You are going to encounter plenty of human resources departments in the course of your job search. Talking to these gatekeepers is your first step to getting the job you want. While they don’t have any hiring authority, they do decide who goes on to the next round of interviews. If you don’t know how to handle the recruiters in human resources you might be done before you start. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with human resources.
1. Make friends.
Build a rapport with your HR person while getting some great information about the company. Ask them what attracted them to the company, personally. Find out what they think the company’s greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Ask them to describe the working environment and how they got into their profession.
2. Get details about the job.
Questions to ask about the job when talking to the HR person include; What would my day-to-day responsibilities be? Can you tell me about the people I will be working with? What is the exact title? Who would I report to and what is their title? What would my first assignment be if I am hired?
3. End on a strong note
HR people usually conduct the screening interview and will decide if you go on to the next round. Use these questions at the end of that interview: I have really enjoyed meeting with you and I am very interested in the position. I feel my skills and experience would be a good match for the job. What is the next step in your interview process? Before I leave, is there anything else you need to know concerning my ability to do this job?
4. Ask questions above and beyond the typical ones.
Questions to ask that the interviewer may not hear often, but demonstrate your ability to think about the big picture: Does the company have a mission statement? What is it? What can you tell me about the prevailing management style in the company? Can you talk about the company’s commitment to equality opportunity and diversity?
5. Be confident and honest.
HR people are looking to find the best candidates and it reflects directly upon them if they don’t. They will be verifying things on your application and resume, so always present these things with honest and accuracy. Your verbal answers must always back up what you have down in writing. Don’t give them any doubt about your application and present yourself confidently. This will inspire their confidence in you.
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Becky Papp has been a professional writer for 20 years, working for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications. She currently contracts for clients all over the world, writing online and print articles, newsletters, blogs, and e-books. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona.