The ultimate cheat sheet for your next Payroll Clerk interview

Don't let nerves let you down. We have a ready made, just-add-an-interviewer Q&A for you to help you make the most of your interview...

Sometimes it’s hard to let your brilliant abilities shine through in an interview when you’re nervous, sweaty and paranoid. For Payroll Clerks, this means dealing with technical questions too. Hiring managers want to know how well you know your field. At first you think that’s okay, because it just means that you actually already know the answers. But then a lack of confidence has a way of assassinating your articulation and anxiety literally makes you forget what you know.

But you needn't worry, because by preparing for the interview questions (which you already know the answers to) your lack of confidence won't stand in the way of acing your interview. And for those of us that suffer from this terminal case of over-active anxiety, here’s a packaged Payroll Clerk interview Q&A that'll have you ready for your next interview.

We’ll start with an easy one!

1. How would you define payroll?

It’s a list with the names of all the company employees and their payable wage amounts.

2. How do you ensure your knowledge of payrolling is up to date?

I watch changes in labour law and tax law closely in order to avoid making any mistakes. I also have a healthy network of peers and we usually contact each other whenever one hears of improvements, changes and other tips. I take my work and the livelihoods of the employees very seriously.

3. What are the 3 skills you think a payroll clerk must have?

I would say good command of mathematics, sound analytical skills, and good attention to detail.

4. Why is accuracy so important for someone handling payroll activities?

There are many calculations that the payroll clerk has to do. Even the slightest inaccurate calculation can mess up the entire system. There’s usually a lot of money involved and if payroll personnel fail to pay attention to what is going where, it’ll cause a lot of complications.

5. How would you handle making a mistake with an employee’s pay?

Human error is sometimes inevitable and no one can promise 100% accuracy all the time – I wish we were like machines, but it’s not possible. Therefore, we unfortunately do come across annoyed employees. In the event this occurs and after thorough investigation discover the fault is at my end, I always apologise and ensure that arrangements are made to correct the error straight away.

And finally...

It is always best to be honest in an interview. If you do not know an answer, do not attempt to make something up – it is always better to just admit not knowing, and show you’re open to learning. Employers appreciate honesty and authenticity too, which increases your chances of getting hired.