MockQuestions

Payroll Specialist Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Payroll Specialist interview, here are 34 interview questions and answer examples.

Payroll Specialist was written by and updated on October 28th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 34

If an employee called in with a payroll complaint, how would you handle it?

How to Answer

The interviewer wants to see that you express empathy and understand how concerning payroll challenges are for employees. They also want to know that you can handle the issue through critical problem-solving. Perhaps you take detailed notes of the employee's complaint and then get to work solving the issue. Maybe you talk through the issue together so that you can solve the payroll problem right away. Sometimes payroll issues need time to figure out. In these instances, inform the interviewer that you express your apologies to the employee and provide an approximate timeline for a solution.

Next Question

34 Payroll Specialist Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. If an employee called in with a payroll complaint, how would you handle it?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you express empathy and understand how concerning payroll challenges are for employees. They also want to know that you can handle the issue through critical problem-solving. Perhaps you take detailed notes of the employee's complaint and then get to work solving the issue. Maybe you talk through the issue together so that you can solve the payroll problem right away. Sometimes payroll issues need time to figure out. In these instances, inform the interviewer that you express your apologies to the employee and provide an approximate timeline for a solution.

      Entry Level Example

      "As a Payroll Specialist, I am a service provider and the employees that I serve always remain one of my primary areas of focus. For that reason, any valid payroll complaint, such as a missing direct deposit, should be dealt with immediately. When I receive a payroll complaint, my first reaction is to apologize and empathize. Then, I look into the matter ASAP. I take detailed notes of the situation and begin to troubleshoot. Often, the issue comes down to a simple coding error, and I can quickly repair the issue. However, there are times when I need to dig deeper. In that case, I keep the employee updated on the progress and offer a written cheque to supplement their financial concerns until I can resolve their payroll issue."

      General Example

      If an employee reached out with a payroll concern I would listen to the concern, research the issue and find a resolution as soon as possible. I would also note the payroll error and inform the appropriate manager. Payroll concerns are sensitive since employees are relying on their paycheck to be accurate and timely. For that reason, I believe any employee's payroll-related concerns should be resolved within 24 business hours.

      Written by Carrie Nelson on October 28th, 2022

      Senior Level Example

      I would research and resolve their issue and let them know when the task has been accomplished. If it takes more than 24 hours, I would give them interim updates to keep them informed of what is happening.

      When the task is complete, I would look at trends as it relates to the issue. If it was a system error, can the system be changed. If the issue has happened with others and it is a user error, perhaps additional training should be provided to the employees. If it is the same employee who keeps making the same mistake, then their supervisor should be informed so they can coach the person toward being more successful.

      Written by Carrie Nelson on October 28th, 2022

      Community Answer

      "I would put myself in the employee's shoes to be as empathetic as possible, listen carefully, and apologize that the issue occurred. I would take detailed notes of what happened and assure them that we would investigate and resolve it as soon as possible. I'd give them a timeframe of when it would be resolved and when they would hear from me. As I resolve the issue, I would document the resolution process to prevent future reoccurrences. Then I would reach out to inform them it has been resolved, to apologize once more, and to assure them it would never happen again."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It seems you are highly organized and keen on process, which is fabulous news for a payroll specialist :) You walk through this answer with ease, and your professionalism shines through.

  • Career Goals

    2. Do you plan to open up your own accounting or payroll firm?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know if you view this job opportunity as a stepping stone to your own business endeavors or if you plan to stay with their organization for the long term. Show the employer that you are excited about this opportunity, and you look forward to being on their team for the foreseeable future. Display enthusiasm to learn and grow with the organization, and mention that you are grateful for the opportunity to discuss the Payroll Specialist position.

      Entry Level Example

      "I am new to my career as a Payroll Specialist and it's important to me that I contribute to a team for at least ten years before considering any independent work. It's essential that I contribute to a team while learning and growing from superiors who can teach me the foundations of this role. Right now, and far into the future, it is my greatest interest to be part of a talented team like this one."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Experienced Example

      "I have been looking for an opportunity to learn and grow with a larger organization that will offer me the chance to prepare payroll reconciliations at a larger scale. I work well with a diverse team of experts, so, for that reason, owning my own consultancy or working independently does not interest me. I am truly excited about this opportunity with Company XYZ, and plan on growing with your esteemed team for many more years to come."

      Experienced Example

      No, I do not have plans to open my own accounting or payroll firm. I am happy to work for someone else and I want to contribute in that way. More specifically, I want to work for this company because it has a good reputation, I am passionate about the work that you do, and I want to be part of this great team of workers.

      Written by Carrie Nelson on October 28th, 2022

  • Career Goals

    3. What are your future plans with the company?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know about your career goals and aspirations for a title promotion over time. Be realistic in your timeline for achieving growth. Show enthusiasm for your work as a Payroll Specialist by keeping the bulk of your answer focused on the way you plan to make an impact in this particular job.

      Entry Level Example

      "I am excited about the opportunity to work as a Payroll Specialist for your organization. I believe that this will be a great learning opportunity for me. Some years down the line, I want to earn my way into a team lead or payroll supervisory role; however, I have a lot of experience to gain in this role in the meantime."

      Experienced Example

      "It is important to me that I grow personally and professionally, regardless of potential title promotions. In this Payroll Specialist role, I welcome the opportunity to learn and thrive while eventually taking on a leadership position as I prove my capabilities. Most of all, I plan to add value and build meaningful relationships that serve the greater good of the company."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Experienced Example

      My initial plans are to learn as much as possible. Not just about the company and processes but also about the people and the culture. I want to build relationships and trust. I hope that over time, I can prove myself and be considered for more responsibility.

      Written by Carrie Nelson on October 28th, 2022

  • Communication

    4. What have you done to improve your written and verbal communication skills?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you put effort into enhancing your communication, regardless of your professional experience level. Discuss your preferred methods for honing your verbal and written communication skills. You can also discuss how you utilize your new skills in the workplace. If you have noticed a marked improvement from your efforts, be sure to mention this improvement.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Compatibility

    5. What are the most important attributes a Payroll Specialist should have?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you understand the attributes required to succeed in this role and with this company. Most of all, they are seeking assurance that you possess these attributes yourself. Take a look at the job description before heading to the interview, and you will see what attributes are most important to the role. These characteristics will likely be listed in the 'Qualifications' section of the job posting. You will likely see mention of attributes like great attention to detail, strong verbal and written communication skills, robust interpersonal skills, and the ability to solve complex problems. Discuss what you believe to be the most important attributes for a Payroll Specialist to possess and why. Then, provide evidence that you will bring these characteristics to the workplace.

      Entry Level Example

      "I understand that the attibutes the hiring company is looking for, and some of the most important in this role overall include strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work cross-departmentally. I am able to get along with many personalities and work closely with various groups. For instance, when I was completing my internship, I (tell a brief story of a time when your interpersonal skills shined through). Throughout my time in university, I worked hard to ensure that I could work across various groups and with different professors. This skill will come through very well when I liaise between various department. I look forward to showing this organization these attributes, and more, in action."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    6. Describe a typical payroll day in your current position.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like details around how you organize your payroll days. Perhaps you have a special checklist that you utilize on the day you run payroll, or maybe your software system has a checklist for you. Provide the interviewer with an overview of what an average payroll day looks like for you, remembering that the interviewer's goal is to hear that you are organized, diligent, and pay attention to detail.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    7. How do you ensure that payroll is paid correctly and on time?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you will handle their volume and the unique needs of their organization. Show that you will give careful thought to their unique payroll set-up and that you will take the time to learn the ins and outs of their process. You can discuss how you will utilize the notes feature in your payroll software to document any special requirements.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Diligence

    8. How do you remain up-to-date on payroll rules and techniques?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you are diligent with remaining in-the-know of payroll rules, laws, and techniques to optimize your time and efficiency. Perhaps you receive email updates from an HR governing body that shares updates, tips, and tricks. Maybe your payroll vendor keeps you in tune with new rules and techniques on their homepage or your dashboard. Or, perhaps you attend payroll-related conferences, seminars, and webinars. Be sure to mention any professional payroll organizations you regularly participate in or hold a membership with. Finally, mention that you network with other payroll professionals in or outside of your company to see what new techniques they are using.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Diligence

    9. We spend considerable time editing our timesheets to ensure no errors are present. How do you approach finding and fixing an error?

      How to Answer

      Timesheet mistakes will occasionally happen, but that is why you are diligent with checking and editing. Sometimes timesheet errors are 'one and done' situations where you correct the issue move on. Other times, errors occur regularly. In these cases, discuss how you collaborate with your team and troubleshoot to ensure that the issue is fixed so that it does not continue to cause payroll problems in the future.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Diligence

    10. What information do you require before you approve payroll?

      How to Answer

      Each organization will likely have different controls in place before approving payroll. Of course, you will need all timesheets approved, compensation changes entered, bonuses allocated, relocation assistance entered, and any other special data for the week addressed. Be sure to mention these items in addition to what your current process is. You may have a checklist built into your payroll software, or perhaps you have a checklist in place; be sure to mention these tools too.

      Entry Level Example

      "I take a close look at everything before approving payroll, including the total number of hours, paid time off, bonus and commission payouts, and more. I also look at reported expenses and match them against expected expenditures. It is my duty to take the payroll process seriously, which means ensuring all necessary checks have been carried out and all procedures are followed to the letter."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Diligence

    11. How would you familiarize yourself with our payroll system?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you are a go-getter and a self-starter. Tell the interviewer that you would start with independent learning, perhaps by clicking through the system to understand what it looks like or taking in some online tutorials. Perhaps you would visit the vendor's website to see if any how-to lessons are offered. Whatever your approach, show the hiring company that you are an enthusiastic go-getter who will jump on board, ready to learn.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Direct

    12. What is retro pay?

      How to Answer

      This basic question will allow the interviewer to gauge your level of experience and knowledge in payroll. It will also show the interviewer your ability to explain an accounting-related term in a way that anyone can understand. People can clearly explain concepts they genuinely understand, after all! Your response should be straightforward and to the point.

      Entry Level Example

      "Retro pay happens when an employee receives a pay increase. In this instance, there is a date the new rate of pay begins. Sometimes this is not communicated to payroll in time for the new paycheck cycle, so we 'retro pay' the employee for wages that should have been received at the newly updated pay rate."

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Direct

    13. What information do you need to properly set up an employee into a payroll system?

      How to Answer

      This basic question will allow the interviewer to gauge your level of experience and knowledge in payroll. It will also show the interviewer your ability to properly set up an employee in a payroll system. Your response should be straightforward and to the point. Be sure to include information on the payroll systems or accounting software you are familiar with.

      Entry Level Example

      "From my understanding, to set up an employee into a payroll system, I should include personal details such as the employee's full name, government ID, compensation details, and any other information required to ensure the employee is paid correctly and within pay regulations for the company's region."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Direct

    14. What is a fiscal year?

      How to Answer

      This basic question will allow the interviewer to gauge your level of experience and knowledge in payroll. It will also show the interviewer your ability to explain an accounting-related term in a way that anyone can understand. People can clearly explain concepts they genuinely understand, after all! Your response should be straightforward and to the point.

      Entry Level Example

      "While completing my accounting degree, I learned that a fiscal year is the accounting period for a company. Sometimes this is the calendar year. Other times, companies operate on a different cycle such as a September to August fiscal year."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Direct

    15. What is a general ledger?

      How to Answer

      This basic question will allow the interviewer to gauge your level of experience and knowledge in payroll. It will also show the interviewer your ability to explain a payroll-related term in a way that anyone can understand. People can clearly explain concepts they genuinely understand, after all! Your response should be straightforward and to the point. If you want to add a little pizazz into your answer, you can provide an example of your professional experience working with general ledgers.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Direct

    16. Why are you interested in this Payroll Specialist position?

      How to Answer

      It is a good idea to tell the interviewer that you enjoy being in a role that allows you to analyze information and be highly detail-oriented. Perhaps you enjoy being behind the scenes working with numbers, and you like that you are working in a vital role that directly impacts others' financial security. Keep in mind that the interviewer wants to see evidence that you have excitement for the job and you are ready to make a direct contribution by utilizing your specific talents.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Direct

    17. Walk me through your payroll experience.

      How to Answer

      This is a comprehensive and very direct question. The key is to provide a high-level overview of your experience. You will want to walk the interviewer through your resume, pointing out highlights of your work and accomplishments that you know relate most to this new opportunity. Tell the interviewer how many years you have been working in a payroll function, the systems you have used, how many employees you have conducted payroll for, the industries you have work in, and any other details that you believe the hiring company will deem important. Be sure to highlight any promotions and accolades you have received along the way.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Discovery

    18. How did you get started in a payroll-related career?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know more about your interest in payroll and why you chose a career in payroll.

      - Maybe you took a payroll class in high school, and it intrigued you.
      - Perhaps your parent or guardian worked in a similar function, and you found interest in what they did for a living.
      - Maybe you had a teacher who encouraged you to pursue a career in accounting or payroll because of your detail-oriented nature and keenness in numbers and problem-solving.

      Whatever your path, be excited to share it! Discuss any related education and training you have completed along the way. This information will solidify your interest and commitment to your payroll career.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Entry Level

    19. What courses did you enjoy most while completing your accounting/payroll education?

      How to Answer

      Share your thoughts on the courses you most enjoyed during your post-secondary education, and be sure to include details as to why. The answer you provide will show the interviewer your greatest strengths and interests regarding accounting and payroll topics. Also, the hiring company could use this knowledge to help you follow a career path inside their company that plays to your interest and greatest strengths.

      Entry Level Example

      I have a business degree with a major in Accounting. I really liked all the accounting classes the most. I like the structure of accounting and organizing the numbers. I like researching anomalies and making everything tie together.

      Written by Carrie Nelson on October 28th, 2022

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    20. Have you had responsibility for state and federal tax payments?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants an overview of your experience with filing quarterly taxes, year-end taxes, and any other tax-related tasks pertinent to your work as a Payroll Specialist. Discuss how you file tax payments either electronically or by mail. Finally, discuss how you locate payment amounts. Most likely, these amounts come from your payroll software.

      Entry Level Example

      "Yes, I have been responsible for state and federal tax payments, in collaboration with my employers' tax accountants and CPAs. As the liaison for payroll with Company ABC, I have taken on the responsibility of ensuring company compliance for the past ten years, ensuring we remain in compliance with all state and federal tax laws."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    21. What experience do you have implementing a new payroll system?

      How to Answer

      If you have experience implementing a new payroll system, discuss your involvement in detail. For instance, the interviewer may want to know how you approached researching new payroll systems. Perhaps you asked for input from other payroll professionals, watched demonstrations, met with vendors, and received numerous quotes before making suggestions to your leadership team. Talk about how you analyzed your organization's needs to select the correct product suggestions and determine which components of the new system would be most critical.

      Discuss the stakeholders you worked with to implement the new system, and how you integrated data from the company's existing system. You can also discuss how you communicated with staff to bring them up to speed on locating their pay stubs, and any other pertinent details in the new system.

      The interviewer will want to hear that you handled this process carefully while navigating the complex landscape of system changes.

      If you have not been part of implementing a new payroll system, be open and honest with the interviewer. Inform the interviewer of the payroll systems you have worked with, and assure them that you are ready to handle tasks that require critical thinking and calculated decision making.

      Entry Level Example

      "My work has been with organizations that have solid payroll systems in place. I have worked on a variety of payroll systems in my career, including A, B, and C. Is your organization considering an overhaul of its existing payroll system?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    22. How does higher management benefit from payroll reports?

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer that senior leadership needs payroll reports as part of their role to understand expenses regarding compensation and benefits and payroll taxes. At the end of the day, their job is to ensure the organization is secure financially. There is a good chance that payroll expenses will be one of the highest expenses the organization occurs regularly. To help them stay up-to-date on how payroll expenses affect the organization and ensure they have all of the necessary information to make sound financial decisions, payroll reports are necessary.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    23. Can you describe the use of forms W2, W4, and 941?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking for evidence that you understand the uses of these basic payroll forms. Provide a high-level overview of each of these forms. The way you answer this question will allow the interviewer to gauge your level of experience and knowledge in payroll. It will also show the interviewer your ability to explain an accounting-related term in a way that anyone can understand. Your response should be straightforward and to the point.

      Entry Level Example

      "I learned about each of these forms while completing my Payroll Compliance education. From my understanding a W2 form is an IRS mandated form that shows annual earnings, taxes withheld, tips, and more for each employee. An employee completes a W4, telling the employer the amount of taxes they would like withheld from their paycheck. A 941 form shows the employer's portion of federal income taxes, Medicare tax, and social security tax."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    24. Describe your familiarity with the administration of 403b and 457 plans.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear about your experience administering 403b plans as well as 457 plans. Share roughly how many employees you have participating in each type of plan, how you utilize your vendor's website to administer the plans, any audits you have been through with each plan, and any additional details that will add value.

      If you do not have any experience with 403b or 457 plans, tell the employer that although you do not possess this experience, you understand the purpose of these plans.

      Entry Level Example

      "While completing my accounting degree, I briefly learned about 403b and 457 plans; however, I could certainly deepen my knowledge on these topics. During my recent internship, together with the financial controller, I helped with the administration of 403b and 457 plans. We managed the plan contributions with the carrier and our deductions on the payroll end. I look forward to learning more about the administration of these plans with Company XYZ."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    25. What is the largest payroll run you have been in charge of?

      How to Answer

      Discuss the largest payroll run you have been in charge of, including details such as dollar amount and total employee headcount. Be sure to mention that you understand how important it is to maintain a high level of detail when working with large sums of money. The interviewer wants assurance that you can manage their payroll volume so be sure to include a qualifying statement at the end of your response.

      Entry Level Example

      I don't remember the exact figures offhand but my current company is the largest I have worked for and we have around 100 employees now.

      Written by Carrie Nelson on October 28th, 2022

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    26. Have you performed bookkeeping for small businesses? If so, walk me through your experience.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants you to walk them through your experience working within or consulting as a bookkeeper for a small business. If you have this experience, share how many employees were on staff, the industry of the company, and how you supported their bookkeeping or accounting needs. If you have experience in both small and large work environments, mention any key differences you recognize between small businesses and larger organizations.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    27. Tell me about the payroll forecasting you have been responsible for.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to understand details around the payroll forecasting you have completed, including how often you have supplied forecasts and who has typically requested the forecasts. Provide details around a recent payroll forecast as a way to support your work through an example. Mention how you gathered your data, what software you utilized for pulling the information, and how you created your projections. Finally, be sure to include who the data was presented to and how you presented it (Excel, Word, email, in-person presentation).

      Entry Level Example

      "My payroll forecasting experience extends to my formal education and my current internship. At Company ABC, we utilize our reporting system to forecast weekly payroll funds, hours, and various payments, taking into account the financial cycle and compensation bonus packages."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 6th, 2021

      Additional Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    28. Give me examples of the payroll reports you have prepared.

      How to Answer

      Be prepared with a list of reports that you have prepared, and be ready to provide a high-level overview of the data you understand to be found in these reports. The interviewer wants to see that you have experience preparing reports and that you understand the importance of this data. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you can manipulate data within your payroll system to generate the financial reports your company needs. Be sure to mention the systems and formats with which you are familiar such as Word, Excel, or Adobe.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Problem Solving

    29. What cost-cutting measure have you been in charge of implementing?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants you to discuss the largest, most impressive, cost-cutting measure you have been in charge of. Start by discussing who identified the initiative and how you were selected to lead the implementation. Then, provide a brief overview of the cost-cutting measure, and give an overview of the steps you took during the implementation. Be sure to mention the positive result that was generated following the implementation.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Problem Solving

    30. Describe to me any payroll process that you have developed or revised.

      How to Answer

      Think of a payroll-related problem you helped solve. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the problem that was brought to your attention. Discuss the action steps you took to address the issue and any processes you put in place to ensure the problem did not occur again in the future. Explain why you chose this revision and be sure to include the result of your actions. If you are new to your career, think of a problem you faced in school, a team sport, or a volunteer activity. Talk about how you contributed to a solution.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Salary

    31. What are your salary expectation?

      How to Answer

      In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. For that reason, a vague question regarding your expectations will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn without crossing any ethical lines.

      Typically, when you change jobs, you want to see an increase in wages. Most interviewers aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, unique skills you bring from the last time you joined an organization, and an increase in responsibilities.

      Salary is an important conversation to have, and now is the time to share your desires and expectations openly.
      Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary-based questions arise.

      If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online.

      If you do not have salary expectations, it's time to do your research. The more prepared you are with data on fair pay for the market the more the interviewer will respect you and your stance.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Scenario Based

    32. Each of our buildings has a designated payroll timekeeper that reports biweekly. Two reports are late. How would you approach this situation?

      How to Answer

      The way you answer this scenario-based question will help the interviewer gauge your level of expertise and learn more about how you react when roadblocks occur in the workplace.

      Show that you understand mistakes will occasionally happen. If it is not a recurring issue, you may simply call the responsible party and ensure the missing information is provided as soon as possible. If the issue becomes ongoing, perhaps you would schedule a face-to-face meeting to talk through the problem.

      Display that you are a strong communicator by expressing the way you would approach this conversation. For instance, you might let this person know that their actions are impacting the company. You might also create an action plan for change that included consistent follow-ups until the behavior was corrected. Inform the interviewer that you would work with the individual to put a plan in place to eliminate future problems, and if the issue was not resolved, you would escalate the issue appropriately.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Scenario Based

    33. There are times when we are placed under extreme pressure on the job. Tell about a time when you were under such pressure and how you handled it.

      How to Answer

      Payroll is a field with sharp deadlines and high expectations of precision and accuracy. The interviewer wants to hear that you handle the pressure of working as a Payroll Specialist without getting worked up emotionally when roadblocks occur.

      Think about a time when you had a pressure-filled day. Prepare to tell your story-based example using the STAR answer method, an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Describe what made the day complex and pressure-filled and what your responsibilities were in this situation. Next, tell the interviewer how you tackled the stressful situation. Finally, wrap up your response by sharing the positive result of your actions.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Tough

    34. Would you ever pay an employee through accounts payable rather than payroll?

      How to Answer

      This may be a challenging or 'trick' question since employees should be paid through payroll; however, a contractor can be paid through accounts payable (A/P) as a way for the company to write their fee off as an expense. Tell the interviewer that you understand the different circumstances that may arise when considering A/P to pay someone for their work or services.

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view