employers are structured and managed. Company size can give you clues as to what the work environment could be like.

Most importantly, you will have some insight into their problems and challenges, and how your strengths can contribute to their success.

Company Characteristics Based On Size

Large employers:

  • More layers of management
  • Policy and procedure driven
  • More structured
  • More image conscious
  • Slower decision making process
  • Diverse culture
  • More 15-25 year vets in their workforce
  • More politics
  • Global presence and the need for people to relocate and travel

Medium employers:

  • Growing pains with a fair amount of confusion and chaos
  • Need for more structure and systems
  • Long hours expected
  • The need to be flexible
  • Fair amount of hiring so workforce will be newer
  • Culture evolving
  • Need for upward mobile people to fill management positions

Small employers:

  • You will wear more than one hat
  • Quicker decision making
  • More important you fit in as everybody knows everybody
  • More casual work environment
  • More conservative attitude
  • Slow to change
  • Loyalty expected

Certain human resources interview questions are asked early in the interview because, in this case, if your ideal work environment is the opposite of theirs...there is no need to continue the interview.

This really is a fair question because if you're not a're not a fit.

Do you really want to work somewhere where you'll be stressed out and uncomfortable all day?

However, you may be a very resourceful, flexible person who can adapt to any work environment. If this is the case, simply adapt your answer to this human resources interview question to showcase your strengths to mirror their likely environment.

Example for large employer:

I enjoy working in large complex organizations. I am well organized and patient. I work well within teams as a leader or a follower. I'm open to travel and relocation.

Example for a medium employer:

I thrive in a fast-paced work environment and welcome change. I am flexible, hard working, and open to long hours and travel to get the job done. I enjoy a challenge and I'm good at problem solving. I'm a self-starter and do my best work when I'm given the freedom to do my job with minimal oversight.

Example for small employer:

I enjoy working for a smaller organization where everyone knows each other. I am flexible, hard working, and get along well with people. I don't mind pitching in to help others with their work. I do my best work when I can see a company from a big picture perspective.

If you can't pass this short quiz...cancel your job interview.

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