Handling the payroll system in an organization is a crucial task and needs precision while performing the daily tasks. When you apply for this job, it is your duty to become a competent candidate in this area of work and prove your worthiness for the respectable position. After your resume gets shortlisted by an employer, you have to pass through a series of payroll interview questions to finally get selected for the job. Your performance in this round is the main determinant of reaching your goal. To be a competent payroll employee, you must have the relevant education, knowledge and technical skills to operate the system.
Payroll is one of the most critical and challenging operations of an organization. It is a process of recording and maintaining the payment of salary, wage, bonus, allowance, tax and deduction to an employee for the service he/she is providing. It helps to make the task of accounting much easier and faster. Organizations have to strictly follow the state and federal guidelines to calculate the profit or loss amount for a year to prepare the balance sheet, and payroll plays a major role in determining such amount. On the employee's point of view, they are paid off their calculated and proper compensation on a timely basis through this method. The function of payroll is made easy through the use of several software packages, so that the job of calculation and record is done in an appropriate and error free manner.
To give you an idea on the type of questions that a prospective employer may ask you before deciding your selection, we have presented a number of sample interview questions. Before you attend the interview, gather the most suitable information from these and prepare yourself well in advance.
If you are an experienced professional, share the details with examples of the responsibilities handled. A fresher in this field, however, will require the basic knowledge and education in the related field. He/she may talk about the experience gained through the subject and the trainings undergone.
Talk about the benefits of this field and the interesting factors in the same. Don't make it sound too self-centered. Try to also exemplify how your skills will help the organization to a great extent.
"Payroll is the process of maintaining and recording the financial status of the employees of an organization. The calculations are done and payments are made according to the salary structure of a particular employee/worker. It includes salary, wages, bonus, and benefits like gratuity, PF and tax deductions. The government regulations while calculating the pay is also considered in this system."
"There are several source documents in this system namely time sheet, performance appraisal form, applications, job sheet, registers, pay-in-slip, reimbursements, overtime etc."
"The reports produced are the new joinees list, resignations, transfers, retirements, promotions, new salary structure, etc."
This question is directed to an experienced person. Be honest and talk about the job responsibility which you enjoy the most.
"I fell that the calculation part of the payroll system is the most challenging job and I just love doing it...."
"Yes, I am aware of the computerized payroll system. This system helps to maintain and record data of each employee, viz., name, pay structure, joining date, benefits receivable, baic pay, claims, special pay, leaves, etc. The computerized system also aids in generating the pay slips on a monthly basis to each employee."
"It helps to make the process much faster and easier. Manual calculation becomes humanly impossible, especially in large scale enterprises, where the number of employees are huge. The software system helps to get the accurate and timely calculations."
"Input and output designations form a part of the payroll. Input is the part which deals with the basic pay, house rent allowance, conveyance, other perks and benefits received and deductions; while the output name is the final amount or payment figure, which results after all deductions."
"The deductions may vary from employee to employee based on the terms and conditions of employment and salary structure. The deductions generally made are provident fund, EMI, tax deducted at source, PT, ESI to name a few."
"I have worked on special pay elements which process in a different method. I have done calculation of bonus, incentives and other perks."
This will add to your level of technical skills you possess. Give the names of the software you are familiar with like SAP.
Here, you have to project your basic computer skills, which is extremely necessary to carry out the payroll responsibilities.
"I am proficient in Microsoft Suite including Word, Excel and Access..."
This is a situation where your ability of handling pressure and problem solving skills will be evaluated. Thus, never give a negative answer. You say that you will try to neutralize the situation and convince the employee that the corrective measures will surely be taken."
Never state a certain amount of salary you are expecting at this stage. Salary details can be discussed in the HR round. You can mention about your last drawn salary and say that an increase of percentage will be expected according to the organization and industry salary structure.
The payroll interview questions are easy to answer if you have hands-on experience in this field and good technical skills to process the requirements. Thus, if you fall in this league, just head on for the interview soon with prior preparation and a confident approach.