Today, the responsibilities of secretaries and administrative assistants can be wide ranging, especially as compared to several years ago.
Responsibilities typically include many administrative and clerical duties necessary to run a modern office efficiently. Administrative assistants are actually the focal point for all of the information and communication management flow of a business office.
- Schedule meetings and plan appointments
- Organize paper work and maintain electronic files such as presentations and spreadsheets.
- Manage databases and create reports.
- Manage information by telephone, fax and email messages.
- Plan travel and guest arrangements.
In fact, the administrative assistant job description changes along with the technological advancement. The job interview questions reflect these changes and focus on the nature of work for the said job position.
This article provides administrative assistant job interview questions and answers.
For your convenient, the article is divided to two sections: General questions and Technical questions.
Note that – admin assistants are sometimes titled – office assistant.
Today, to be successful as an executive assistant one must have a broad level of competencies such as interpersonal communication skills and technical office applications skills. He or she must be creative and capable in managing new office technologies and handling complex situations.
Sample Interview Questions
- Can you describe your previous duties as an administrative assistant in a business office?
- Were you responsible for noting and correlating executive meeting events into documentation?
- Are you secure in handling confidential paperwork?
- Do have any public/human relation experience, or have you attended classes dedicated to this field?
- Are you familiar with hiring processes?
- Have your previous administrative positions involved customer service experiences?
- Concerning office policies and procedures have you ever been responsible for mentoring others?
- How do you organize your daily schedule?
- Have you needed to handle sensitive or confidential tasks in the past and were you comfortable performing these tasks.
- What do you believe your superiors would say regarding your administrative strengths?
► Answering these questions:
The interviewer wants to get a good idea of how you’ve handled a very demanding or challenging business office in your previous jobs.
Describe your background. You may illustrate how you organized your workday, office or your superior’s files. Provide success stories of how you dealt with situations such as difficult/high volume of workload.
You can also demonstrate the methods you utilized for meeting deadlines, handling employers’ requests and monitoring customer service work.
Remember, it is to your advantage to focus on organizational skills, teamwork abilities and personal communications skills.
Technical Interview Questions
- Describe the office applications that you used. What type of documentation did you prepare?
- What is your proficiency level in computer applications such as MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint?
- How often have you prepared spreadsheets, data graphs or reports using these applications?
- What messaging system and calendar programs did you use?
- Describe the company proprietary/specific software base application that you use for monitoring work tasks.
- What types of faxing applications, copier, printer and scanner have you most recently used?
► How to answer the above questions:
Do you feel your technical skills are competitive to meet the cutting edge technologies used in the market today? If you do, do not hesitate to describe your technical skills confidently.
No one is perfect – you may not possess some technical skills, but can say that you are willing to learn new software applications used in the new job as required.
Prepare a brief summary of your related technical knowledge and demonstrate your interest and motivation for learning new techniques and systems.
Job Interviews for Administrative Positions