List of Interview Questions to Ask a VP of HR Candidate

Interviews are the single most important candidate selection tool after the application and/or resume. When you’re interviewing for high-level and positions in your human resources department like Vice President of Human Resources or VP of HR, it’s important to be able to assess all candidates using the same data (or scoring). This is where structured interviews come in. In a structured interview, questions are determined in advance and consistent. All candidates should have the opportunity to answer the same questions and be allotted the same amount of time so you can evaluate them based on standard criteria.

How to Interview and Select a Vice President of HR (VP of HR)

 

Based on the qualifications you’re looking for, your VP of HR interview questions should be structured so that candidates may provide specific information that will distinguish them from the other candidates you’re interviewing for the position. Asking the right questions during the interview is crucial to selecting the right candidates to hire.

The VP of HR is always a salaried position. Depending on the size of the organization, the vice president of human resources often reports directly to the CEO or COO of an organization although sometimes the CHRO or chief human resource officer has this distinction. Depending on the structure and size of the organization, the Vice President of Human Resources works with the executive team to discuss business objectives. They view financial documents and work to understand how the focused programs and services they offer the organization drive revenue. The VP of HR works to integrate people into the full scope of business operations evaluating how the impact of human capital benefits the overall organization. This position is heavily focused on business metrics, reporting, and analytics directly in contrast to the administrative roots of the industry. This is an exempt level position and often a key decision maker at the company. This VP of HR position is sometimes called the VP of People, however, the organizational structure of an HR team varies. 

Interview Questions to Ask VP of Human Resources Candidates

 

Based on the qualifications you’re looking for, your Vice President of Human Resources (VP of HR) interview questions should be open-ended but also structured so that candidates may provide specific information that will distinguish them from the other candidates you’re interviewing for the position. Asking the right questions during the interview is crucial to selecting the right candidates to hire. You want to make sure they are a good fit for the HR VP position, meet requirements and also will mesh with the rest of your team and colleagues.

1) How do you balance your duties as a member of your company’s executive team with your responsibility to the company as a champion of the culture?

2) How do you define employee engagement? What factors are the most important to you when analyzing this metric?

3) Tell us about how you have successfully impacted your company’s high-level goals?

4) What are the qualities that make a good leader for a human resources team? 

5) Outside of HR, what leadership roles are you a good fit for and why?

6) What is the most challenging ethical dilemma you’ve faced in your career and how did you resolve it?

7) In your current (or most recent) role, what kinds of problems do you help solve on a daily basis? 

8) Did you enact any changes at your last company you felt especially proud of?

9) After learning about this opportunity, what made you take the next step and apply for the job?

10) Has your perception of this opportunity changed based on our interview?

Once the interviews for the job are completed, it’s up to you and your team to decide on which of your top prospects is the one that you are going to offer the job. The key when interviewing and selecting VP of HR candidates is to be sure of the job requirements and most important skills and abilities to ensure you are selecting the most qualified and capable person for the human resources assistant job you have an opening for.

Grab our downloadable VP of HR Interview Guide along with a handful of other helpful human resources interview questions guides to help staff up your HR team.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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