24 Payroll Coordinator Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on: July 12, 2020
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Specific Payroll Coordinator interview questions depend on what your job will eventually be. If an employer needs a technologically savvy candidate, he will ask him about the different computer programs that he can handle.

If there is physical work involved, an employer will need to know how agile you are.

For a payroll coordinator position, here are some sample questions that you might be asked:

Related: Payroll Coordinator Resume

Payroll Coordinator Interview Questions and Answers

1. Why do you want to work for our company?

Your organization has a reputation for excellent work ethics and practices. Since I follow the same vision, I am sure that I will be an asset. I would like to contribute to a payroll coordinator role.

2. What duties have you performed in a payroll coordinator role in the past?

I have worked as a payroll coordinator for 3 years, during which I have performed a wide array of duties These include processing attendance records, checking payroll information, overseeing electronic payments, and updating salary information. In addition, my work includes handling benefits expenses, producing reports, and working with auditors.

3. Why did you decide to work as a payroll coordinator?

I find the work extremely interesting. This interest, coupled with my educational background in human resources and accounting helped me decide that I wanted to work in payroll.

4. Do you think working as a payroll coordinator is a challenging job?

It is. This is because there is a dire need to follow policies and procedures to effectively coordinate payroll tasks. Also, accuracy and efficiency are high priority when working in payroll.

5. Out of all the candidates, why should we hire you?

I am a great contender for this position as my qualifications are absolutely in line with your requirements. I am sure that I will be an asset as you won’t need to train me.

6. Working as a payroll coordinator means that you have to be constantly organized. How do you do this?

I make sure that all the information that I need to process payrolls and additional payments is kept in one place so that I do not need to keep looking for things. I have specialized folders for each type of data that I need so I know exactly where to look.

7. What are the special pay items? Are they processed in the same manner as for regular payroll?

Special pay items include incentives, bonuses, overtime, and compensation. They are certainly not processed in the same manner as for regular payroll. Each special pay item is separately calculated and adjusted.

8. How would you handle a situation where you have made a mistake in calculating an employee’s payroll and are subjected to scorn from him or her?

I am a stickler for accuracy. However, some mistakes are inevitable, and if such a problem arises, I will calmly explain why it happened and apologize for my mistake. I will also make it my priority to correct the error, even if I have to put in extra hours.

9. How familiar are you with employment laws that regulate employee pay?

I have studied and understood the Fair Labor Standards Act thoroughly, so I am quite familiar with minimum wage, overtime, commissions, and wage garnishments and record-keeping and reporting.

10. What is your biggest strength?

I am a perfectionist, which makes it easy for me to ensure quality work at all times.

11. What is your biggest weakness?

I feel that my biggest strength is also my biggest weakness. Since I am a perfectionist, it takes me a while to adjust to things when they don’t go my way. However, I am working on setting realistic goals for myself.

12. Tell me about your greatest achievement.

I recently suggested a payroll tracking system, which was implemented immediately and has increased efficiency by 50%.

13. What can we expect from you in the first three months of work?

I expect to contribute immediately by streamlining payroll systems and follow-up work. In addition, I intend to implement a system that will increase the efficacy of the payroll system.

14. How do you think your coworkers will describe you?

I am sure that they will sing praises for my ability to handle a wide variety of payroll tasks in a profound manner. They will also tell you that I am a great team player, and can also work well independently. In addition, I am positive that they will highlight my communication and interpersonal skills.

15. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that was difficult to come out of?

As a matter of fact, yes. I was recently in a situation which took all my might to come out of. An entire payroll report had gone missing, and no one knew what had happened to it. There was no paper backup as the company that I presently work for is a paper-free organization. The report had taken 13 days to complete. I had no choice but to redo it within a day.

16. Do you think it is necessary to attend continuous training sessions?

Yes, it is imperative to be continuously trained when one is working as a payroll coordinator. There is so much that needs to be learned, and with new things coming up quite often, consistent training means constant growth and contribution.

17. Would you consider yourself a good multitasker?

A payroll coordinator has to be a Swiss army knife, and I am definitely one. I am great at multitasking, and can effectively handle many tasks at the same time, without compromising on the quality of any of them.

18. Do you intend to work with us on a long-term basis?

Absolutely. I have worked for my present employer for 5 years, which shows my loyalty. I would want to work on a long-term basis with you as much as possible.

19. What would stop you from working for an organization on a long-term basis?

Stunted professional growth can be quite difficult to deal with. As long as I am learning, and contributing, I don’t see a reason to leave.

20. Provide an example where your ethics were tested.

I was accidentally handed a paycheck which has an extra $5000 in it. Not once did I think that I could cover this up and let it go since I worked in payroll. I reported the problem to the payroll director and sorted out the issue immediately.

21. How do you deal with employees who are not happy with pay cuts?

Employees often need to be told why a certain paycheck has deductions in it. I am an extremely patient individual, so it is not difficult for me to handle angry employees. All I have to do is provide them with facts and figures. If someone is yelling at me, I calm them down first, of course.

22. What payroll software programs are you familiar with?

I am well-versed in using various payroll software packages, such as Gusto, Sage 50Cloud, Xero, Paycor, and QuickBooks.

23. How do you make sure that payroll discrepancies do not surface?

My being a perfectionist comes in handy here too. I ensure that each payroll process is properly handled so that discrepancies do not occur at all. When they do, I ensure that they are handled on priority.

24. What are your 5-year plans?

At the moment, I am busy working and learning. Eventually, I would like to work as a payroll director, in a training and development capacity.

Last Word

Most interview questions when hiring a payroll coordinator will be aimed at determining how much the applicant knows about the work.

Apart from concentrating on preparing for these, you should also focus on questions that show the hiring manager what kind of an individual you are.

At the interview, it is important to be confident, which means that you will need to prepare in advance. Looking through the job description and employer’s requirements will make it easy for you to prepare.

Additional Resources

  1. Payroll Coordinator Cover Letter
  2. Payroll Coordinator
  3. Objectives for Payroll Coordinator




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