Re:Work

Posted by
Mark Shortall
Founder
mark@rework.ie

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Interview Preparation for HR Business Partners

We've broken this guide into common themes below to help you structure your thoughts. We're hoping this guide should give you some extra confidence in knowing that you're well prepared and take some that interview anxiety away.

Strategic Business Partnership

  • Tell me about a time that you had a partner that did not see the value in the HRBP role. How did you overcome this?
  • How do you strike the right balance of supporting and challenging leaders and being a credible and valued partner?
  • How did you change your approach to dealing with different people?
  • Give examples of your ability to influence – a time you got it right and a time you got it wrong.
  • Give me examples of times that you've been at odds with a cross-functional partner and how you worked through it with them.
  • Give an example of building relationships with new clients or partners.
  • How do you deal with a manager who is ineffective?
  • Give me an example of a time that your depth of knowledge of the business helped you better consult with a business partner or come up with a better solution.

Organisational Development

  • Give an example of a program you designed to develop people in the team or organisation.
  • Give an example of an org design & restructuring project you’ve had to manage.
  • How did you manage change when you implemented this initiative?
  • How did you measure the results?
  • What data did you use?
  • What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?
  1. Prepare examples for two long-term projects that you have led or managed.
  2. Highlight how you adjusted plans and prioritised to accommodate changes.
  3. Think through how you prioritised responsibilities and managed deadlines.
  4. Prepare clear metrics or examples of how you used data to track progress and success.
  5. Think about how you influenced the business and created enthusiasm for a new approach.
  6. Prepare examples the steps you took to gain commitment and handle resistance.

Employee Relations

  • Share an example of a difficult employee relations situation you faced that wasn't clear-cut. How did you prioritize what to focus on?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to partner with legal to deal with an employee relations issue?
  • How have you handled a common complaint like “I don't like my manager?
  • What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?
  • What did you consider when you approached the person about the issue? How did you change your approach to dealing with different personalities?
  1. Prepare an example of a complex situation that didn't have a clear, obvious answer.
  2. Highlight outcomes that had a meaningful impact on your company.

Change Management

  • Describe a time when you had to measure the success of an organisational change?
  • What business change did you manage that you are most proud of?
  • What is the most challenging change you’ve managed?
  • What were the details of the exact change you implemented (or helped implement)?
  • How did you measure the results?
  • What data did you use? What other data would you liked to have used?
  • What were the outcomes?
  • What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?
  1. Prepare two two long-term project examples.
  2. Practice summarising the factors you took into account and how you prioritised. 
  3. Think about how you measured progress and success. 
  4. Highlight how you leveraged cross-functional partners and influenced others.

Coaching & Feedback

  • Give an example of a difficult feedback conversation you’ve had with someone more senior than you.
  • Give an example of coaching a managers who don't like to address conflict.
  • How did you change your coaching approach when dealing with different people?
  1. Prepare an example of when you clearly communicated expectations for an employee to improve.
  2. Highlight how you coached and identified resources for development. 
  3. Think through how you showed empathy and were sensitive to the persons experience. 

Problem Solving

  • Give an example of a problem you solved working with your business stakeholders.
  • Walk me through a big challenge you were most proud of solving.
  • How did you determine this was the right issue to work on?
  • How did you uncover the root cause of the problem? What were the outcomes?
  • What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?
  1. Prepare an example of a complex challenge or problem.
  2. Identify how you investigated the issue and created solutions.  
  3. Think about how you used data to influence. 
  4. Articulate lessons you learned from the experience or mistakes. 

HR Data

  • Describe a time you used data to make a recommendation or change to a people process?
  • How do you analyse the gap that exists between the now and the future business goal?
  • What data tools did you use to investigate that data?
  • What steps did you take to ensure your audience understood your analysis?
  • What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?
  1. Prepare an example of data driven decision making. 
  2. Demonstrate how you clearly understood the data available. 
  3. Highlight how you articulated the story to influence stakeholders.