Man applies for a position of a Payroll clerk. The HR generalist shakes his hand at the start of the interview.

Q. Why do you want to work as a payroll clerk?

You can hardly find something motivating about the job, except that it pays quite well, and that it is not stressful.

Most people who apply for this job try to get any accounting or administrative position, and Payroll Clerk is just one of their options. In an interview, however, you should try to convince us that you want the job.

You can say that you like the working duties, or that you believe to have the skills and abilities to become a good clerk. Alternatively you can point out the company–saying that you want to work for us, because of our reputation, working environment, system of benefits, etc.

Q, Why do you think you can do this job well?

Refer to your qualification, and the essential skills for a good clerk-a detail oriented and responsible personality, good computing skills, loyalty, accounting skills, etc.

Q. What do you consider the biggest mistake you have ever done in job?

Everyone makes mistake. Tell us about a mistake you made, admit it was your mistake (do not blame your colleagues), tell us how you eventually spot the mistake and took measures to correct it, and stress the lessons you learned in the situation. That is the perfect answer…. If you apply for your first job, you can mention a mistake you made in your accounting classes.

Q. How do you ensure your knowledge of payroll is up to date?

Tell us that you read the journals, and check the latest changes to the laws. If you recall any recent changes, mention them in your answer–it will help you to build credibility.

Man is trying to get an entry level job, interviewing in front of a panel. The interviewers are observing every gesture he makes, his every move.Q. Someone wants to befriend you on a workplace. What will you do?

Payroll clerks should be careful, and they should not let the other people to tell them what to do. Say us that you want to make friends (since it is natural to befriend some of your colleagues), but that you will not talk with them about your job, their paychecks, and would not open any other sensitive topics.

Q. Do you have you any experience with pay card payments? Describe it.

Card payments are a simple method of offering employees a debit card they can use to buy things, or cash it with ATM. It is like sending money to the bank account; just you send it to the card for the purpose.

Q. Can you list down the tax rates and other deductions of gross payment?

This is a technical question and you should know the answer. Since it is a broad topic and the deductions differ from country to country (sometimes even from city to city), I will not go into details with this answer.

Short test in an interview

Here is a sample employee card. You can see the hours they spent in work last month, the number of hours they worked overtime, as well as the pay rate for both regular time and overtime. Calculate their gross payment and net payment for a given month.

Smart interviewers will always test your skills in an interview, with a practical exam. It is the easiest and the most secure way to assess your readiness for the job.


More than just your answers

Success is not only about good answers to their questions. It is also about how you act, if you manage to build some relationship with the interviewers, what you wear, if you manage to sell your skills to them, etc. Check our job interview tips to get some inspiration.

May also interest you: