6 Common HR Payroll and Benefits Specialist Interview Questions & Answers

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A good resume and a stellar cover letter are a big part of getting a job in the HR industry, but one of the things that can have the largest impact on whether or not you get the job is the face-to-face interview. During this interview, employers will determine whether or not the skills you have outlined on your resume are in line with your personality, as they work to identify whether you are the right fit for the open position. The interview process can also help a future employer get to know you a little better and figure out if you truly know how to handle situations that might come up during the course of employment. Although there may be a few common questions asked during the interview process, you should also be prepared to answer some specific HR payroll and benefits specialist interview questions.

6 HR Payroll and Benefits Specialist Interview Questions & Answers

1. Researching benefits plans is a large part of being a benefits specialist. What methods do you use to figure out which plans will be most beneficial?

The world of employee benefits, particularly health benefits, can be overwhelming to navigate. However, I have used my time in the HR industry to understand what methods are out there for finding healthcare plans and staying current on recent legislation. This helps me identify what the benefit needs of an organization are like, and ultimately help me align them with the different options that are out there.

2. How do you make sure that available benefits packages fit the needs of all employees?

It is important to remember that as an HR payroll and benefits specialist, one of my main purposes is figuring out how an organization is unique. Once this is done, I know that it is easier to determine what benefits will be most well received by the employees. For example, if the organization is primarily made up of working professionals with young children, I know that generally speaking a comprehensive health plan is one of the most important benefits to offer. However, if the organization is made up of older employees, aggressive retirement savings plans are well received.

3. Helping employees understand their benefits plans is a large part of this position. What strategies do you believe are best to accomplish this?

I believe that the HR department should be a valuable resource available to employees. As a benefits specialist I would make sure that any time a new program is introduced, I hold a comprehensive training that involves all employees. After that, I would make sure I am available to help employees enroll in their desired plan and answer any questions they might have from that point forward.

4. You may be required to engage in sensitive situations with employees. How do you plan on maintaining professionalism?

In any position it is important that there are proper work and personal life boundaries. I believe that this is especially important for any member of an HR department and plan to maintain proper working relationships by being open with employees, but not overstepping my bounds or revealing confidential information to them. This will ensure that employees feel comfortable turning to me for assistance, but that they do not feel like I will give them information that is not applicable to their situation or their needs.

5. What experience do you have that has allowed you to manage payroll properly?

While earning my degree, I took several accounting courses to refine my skills. While I am not an accountant by any means, I am highly familiar with proper payroll methods and practices. In my past position as an HR assistant, I was asked to work on several projects having to do with payroll, and believe that they qualify me to become a specialist in this field.

6. How do you plan to establish and maintain relationships with insurance companies?

When it comes to relationships with insurance companies, transparency is key. In the past I have found it beneficial to be open about what the organization I was working for needed, and not to budge beyond these needs. I found that if insurance companies know what your organization needs, they will be better about responding in a way that benefits the employees overall.

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