Compensation Analyst Interview Questions

Compensation analysts study salary trends to predict future labor market changes.
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Compensation analysts study salary trends to predict future labor market changes.

Many organizations have compensation analysts on their human resources department teams. They're responsible for wage-setting, analyzing compensation trends, projecting wage and salary budgets and influencing compensation structure and change to sustain business and industry standing. As such, they play an integral role in the development of a productive and secure workforce. Interview questions for compensation analysts jobs address a wide spectrum of issues from education and credentials to whether she fits the workplace culture.

Education and Credentials

Questions about educational background, credentials and certifications are essential for the preliminary interview and probably during the first face-to-face interview. These questions are necessary to determine whether candidates meet the basic requirements. The recruiter or hiring manager might ask, "Do you have a college degree in business or a discipline related to the job, such as human resources?" and "What compensation and benefits certifications do you hold?" Candidates who don't hold certifications at the time of the interview might express an interest in studying for certification from WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals in one of its compensation programs.

Work History

Seasoned compensation analysts will have several years of experience with either one employer and industry or varied work history across different companies and industries. Depending on the type of organization that's hiring this professional, there could be value in hiring someone with varied experiences versus an analyst who has been with the same company for many years. Questions such as, "What industries have you worked in and what's the largest employee base you've supported?" dig deeper in the compensation analyst's background and shed light on her ability to work in a large organization or her preference for working in a small-business work environment.

Job Knowledge

Compensation analysts should have experience conducting salary surveys, constructing compensation models, understanding labor market changes and how they affect the workforce, and compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws. A compensation analyst in the beginning stages of her career might have limited hands-on expertise in these areas, but should possess the basic analytical and critical-thinking skills necessary to engage in salary projects. Questions such as, "What types of wage-setting projects have you worked on?" and "How comfortable are you applying textbook scenarios to real-life compensation matters?" are useful to determine her job knowledge and aptitude.

Professional Competencies

Compensation professionals do well with several professional competencies that require their use of independent judgment, decision-making capabilities and written and verbal communication skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook data for Compensation and Benefits Managers. Fully proficient compensation analysts interested in career advancement should have some of the same qualities that managers have. Therefore, it's helpful to know the answers to questions such as, "How do you feel about presentations and regular reporting to senior management on the status of the company's compensation and benefits plans?" and "How would you describe your ability to influence others concerning the value of providing competitive salaries and wages?"

Cultural Fit

A compensation analyst position is one that may be suited for telecommuting, but her ability to interact with human resources staff in the workplace is a critical element. Based on this, questions about self-motivation and interpersonal relationship skills are both in order. They determine whether she's able to work independently, yet has suitable traits for working as part of an HR department team. The answers to questions such as, "What attributes do you bring to a team-oriented work environment?" and "How do you feel about being the only analyst on the team who's often required to work on solo projects?" are helpful in narrowing down the selection of candidates.

2016 Salary Information for Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers earned a median annual salary of $116,240 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, compensation and benefits managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $87,120, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $156,050, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 15,800 people were employed in the U.S. as compensation and benefits managers.

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