Published On : August 24, 2010
You put a lot of effort into your well-crafted resume and cover letter, and now you've landed an interview! This is an exciting step in your job search, so take a moment to congratulate yourself on this feat, and then begin to prepare. In your first interview you'll be asked questions about your job history and basic skillset. The hiring manager will be interested in your qualifications as well as your personality, to see if you'll be a good fit for the organization. Make sure you wear something nice but comfortable, and take extra care to put your best foot forward.
Confidence and a calm appearance are excellent first steps in your preparation. Most people in your shoes will review basic interview questions and tips for success. Practicing the answers to top interview questions will help you to build up your confidence and avoid the moment of panic that comes from a question you feel unprepared to address. Though most first interviews are similar and use typical questions you would expect, it's also important to tailor your preparation to your industry. These compensation analyst interview tips will help you prepare for interview victory.
Compensation Analyst Interview Tips
Arrive Fifteen Minutes Early: Technically this could count as an interview tip for any industry, but it's particularly important when interviewing for this role. Time management and meeting deadlines are both important factors for compensation analysts, and arriving too early or too late to the interview may set a negative tone with the hiring manager and leave a lasting impression. Fifteen minutes is the perfect amount of time to show you're respectful of your interviewer's schedule.
Be Ready to Talk Tech: These positions generally require the use of Excel and similar spreadsheet and database software to allow computation of various factors in determining appropriate compensation. You are likely to face questions specific to your abilities to use these systems and the ways you may have used them in previous positions. Highlight your experience using software to complete complex math equations in order to create efficiencies at work.
Demonstrate Your Core Competencies: Entry-level compensation analysts will likely have human resources experience, trend analysis skills or a background in recruiting. Be ready to talk about why you're a good fit for the role or to explain any gaps in your resume that the hiring manager may have noticed. This interview is your opportunity to show why you're uniquely qualified to fill this position, so don't hold back in showing off your skills.
Know Industry Jargon: Bone up on terms heavily used in the trade so that you won't be taken off-guard during the interview. If you're experienced in compensation in the manufacturing industry but not in sales, be sure to research commissions and any regulations or laws that might have an effect on the ways that salespeople can be compensated in your state. An interviewer will expect you to be able to follow along, and will be impressed with the effort you're making to become an authority on the topic.
Bring Examples of Personal Interactions: Coming up with appropriate compensation packages is often only half the battle for this job. The other half is talking through the specifics with an employee. You will probably be asked to provide an example of a time you handled conflict at work, so get one ready. You may also be asked very specific questions regarding your ability to negotiate with job applicants, so be sure to read up on negotiation and understand the techniques used today.
Emphasize Your Problem-Solving Skills: Between the people interaction and data management, you're going to face some challenges in this role. Your job is to design a fair compensation package across the organization, which is a challenge in and of itself. An effective compensation analyst must be able to think outside the box in finding solutions to interpersonal and research issues. You should prepare examples of times you've been creative in problem solving in previous roles. Additionally, be ready to share your philosophy and approach to managing difficult circumstances.
Using these compensation analyst interview tips will help separate you from other applicants and set you down the road to success. A successful first interview will lead to a second interview, which brings you that much closer to an offer of a brand new job.