3 Tips On Acing Your Interview For HR Internships

An inevitable part of entering into the workforce or an internship is advocating for yourself at an interview, where the Human Resources team at the company assesses you as a potential match for their team. If you’ve made it to the next step in the internship interview process, or you’re thinking of applying for one, then you’re most likely looking for pointers on how you can ace that all important first impression. Internship interviews are more similar to ‘real life’ job interviews than you might realise, especially for prospective Human Resources interns. Having interview skills is not only important for getting employment in the HR field, but also a necessary task to perform, as one of the most vital day-to-day responsibilities of HR managers is to discern candidates for vacant roles. Human Resources professionals take pride in their workers and put their effort into building a harmonious team and establishing a positive company culture.



Being part of a robust team starts at the interview stage, so let’s go over some tips on how you can ace your interview for HR Internships in your city:

1. Do Your Research Beforehand About the Company
This is sound advice for anyone applying for a job or internship, but it’s especially prudent for aspiring HR professionals to do some background research. While you’re not expected to read up about the ins and outs of the company or business you’re interviewing for, going into an interview having more knowledge and insight than just a general overview will be advantageous. Two great questions you can ask an interviewer for a HR internship position are “what kind of worker thrives in this environment?” and “how would you describe the culture of the company?” These questions are both focused on the dynamics of the employees and management within the framework of the company, and demonstrate that you are thinking with a HR-mindset. If you show that you are already considering the workers, then that’s a great sign to a potential internship supervisor for a human resources placement!

2. Dress For the Job You Want
After researching about the position, what’s next to prepare for the big interview? In terms of physical presentation when interviewing for HR internships, it’s important that you put your best self forward. While you might be thinking “do I even need to dress up for those remote Zoom internship interviews?” the answer is an unequivocal yes. Think of it less as “dressing up” and more about presenting yourself in a positive light by looking, and therefore acting, professional. It shows the interviewer that you respect their time by taking the opportunity seriously. Think about it: if you were interviewing, would you think that someone who shows up in dirty, unwashed slacks takes the job seriously? Of course not. Preparing for the internship interview by presenting in a professional way does wonders for your confidence too. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between professional presentation and an increase in self-efficacy – the feeling that you believe you can accomplish something successfully. With all this in mind, it’s important to remember that presentation goes beyond just fashion. Being engaging can be achieved through open body language, that shows that you are confident and positive to be around. You’re a capable person, so present yourself for the professional success you deserve!

3. Prepare For a Question About Dealing with Conflict Management
While every workplace can strive to be a positive environment, sometimes conflict – even over small matters – is inevitable. Mediation is one of the soft skills necessary for a Human Resources management up and comer to develop, so it makes sense that this might come up in interviews for HR internships. If you’ve been in a situation where your mediator skills were required, then think of a response that follows the STAR method: Situation (what the problem was), Task (how you planned to resolve the issue), Action, and Result (the outcome of your actions). This allows you to structure your interview answers in a logical and succinct way, and to demonstrate your self-awareness. If things didn’t go according to plan, then include with hindsight what you could have done to improve the situation.

HR Internship programs are valuable for anyone who wants to enter into the industry, and an interview process for an internship is more similar to a real life HR job opportunity than you might think, so preparing for one can give you a head start. It’s important to show that you are diligent by doing prior research about the place you could potentially intern for. Presenting yourself in a professional manner will help increase your confidence levels to show that you don’t just take the opportunity seriously, that you take yourself seriously as an up-and-coming Human Resources professional! One day you might be the HR worker interviewing internship candidates who were in the same entry position as you are right now.

If you are interested in learning more about HR internships near you, then check out the vacancies page or read more about tips to prepare for world of Human Resources management right here on the Premium Graduate Placements blog.

What Does a HR Intern Do?

At any given time within a company setting, employees will have interactions or enquiries made relevant to the human resource department. They may wish to check their accrued leave entitlements, have questions about payment, or they may be figuring out the specifics of their contractual agreements.

If you are a people person and looking for a career where your duty is to prioritise the needs of employees, an internship placement in a Human Resources role will give you first-hand experience and insight into what you can expect in the industry. Human Resources (also known as HR) is a crucial part of every company, managing the largest asset that companies have – their dedicated and valued employees. The growing realm of Human Resources management has developed into a multi-faceted industry, where each day at work is as unique and individual as the employees and companies you represent.

Here’s some of the general tasks that HR interns become familiar with during the course of their internship:

1. Payroll

One of the most important tasks of Human Resources is to ensure that staff are getting paid according to their specific contractual agreements. People completing HR internships learn the skills required to systematically process salary through software like MYOB and XERO, two popular accounting programs among others that HR use for payroll purposes. If you’re a whiz with detail oriented work and can easily spot inconsistencies, then you’ll be able to build upon your skills further in your internship.

2. Resume and Cover Letter Screening

HR interns are trained to have a keen eye in the art of effective resume and cover letter screening. Discerning which candidate is the right fit for the advertised role based on the quality of their application is a rewarding task. As you gain insight into the breadth of skills and knowledge needed for each job in the company, you become better attuned to managing staff in an empowering way. This understanding will also be an advantage when it comes to creating your own successful resume and cover letter for the Human Resources job you’ve strived for after your internship is complete.

3. Organising Job Interviews

Get to know potential employees before by organising job interviews. Similar to the resume and cover letter screening tasks, shortlisting candidates for interviews is a process of elimination that requires a discerning eye for connecting the job position to the appropriate match that is right fit for the institution. For this task, time management and people analysis is key. You may be able to hone these skills by sitting in on interviews, preparing questions and taking notes. Throughout your HR internship, you will get to know the culture of the company, which will assist you in envisioning who is best suited to acclimatising into the role.

Human Resource Internship

4. Assisting with Employee Orientation and Events

Take pride in welcoming new employees into your host company by helping out with employee induction days. Responsibilities include budgeting, arranging catering, and scheduling group or individual training sessions. Your friendly and helpful attitude towards newcomers can make such a difference in their level of comfort, and an understanding of the standard of workplace culture and morale. Alongside orientation days, people in Human Resources internships may also have opportunities to plan events within the organisation. For example, that mid-week pizza party and mentor session in the office during a busy week could boost employee performance, all thanks to you.

5. Addressing HR Concerns

Sometimes you may be doing more strategic tasks like hiring and onboarding, while other times you might be taking care of individualised issues regarding administration, management and or conflict within colleagues. Following up on employee enquiries are important administrative tasks that HR interns learn to do in accordance with company HR policy, and in consultation with labour legislation. Responding to employee requests for salary increases, holidays, or even inquiries about updating work equipment are all in the domain of Human Resources management. In addition to the everyday queries, you will gain the knowledge about optimising upon productivity through environmental and ergonomic principles. Through this, you will get to know the needs of employees and how to maximise upon the factors that contribute to a happy and functional workplace. If you can put your management skills into practise during an internship, then think about the meaningful work you can do onwards in your Human Resources career.

The Human Resources management industry is rapidly expanding to match the changing trends in the workforce. The HR function is all about making people-oriented choices towards achieving company missions, visions and goals in the workplace. Alongside practical know-how in planning and management, soft skills such as mediation, communication, and team-building are necessary for HR interns to master, as boosting company morale and spirit is the priority within an employee-centred approach.

Find out more about Premium Graduates HR Internships and how they can help you get a head start in the industry.