«Career Services Human Resources Career Path: Introduction Career Services (CS) created the Career Path series to assist students with the career ...»
Attend corporate presentations. Even if a company is not specifically seeking HR candidates at the Ross School of Business, they are typically willing to discuss opportunities with interested students – just ask! Talk with recruiters about your interests and what their company may have to offer. Ask for names of people to follow-up with inside the company.
Contact alumni and conduct informational interviews. The Organizational Strategy Club maintains a list of alumni who have served as mentors to current students, and club officers often know recent graduates in the field.
Utilize CS services. CS sponsors a number of workshops, including resume writing, cover letter preparation, and interview skills. Office hours are available for counseling on all aspects of the career search and skill development process. Career consultants and staff members with experience in HR may be available to provide specific functional perspective.
Also, the Human Resource Certification Institute offers examinations for the purpose of maintaining high professional standards and advancement among HR professionals. The exams are intended for those currently working in the field of HR, but students and recent graduates are encouraged to become certified. For more information, refer to the Career Packet titled “Careers in Human Resource Management” in Kresge Library.
Frequently Asked Interview Questions
1. Why are you interested in HRM?
2. Why HR at my company?
3. How do you view the future of the HR function?
4. What are your career goals?
5. Why are you doing an MBA and looking for an HR position?
6. What value does a Michigan MBA add to my HR function?
7. How do you feel about the idea of being the “unwanted” participant in meetings?
8. How would you influence someone who was at first resistant?
9. Give me an example of your leadership style.
10. Give me an example of when you helped someone succeed.
11. Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback or when you received difficult feedback.
12. Tell me about a time when you failed. What did you learn from this?
13. Give me an example of how you applied what you learned.
14. Give an in-depth summary of specific jobs you have held.
15. What qualities/characteristics should a HR representative possess?
16. What particular area of HRM is most attractive to you?
17. What particular area of HRM is least attractive to you?
18. HR is often viewed as a support function out of the mainstream of company decision-making;
how do you feel about this?
19. Why is HR important to a company?
20. What do you see as your role in the corporation?
21. Do you see yourself as more of a generalist or a specialist?
Sample Responses Q. What skills should I focus on while here at the University of Michigan?
A. Interpersonal skills and analytical skills.
learning how to be a “change agent” human resource aspects of strategy organizational design self-confidence conflict resolution being customer-focused ability to build consensus finance and accounting spreadsheet analysis database utilization and creation Q. What are the differences between HR in the service sector and HR in a manufacturing environment?
A. The main difference is in the groups of individuals that you are servicing. The level of complexity of legal issues and interpersonal issues will be driven by the types of individuals. However, the importance of HR competency is equal in all sectors.
Q. What battles are faced by a HR professional in implementing change management?
A. Unifying groups with different cultural backgrounds, histories, objectives and agendas.
Q. What keeps an HR professional from burning out and how does one measure his/her results?
A. The work must be fun and what you enjoy to keep a balance and not burn out. Your effectiveness can be measured by the # of times your customers seek you out. Examples: the # of messages or e-mail notes you receive, the # of programs that you have created, etc.
Q. As an engineer by background, how do I cross over to a HR career?
A. The mindset and thinking of an engineer with HR training can be an effective and critical bridge in an organization facing technical issues. The best experience for HR is learned. The most difficult aspect is getting people to think differently, out of the box. An engineer can use past experiences as a key strength to building alliances within the organization’s technical and line staff.
Q. What role does HR play in a major corporate restructuring?
A. HR will play a role in helping the organization determine how best to utilize its people: How can the organization strategically plan for what skills are needed in the future? How can the organization reconcile the generational and skill gap differences between existing management and its new hires?
Q. How does diversity fit within the HR organization?
A. Many companies have a diversity function within the HR organization. However, many companies are still struggling with communicating and implementing strategies that meet the business objectives for the firm. Work/life balance is also an area that is sometimes included within diversity.
Bibliography of Information Resources Periodicals such as Personnel Administrator, HR Magazine, and Personnel.
“Opportunities in Change Management: An Introduction to this Emerging Field of Business,” by Gretchen Alarcon and Angela Anello, February 1997.
“Career Management for Human Resources Professionals,” The Journal of Career Planning and Employment, Wiley, Carolyn.
Career packet “Careers in Human Resource Management” in Kresge Library.