The role of the secretary is one of great importance in an office. The secretary is responsible for the scheduled and systematic flow of information in the business. The secretary is also the face of the top management of the company, right from the CEO to the middle managers. The better the secretary understands the business, the better s/he can function.
The Interviewer will ask questions in order to determine how capable the applicant is, and his/her level of awareness of these aspects.
This article is aimed for employers – i.e. interviewers, recruiters and hiring managers. A motivated interviewee will have much to gain from reading this as well.
You may be also interested in reading – Administrative Assistant Job Interview.
Questions and Answers for Secretarial Positions
► Work Experience
Do not accept applicants’ responses as facts. Check with the applicants’ references. Speak with a few people on various levels of management; ask about reliability, capability, communication skills level and other important qualities. Even patience! Be specific and you may get ‘real’ information.
► Working with the immediate superior
Try to determine how well the applicant interacted with her immediate superior, as well as other co-workers. Chances are it will be the same in your firm. Ask for specific positive and negative scenarios. Try to read between the lines.
► Inter-Office Communication
A secretary must be able to work effectively with a large variety of personalities and cultures. He/she must be professional yet friendly, a people’s person who is comfortable speaking with people. It is worthwhile to inquire as to the range of different types of people s/he has worked with, and how they all managed together.
A secretary is one of the most important individuals in the business, seemingly indispensable. Therefore, a secretary on vacation is a strain on the office. Inquire as to the planned frequency and length of intended vacations, and decide if it is within your comfort zone. This query can save you a lot of stress as you will be able to anticipate and plan properly for these leaves.
► All-around player
Ask your applicant about the daily routine at previous places of employment. Your goal is to determine if this applicant can handle the workload of your office. Get an idea of their skill level regarding the various devices in use in your firm, and level of intelligence, problem solving, team worker capability, etc.
► Are you Patient?
Patience is a virtue that few people possess in great amounts, but we all have some.
Everyone can answer this question affirmatively. Realize that patience is a very big advantage in secretarial roles, especially today when everyone expects everything to happen immediately, and just cannot wait. If the secretary can deal patiently with each request and interruption, she/he will be a sought after candidate.
Word to the wise: increase your patience quota. It will serve you well professionally and personally.
Good luck in finding the perfect fit!
These are just some of the secretarial interview questions.
You may also refer to Competency Based Questions Examples article for further information.
Job Interviews for Administrative Positions