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How to prepare the HR Questions (HRQs) in 3 Simple Steps?

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

HR Questions (HRQs) are prominently asked to test the values of the candidate.

It is difficult to predict what you may be asked in the form of HRQs in the interviews, so here is a 3-step approach to prepare for all of them in one go:

Step 1 - List all the significant events of your life

Take a piece of paper and list down whatever major has happened in your life - it includes both positive and negative events. Use your own discretion, the events may not be important for others, but should mean a great deal to you. Create a long list of at least 20 such events and describe them in 100 words each.

Step 2 - Record the values associated with each one of them

Now, one-by-one, note down what you learned out of the experience, why it means so much to you and what value of yours gets demonstrated by that incident. In front of each incident, note down at least 3 values.

Step 3 - List the HRQs and match them with the incidents

You can find a list of HRQs asked in the previous IIM interviews in this post. Apart from these, also check out the following questions which we use here at IIM Ahmedabad for our placements:

Question 1

Give a candid description of yourself, describing the major transition points and factors that have influenced your personal development. Give examples where ever necessary.

Question 2

What do you think are your major strengths? How would these strengths help you in your professional life?

Question 3

Mention 3 personal improvement areas for you. Why do you think these as improvement areas? How do you plan to improve them during your studies here?

Question 3.a

Identify one weakness that you have worked upon in the last one year.

Question 3.b

What did you do to improve yourself in this area?

Question 3.c

Do you think you have achieved your objective? What makes you think so?

Question 4

Mention 3 most important values that you live by. Why are these values important for you?

Question 5

What do you consider to be your most significant professional/academic achievements and why?

Question 6

Think about the different functional division(s) viz. Marketing, Finance, Operations, Consulting, HR, Strategy, etc. Which are the ones you are keen on pursuing? What qualities/ experiences/ information have shaped this decision?

Question 6 a.

Reflecting on the previous question, what extra information/ direction would you need to choose a particular career path?

Question 7

What are your long term (5-10 years) and short term (1-2 year) goals in life? [Please keep it short and crisp]

Question 7 a.

How does an MBA fit in with your goals? What do you wish to gain out of the PGP/ PGP – ABM program?

Question 8

Please describe your extracurricular interests in brief. List down some of the achievements during recent years in the same areas.

Question 9

Describe a situation where you initiated a new idea or approach and implemented it. How did you go about doing it?

Question 10

Sometimes, we may find a group of people disagreeing with our beliefs/point of view. Give us an instance where you had to convince a group of people on your point of view.

Question 11

What makes a leader? Give an incident in life where you showed leadership skills.

Describe an incident where you succeeded (or failed) as a leader. What did you learn from it?

Question 12

Very often, complexity of the task on hand gets the best out of us. Think of such an instance where you feel you stretched yourself to solve such a problem. How did you approach the problem? What were your key learnings from the situation? If given another crack at it, how differently would you go about solving it?

Once you have this repository, match the incidents you've noted down with each one of the questions. The same incident can also support more than one HRQ.

Why should you quote incidents?

  • They make the answer seem genuine.

  • They make the answer interesting and engaging.

  • They make it easy to prove the possession of a value.

This process will help you stay prepared for the HRQs that get asked, not only from the list shared above, but in general any HRQ because you will be ready with the incidents and values associated with them. You just need to think which value you'd want to fit in the answer and choose the incident accordingly.


For all other questions refer to the repository of IIM questions. You may also like the answer to 'Tell me something about yourself that is not there in the CV'.

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