Are You a Team Player?

...How to Answer Classic HR Interview Questions 

With unemployment at record highs, even seasoned professionals are hunting for their next career move, and finding that they need to work hard to differentiate themselves in a crowded job market. In the leisure and hospitality industry, many hospitality professionals are reinventing themselves and seeking new positions. While we know this nationwide economic setback is only temporary, we also know that this is a valuable time to focus on ourselves, our skill set, and our ability to get hired. As a hospitality professional, your skills are highly transferable. You have what it takes to land a great job, but in this crowded field, with so many people job hunting right now, it really is a numbers game. Being prepared for your next interview will help to put the power back in your hands, and help you land your next position. 

You’ve spent hours building your resume. Your trusted friends have proofread your resume and cover letter for you too. You have great references, and a solid background of relevant education and experience. You are ready for the job hunt! Once you find a potential opening that you believe would be a good fit, you apply. Now it’s up to you to make the right first impression.

The day of the interview arrives, and you are ready. Sitting at your home desk, you login to begin the process. Two faces are staring at you and they have a list of questions at the ready. You are probably their third interview for today and they might be tired by now. No pressure! Depending on the size of the company, you are most likely talking to members of their Human Resources department. Understanding HR and its functions will tell you exactly what they are looking for and in most cases, what they are avoiding. If you are prepared, you will knock it out of the park! Take a look at the following classic HR interview questions to better understand the science behind HR, and how you can customize your responses to be the most appealing job candidate for the position!  

Question 1: Tell us what it is that you think we do here.

Clearly, they are weeding out the people who are applying for just any job. They want to know that you have done your homework and understand who they are. Also, this shows that not only do you know their business, but you are also committed to working there. Preparing yourself with knowledge of the details of the company, their mission, their deliverables, and their client base will help you look like a natural fit for the position. 

Question 2: Tell us about yourself.

Translation: What have you done in your career that you are most proud of? They are not asking you about what you do in your personal time, so it’s best not to start bubbling up about your hobbies and latest vacations. To nail this answer, tell them about 2 or 3 accomplishments you have done at work that make you proud. Detailing concrete examples of your productivity, creativity, or ability to work as a member of a team will show them that you have what it takes to be a positive asset to their company. 

Question 3: What are your greatest strengths, and what would you say is your biggest weakness?

Yes, they actually pulled this question out of a 1985 HR handbook. It is cringe-worthy that they would even ask this, and the truth is, they are not looking for honesty. This question translates to, What is your greatest asset that you can add to our talent pool and what is your pet peeve that you see in coworkers? Be prepared to answer this question with a few of your greatest strengths; bonus points if your pet peeve matches their pet peeve too.

Question 4: Do you prefer to work in a team environment, or do you prefer working independently?

Be careful, this is a trick question! If you say you are a team player, they might think that you are not able to work independently and need constant guidance. If you say you prefer to work on your own, they will see red flags and think you may be unable to work as a team. You will need to find a happy balance based on what you think this position entails. Try saying something like, “I enjoy working alone when necessary because I am confident enough to do the work, but I thrive in a group environment because I think more things can be accomplished when everyone is working together.” Nailed it!

Question 5: Give us an example of a disagreement with a coworker and how the issue was resolved.

The workplace is a rainbow of different personalities and they want to know how you fit in. They want to know that you can work with anyone and that no matter what, the work gets done. In this situation, they are more concerned with the outcome of the disagreement than the actual disagreement. Make sure to frame your answer with a positive outcome. Best answer: “I work well with anyone as long as there is clear and open communication.”

Now that you’ve brushed up on your answers to some of these classic HR interview questions, it’s time to get out there and land that job! The job field may be crowded these days, but with your background in hospitality, you’re a good fit for a wide range of positions. The skills you gain at TISOH- planning, preparation, organization, management, problem-solving, flexibility, and innovation- are transferable to any position you choose to pursue. Plus, TISOH’s Career Services Department can assist you with resume writing, interviewing skills, networking, and job placement assistance throughout the entire duration of your career! Now, more than ever, you need a partner by your side and TISOH will be there to support you. 

If you are interested in gaining critical skills that can help propel your career, call TISOH at 702-947-7200. You can speak with our helpful and friendly admissions representatives, who are always available to discuss your career options, and will even help you begin the enrollment process. With TISOH’s remote learning options and wide spectrum of student services, you can gain the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in a wide variety of careers! Stand out in a crowded job field - Call TISOH today!