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It’s nice to work with people, but it is not easy. HR generalists can tell you about that. If you are applying for this, you should present yourself in an interview as someone who:

  • understands people well
  • have good communication skills
  • have an ability to assess strengths and weaknesses of the others
  • is able to handle pay rolling
  • know how to motivate people

Young applicants for HR generalist job

In an interview for HR generalist position, they will give you plenty of questions. However, the primary decision factor will be the impression you make on the interviewers. You should make a long lasting positive impression of someone who likes people and knows how to work with them. Let me show you some commonly used questions in this interview


List of questions for HR generalist interview

  • Why do you want to work in HR?
  • How would you characterize an ideal applicant for HR generalist position?
  • What motivates you in work?
  • How would you motivate an employee to work harder?
  • Have you ever interviewed anyone for a job? What questions did you use to choose a best person for a job? Why did you choose these questions and not the other one?
  • Could you create a job advertisement? Would you be able to create one for my position?
  • Do you have any experience with payroll? What are the main problems that can occur in a company when payrolling?
  • What would motivate you to offer someone a raise?
  • How would you feel about firing someone you have good relationship to?
  • Do you know anything about HR planning? Do you have any experience with this activity?
  • Would you recommend your friend for a position in our company if you had this option?
  • How would you recruit a best talent for our company?
  • Please have a look at this working contract. What would you improve about it? (They hand you a contract with mistakes.)
  • Imagine a situation of signing a new contract with a loyal employee. The employee is not satisfied with the new salary offer and starts to argue with you. However, you can not change the offer. What would you do to convince the employer to sign the contract?
  • You are quite young. How would you handle motivating and working with much older employees on the position of HR generalist?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you think is easier – to assess your own weaknesses or weaknesses of someone else?
  • What is your opinion on the diversity in the workplace?
  • What is your opinion on the discrimination in the workplace? Do you have any experience with it?


As you can see, it’s not an easy interview. Well, it’s not an easy job either. I recommend you to think about each question for a while. There is one advantage you have with these HR generalist interview questions – you can find most of the answers online. I mean, for example on the pages of InterviewPenguin, you will learn how to interview candidates for the job, how to prepare a list of interview questions, as well as how to answer the most common interview questions about motivation.

We truly believe it will help you to prepare exceptionally well for your HR generalist interview and you will succeed. Good luck!

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