For the sake of HR round


An interesting observation on the importance of HR round of interviews in the recruitment process.

I’ve heard many candidates say ‘What HR round? They won’t ask much. Only a few basic questions and you are through. Why do they even interview us?’

Typically, HR asks only a few basic questions. Very true! But these are to check the skill set and abilities of the candidates and see if they really fit the bill.

I have listed a few quick questions that randomly pop up in my mind and the possible reasons why these questions are asked.

Tell us your strengths and areas of improvement
This helps us gauge how humble you are when you speak of your strengths; how openly you can admit your mistakes and how willing you are to improve them.

It gives an idea about your attitude. When on the job, if you make an error, would you own up? Would you be willing to correct yourself?

Tell us more about your family background
The answer to this question speaks volumes about you. Your family may have gone through serious hardships to raise you and if you have so far been successful in getting good grades, it says that you want to achieve something in life — like, for instance, Sundar Pichai.

You may come from a very influential background, which may or may not be suitable for the organisation that you are being interviewed for.

Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Face it— no company today expects you to stay with them for five years. We want to know whether you really have a plan in life. And trust me, a rote answer can be seen through unless of course you are a very good actor.

We want to understand how well you will plan when you are given an assignment. Are you here for a job or does this role fit into your career aspirations?

About the company
Yes, we know about our company. We just ask you to understand how serious you are about joining the organisation you are being interviewed for. We wish to find out whether you are willing to be part of our journey; whether or not you know what you are getting into. If you are in a client-facing role, this knowledge is all the more imperative since this gives us an idea of how well you go prepared with your weapons when you have to attend a meeting.

Besides, while speaking to you on the above, we are also evaluating your body language, your confidence, conviction and willingness to pursue a job. HR defines the right person at the right time for the right place.





  1. many a times,this may be Ok for entry level to a few years exp candidates.
    But when the same is done for mid level and senior level candidates,it doesn’t make sense.
    At the end of it,the candidate gets rejected on ATTITUDE,which is not measurable!

  2. so true Sree. Especially when a junior HR executive calls a senior professional. And many a times, the HR executive exhales load of attitude. Recently it happened with an large KPO company. and the matter had to be escalated to the senior management.

  3. Agree with Sree and Vikramaditya!
    At senior levels, people are sorted out and do not need to respond to these kind of queries. The HR should understand and value the candidate’s time and efforts, which are not a waste!
    I being at a senior level have gone through this trauma of 2..3 rounds of interview by HR for no reason! Also, in 90% of the companies, HR executives/managers have a lot of attitude and pretend as if they are obliging by even calling us!

  4. Dear Sree,
    Point Taken! Yes these questions may not work at Senior levels. At senior level it is more to do with people and behavioral skills and these may not be easily judged by even seasoned HR personnel. Maybe that is why for higher level positions some companies use psychometric or EI tests.

  5. If HR knows why they ask a question and how it will be used to evaluate the candidate, then it fine. We need to make sense to business by helping in taking right decision. HR should be able to demonstrate with data/facts why our recommendation or decisions make sense.

  6. things have changed in many organizations now. Its no more the run of the mill questions. HR now assesses a candidate based on behavioural / situation based / competency based questions which assess the candidate on various competencies as relevant for the role. They are professionally trained to assess the candidates .

  7. asking such questions is fine however when HR interview happen is much more important to either short-list / reject / select etc otherwise it less than formalities HR Recruiter does. They must be trained and smart enough to judge and take the decision and empowerment must be given to them short-list / reject / select just based on HR Interview.

  8. I guess more than basic question, as an HR professional, we also just what is said in between the lines. Like when someone briefs about themselves, it says a lot about his personality, attitude, mindset etc. And an aptitude and attitude match is as important as technical match. Moreso, I feel HR should always be humane as the name of the dept goes.

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