Questions for Payroll Administrator Interviews


Payroll administrators are charged with the serious task of overseeing the payment of employees. If you are applying for a position as a payroll administrator, expect your interviewer to pose an array of questions regarding your experience with the payroll process and your appropriateness for the position. By answering these questions adeptly, you can make it clear that you are the right choice for this complex job.

Reason For Interest

Payroll administration is not for everyone. This job is high-stress and tedious to some. Many individuals interviewing you as a potential payroll administrator candidate will ask you why you are interested in the position. Prepare yourself to explain the things about the position that most attract you. When answering this question, highlight the reasons why you enjoy working with numbers, how you enjoy being placed in charge of serious tasks, and how your attention to detail makes you ideal for the job at hand.

Payroll System Experience

Nearly all businesses rely at least to some extent on computerized payroll systems. Because experience with computerized payroll systems is often preferable, you will likely be asked which computerized systems you have used in the past. If possible, determine what system the company for which you are applying uses before you head off to your interview. If you have no experience with that particular system, research ways in which it is similar to others that you have used and explain these similarities in your interview. Avoid stretching the truth about your experience, as doing so can present a problem when you are later expected to demonstrate your knowledge of the system in question.

Employee Upset Management

When issues arise regarding pay, employee upset is common. While it's not the primary job of a payroll administrator, dealing with these employee concerns is often part of the job. In your interview, you may be asked how you would deal with an employee that is upset about a payroll related issue. Discuss how you could keep an employee calm, showing your ability to do so by crafting a clear and well-thought out answer that would be enough to squelch any employee anger.

Change Communication

While payroll systems generally follow a standard form and schedule, from time to time things do change and it's the responsibility of the payroll administrator to inform workers of this change. Your interviewer may want to gain information on how you would guide workers through a payroll system change by asking you how you would communicate this payment modification to workers. If faced with this question, explain to your interviewer how you would tell workers that things have changed. In your answer, include an explanation of how far in advance you would make this announcement. Also highlight the fact that you would tell the workers of this change using a variety of different communication methods, increasing the likelihood that they all get the message.

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