Four Questions You’ll Regret Not Asking a Hiring Manager

We’ve written about this in the past (here and here) – never leave an interview without asking questions. It makes you look disinterested and maybe even lazy.

Whether you already have your position or if you are looking for your next HR or payroll opportunity, it’s important to ask the right questions so you don’t end up miserable or worse. Asking the following questions can help ensure that this opportunity is the right one for you. They will give you a deeper understanding of the organization and the position – and if they fit what you’re looking for.


Question: What does the perfect candidate for this position look like?

What You’re Really Asking: Am I the right person, with the right skills, experience and talents to do well in this job?

This is fairly obvious – besides letting you know whether you are right for the HR or payroll job, this question lets you highlight your accomplishments to align with what the hiring manager is looking for. The manager’s answer should guide your responses throughout the remainder of the interview to clearly demonstrate your HR or payroll qualifications. Make sure you ask this question to everyone you speak with – if the answers are all over the map, you may be stepping into a no-win situation whereas you literally can’t please everyone.


Question: What are the most important things you’d like the HR/payroll professional you hire to accomplish in year one?

What You’re Really Asking: What am I up against here?

Whether your HR or payroll predecessor quit, was fired, or it’s a new position – a manager is hiring to fill an unmet need. You want to understand, up front, what will make this manager happy… and if you’re up to the challenge. Carefully think about if this challenge is in line with your expertise and your passions.


How would you describe your company culture? What kinds of people are successful here?

What You’re Really Asking: Will I fit in and like it here… or are you people crazy?

You can have the perfect HR and/or payroll skill set available for the role, but if you clash with the people in the company or your department, no one will be happy. Make sure you get a better understanding of the company’s values and work style and if they fit with how you like to work. Cultural fit is paramount to a successful placement.


Question: What is your timeline for making a decision and how should I follow-up with questions?

What You’re Really Asking: What now?

At the end of your HR or payroll interview, find out what the realistic timeline for hire is, then double it in your own mind. Hiring ALWAYS takes longer than anticipated, but eventually you want to be able to follow up to demonstrate you are still interested in the HR or payroll position.

Whenever you work with Willory, we’re here to help craft questions to get the answers to ensure  that this next HR or payroll position is the best possible opportunity for you.


hiring, HR, Human Resources, interview, interview prep, interview preparation, questions

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