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22 Best Payroll Specialist Interview Questions and Answers


A payroll specialist is the one who fills the spreadsheets in office for the employees and make sure the employees are paid accurately and on time.

Also, payroll specialist makes sure the hours worked by employees are correct.

While interviewing for payroll specialist jobs, one can ask a number of payroll interview questions depending on various factors like behavior, skills, expertise, accountancy, experience and so on.

interview questions payroll specialistPayroll Specialist Interview Questions and Answers:

The following mentioned are few good questions to ask in an interview and interview questions to ask potential employees.

1. What is the importance of accuracy when performing a task as a payroll specialist?

This question aims to know how the candidate keeps the concept of accuracy in mind. The answer from the candidate will show whether the candidate works with accuracy or no.

This is to know how the candidate deals with the postings and the other inaccurate information that comes on a daily basis.

2. What payroll experience do you possess in handling the special pay items?

This question will help the interviewer to know the bonus or other incentives if any are added in the payment of an employee.

Special forms need to be filled out or any extra calculations to be done before processing a special pay item. These things are taken into account by the interviewer through this query.

3. How do you deal with the employees who do not report time records to the staff?

This question will assist the person in knowing the abilities of a person in handling the strict and serious situations and the time-dependent problems performing strict follow-up duties.

4. Explain the main functions of the payroll specialist work?

In this question, the candidate will explain about the main functions like reconciling, reviewing, processing and validating the employee records.

5. Tell about anyone proud achievement of yours in your previous job?

The good work done by you in your previous job will be explained in this question by the interviewee.

This could include the initiation of other useful forms like promotion, expenditure, incentive forms, reimbursement forms and so on.

6. Explain about your strength and weakness as a payroll worker?

Here one can explain about the hard work, numerical skills, data entry etc as your skills and strengths to the person interviewing you.

7. Tell about how will you keep current strategies and rules on the payroll techniques?

The answer to this question will let you know how well the candidate takes it on himself or herself to make sure he or she stays up to date on the issues related to the payroll.

8. What kind of the behavior works best for the payroll worker?

This will ensure you the inherent qualities of the worker and will determine whether the personality is good or not for your company.

According to his or her answer, a person will come to know the behavior of the candidate.

9. Every company has different contracts with different entities, each entity with a particular requirement. How will you make sure that every employee is paid correctly and that too on time without causing any delay?

This will help you know the stress level a person could handle along with giving an insight of setting up the process in line.

10. Describe the time when your work was not applauded, but criticized and how did you solve that problem?

This will tell you about the honesty of the candidate, and will give you a glimpse of how the candidate takes the criticism i.e… positively or negatively.

11. What is the main purpose of w2 and w4 IRS forms?

This contains the useful data regarding the withholding of tax and eligibility ratio calculations. This is needed by the employee while processing and forwarding tax information.

12. What is the FLSA?

Such type of payroll questions will exactly tell you how indepth knowledge of the subject, an employee has, especially the know how of the technical words and the other jargon.

FLSA stands for Fair Labor Standards Act. This contains the constitutional guidelines related to overtime, wages, protocols and so on.

13. Tell about the most common errors that payroll specialist make and also the steps to avoid them?

Usually, the input errors occur, this type of answer by a person will explain about the possibility of mistakes one could make while working.

Also, it will show a person’s capability to avoid them smartly without causing any further error or creating any chaos.

14. We would like to know about your experience, expertise and education in detail?

Though this question seems easy, but it will assist in knowing how fluently a person can converse and communicate with others without any flaw.

In this question one will have to give all the educational details along with the expertise and experience if any.

15. Tell the kinds of payroll reporting you are aware about?

This will include the making of various reports like deduction reports, wage type, leave or absentee reports, new hire reports, LWAP reports and many others.

16. What kind of salary are you expecting from the company?

This is one of the tough and good interview question. Make sure not to answer it first else you are likely to lose.

Just say something like according to the range for this position and also depends on the details of the job.

This question is meant for knowing how much salary a person needs or what kind of expectations a person has from the company.

17. Explain how you will be an asset for our company?

This query will highlight your strengths and the best points as they relate to the positions being discussed.

This will make you more positive towards your thoughts and will also tell the interviewers about your capabilities that would differ you from others.

These queries will help the company find the potential and capable candidate for the company who will contribute to the best output for your organization.

18. Which payrolls are similar from company to company, every company has its own way of working with their quirks and other ways of doing things. Explain how will you familiarize yourself with a company’s particular system of working?

Such long questions will determine the hearing and attentiveness of the candidate i.e how attentively a person listens and answers to the query asked.

This will show how initiative a candidate is about solving problems that differ from one company to another.

19. How will you maintain the knowledge of laws, news and so on and tell if you have ever been related to any professional organisation?

Be true and be you is the formula for the interviewee to answer. This question is asked by the interviewer to blot out the truth from the candidate and this will show the level of honesty in the employee or how honest an employee is towards the company.

20. Which software are you proficient with? Have you ever been involved in the installation and implementation of HR information and the payroll functions?

This will let others know your technical skills regarding the softwares you work on and also how expert you are in using them as a professional without causing any mistake, in the transactions you carry out.

It will also tell about your experience in a field as more experience will give you more indepth knowledge, while the less experience will likely make many mistakes due to less knowledge.

21. Describe your work week?

This query will describe about your work schedule in detail.

For the candidate it is must to not to answer the non work related activities while being in the company. This will create a bad impression.

Before answering such a question, make sure you consider the position for which you are applying and also relate your last job position.

The more you connect with the last job experience, the more successful you will be in answering the questions.

22. Do you have any query?

This question gives the candidate a golden chance to clear the doubts regarding the working, methods, rules and regulations, about the company, about the post, salary, incentives, bonus and so on.

This will help the interviewer also to know what extra does the candidate has in his or her mind regarding the company.

To Wrap Up:

So, above are the expected payroll specialist interview questions and answers that could be asked for a payroll specialist.

While taking an interview, one must remember that the interview questions to ask candidates must be accurate and according to the post you wish to hire because if the query will not be according to the related post, the candidate may get a chance of pinpointing the mistake of the interviewer.

On the other hand the candidate must be confident while answering all the queries. He must be giving best answers to interview questions.The candidate must say no if he or she is not aware of the answer, especially in case of the technical questions.

Also make sure, you answer all the questions correctly with honesty. On this note happy interviewing.