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Payroll Clerk, Payroll Administrator Job Interview Questions

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If you have an upcoming  payroll job interview for an Payroll Clerk, here are a few questions that may be asked by the interviewer(s) below. These questions have been developed by our human resources team.

Depending on the industry and company, Payroll Clerk  may also be known as:

  • Benefits Officer
  • Pay and Benefits Administrator
  • Pay Clerk
  • Payroll Officer
  • Pay Advisor
  • Payroll Administrator
  • Pay and Benefits Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Salary Administration Officer
  • Payroll Accounting Clerk


Payroll Clerk  or Payroll Administrator Job Interview Questions

As a payroll administrator you will need to create payroll reports to finance and accounting departments.  Describe a complex report you have prepared by compiling summaries of earnings, taxes, deductions, leave, disability, and nontaxable wages. What made the report complex? What were some of the hurdles you had to overcome?

The knowledge of legislation such as employment standards, labour code, etc. is used by a payroll administrator everyday.  Describe your knowledge of relevant payroll legislation.

Sometimes in payroll, a payroll clerk must handle irate employees due to a payroll error.  Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an employee or contractor who was angry and even abusive to you.  How did you handle this situation?

How do you determine payroll liabilities such as calculating employee federal, state or provincial income and social security taxes and employer’s social security, unemployment, and workers compensation payments?

A payroll administrator must be able to thrive under pressure.  Due to the nature of the job, you will be required to meet deadlines within the payroll cycle.  How you manage job stress and pressures?

Adaptability is very important to be payroll administrator.  Sometimes in payroll, unplanned tasks come up that disrupt your schedule.  How you prioritize your time in such situations?

A successful payroll specialist must be able to solve problems.  In your day to day clerical duties, how do you resolve payroll discrepancies when collecting and analyzing information?

What were some of the challenges faced when maintaining payroll operations by following policies and procedures; reporting needed changes?

A payroll specialist will be privy to confidential salary and pay information.  How do you ensure and maintain employee confidentiality by protecting payroll operations?

Please tell us what your experience is with the following and how do you rate yourself on a scale from 1-5, 1 being weak and 5 being excellent:

-ADP Experience
-Lawson a plus
-Analyzing Information
-Data Entry Skills
-General Math and book keeping Skills
-Financial Software
-Reporting Skills