Published On : December 06, 2010
After you have taken the time to perfect your resume and cover letter, the next logical step is to get ready for the interview process. These face-to-face meetings are a vital part of landing a job because the interview is your opportunity to wow the employer with your personality, experiences and skills. If you do not practice properly, you may find yourself always on the hunt for employment.
Start by reviewing generic inquiries and best practice tips to give yourself an understanding of the process. These general tips can help give you a boost in confidence, but you may need to look into specific benefits administrator interview questions if you really want to impress the hiring manager. These questions often delve into a more technical side of the profession, so reviewing your answers may help you stand out.
5 Benefits Administrator Interview Questions & Answers
1. What experience do you have as a benefits administrator?
I spent eight years of my career in finance, and three of those years I had the position of financial office manager. This was my first leadership role, and I gained a lot of important insights into what it takes to lead a successful team. The past five years I have been a benefits specialist, so I was able to gain specific knowledge about the analysis of employee benefits. I have never been a benefits administrator before, but thanks to my background as a manager and a benefits specialist, I believe I have the necessary experience to succeed.
2. How have you worked on career development in the past year?
I think it is important to participate in career development if you want to have a successful and meaningful career. In the past year I took courses offered by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans to review the lessons I learned when I got my certification in compensation and benefits. I also attended a seminar focused on leadership techniques and what people should be doing to improve their ability to lead. Both of these experiences were extremely informative, but the seminar made me realize I was ready to take on a managerial role.
3. How would you lead your direct reports?
As a benefits administrator, I would have to take a direct role in the work of my direct reports to ensure all the jobs were coordinated and no task was getting repeated or missed entirely. While I would play a direct role in the coordination of the tasks, I would not micromanage my benefits specialists. Instead I would use one-on-one meetings to ensure everyone understands what is supposed to get done, and then I would leave each employee to his or her designated task. I would make it clear anyone can come to me should a problem arise. That is what I would do to lead my direct reports efficiently and effectively.
4. What do you think is the most important skill for a benefits administrator?
I think the most important skill for a benefits administrator is decision making. The administrator has to make decisions regarding his or her team to ensure everyone is doing a task that best suits their skills. The administrator also plays an important role in the analysis and choice of the benefit plans for the business. Someone in this position would have to take the time to really weigh the pros and cons to ensure the best choice is made for the majority in the business. I know it is important for a benefits administrator to be able to lead, but I think he or she would get hung up on the little details without a strong ability to make decisions when it matters.
5. Why are you interested in this position?
I have been a benefits specialist for eight years. I know the ins and outs of this type of department, but there are no opportunities for advancement at the company I am in now. I want to move my career forward and challenge myself. I want to be able to pass my knowledge on to other employees and lead a team. I want this position because I believe I have the organization, communication, leadership and business skills needed to be successful as a benefits administrator, and I believe this company has the opportunities I am seeking.
Practice answering benefits administrator interview questions so you are able to give confident answers to the most technical questions asked. This added skill may be enough to really wow the interviewer.