Interview Question: “Why do you want to work in Human Resources?”

People are, without question, the most valuable asset for any business. Without employees, there would be no employers, and without satisfied employees, it would be difficult for an organization to succeed. Human Resources (HR) plays a crucial role in identifying qualified candidates and maintaining their motivation and satisfaction within the organization. Whether you are applying for a position as an HR Generalist, Recruiter, HR Coordinator, Training Specialist, Payroll Specialist, HR Manager, or any other standard part in human resources, you will frequently be asked, “Why do you want to work in HR?” or a variation with the same or very similar meaning, such as:

  • Why did you decide to pursue a career in HR?
  • Why are you interested in a position in human resources?
  • Why do you have an interest in HR?

Let’s examine 6 sample answers. I included, on purpose, a few unorthodox answers in my selection for job candidates who wish to stand out by saying something different than the rest of the pack. Interview questions answered Why do you want to work in Human Resources?

Six examples of answers to the “Why do you want to work in Human Resources?”

Example Answer 1

I adore working with individuals. HR is a better fit for me than, for instance, finance or sales due to my skills and personality. In addition, I wish to specialize in employee training in the future, so an HR Generalist position is my best starting point.

Example Answer 2

Four years have passed since I began working in human resources. I have my fair share of experience with employee recruitment, interviewing, orientation, training, and payroll. I must say that the four years I’ve spent in the field have convinced me that HR is the right career path for me, as I have not only enjoyed my job but also achieved some excellent results for my former employers, such as reducing the employee turnover rate by 30 percent and the overall training costs by 20 percent on average. Despite this, I am not complacent and wish to continue advancing. A Human Resources Manager position in your organization appears to be an ideal opportunity to do so.

Example Answer 3

I’ve recently realized an individual’s impact on human resources, particularly as a recruiter. As you may be aware, companies are not comprised of buildings and other tangible assets. People are the foundation of successful businesses. Moreover, HR is primarily responsible for determining whether such individuals can be recruited and retained. I chose HR as a career path because I would love to participate in this operation. And even though I must begin at the bottom as an HR coordinator, I am optimistic about my chances of climbing the corporate ladder and perhaps one day leading the entire HR division. Why not?

Example Answer 4

I need a change if I’m being honest. According to my resume, I have worked as a programmer for more than a decade. And even though I enjoy my salary and everything else, most of my journey has been spent alone. I do not want it anymore. HR is the antithesis of programming, in my opinion. You interact with individuals daily by conducting interviews, assisting new hires with orientation, discussing salary increases, and saying “goodbye” to employees who leave the company. I believe I possess the necessary skills for this position, as it is something I’d enjoy doing.

Example Answer 5

I have no particular preference if we’re being sincere. Fresh out of college, I would like to try various job fields, possibly spending one year in human resources, one in finance, and one in marketing. I am aware such a rotation is possible at your organization. I will be able to specialize in the field that best matches my strengths and preferences after three years.

Example Answer 6

I have a goal: to one day establish my recruitment firm. To be my boss and aid local businesses in their recruitment efforts. I am aware that I am unable to open a consultancy without experience. I’d love to work for a company like this for at least five years, learning the ins and outs of hiring new staff and interviewing job candidates before possibly pursuing my dream. At least, that’s the current plan, and it’s why I’m interested in this HR position. If you hire me, if I like it here a lot, and if I advance in the HR department’s hierarchy, I could stay much longer than five years.

Concentrate on the future, not the past

A standard error made by job seekers is focusing excessively on the past. They wish to work in HR because they have a degree in Human Resources. This, however, is not a good response. You have already spent a substantial amount of money and a portion of your youth on education in the field; therefore, you must now obtain employment in it. This is not the attitude you wish to display during this interview…

Concentrate on the present and future. You can discuss a specific HR position you’d like to have in three years or the launch of your recruitment firm in ten. Referring to your strengths, personality traits, and skills that make you an excellent candidate for a job in human resources is an additional option.

In the 21st century, changing careers to HR is commonplace.

Having years of experience in a completely different field is not a deal-breaker. Many people experience burnout at some point in their careers, and changing their lot of work entirely is one of the most effective ways to combat it.

You simply need to explain to the interviewers why you desire a change and assure them that you do not mind earning less than you did in your previous position, given that you will be starting from scratch in human resources. As long as you clarify these two points, you will be fine.

HR is a great field, and many people who have worked with computers or in sales with aggressive and difficult-to-attain monthly goals (and the accompanying stress) have become interested in HR careers. Perhaps you’re a member of this group.

The Department of the organization need not be your deciding factor.

Perhaps you are indifferent about whether you will work in HR, Finance, Marketing, or FP&A. You are merely seeking employment with one of the big four Fortune 500 companies, and HR is just one of the positions for which you are applying. This response can be effective in large corporations if it is expanded upon. Give them some praise and explain why working for them is so important.

Communicate your strategy to the hiring managers. Before deciding on your ultimate specialization, you may wish to begin your career in human resources and then explore two or three other fields. As long as you intend to remain with the company, this response will satisfy the interviewers…

Athina Iliadis is a Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in corporate environments working for companies such as Pearson, LexisNexis, Hershey, and Reckitt. In her current role as a consultant working with clients around the world, she coaches managers and employees on HR issues, supports leaders in their business, produces content about careers, interviews, and job opportunities. She is fluent in English, French and Greek, and she holds a BBA with a major in HR from Université du Québec à Montréal. Find her on LinkedIn and at

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