A clerk performs many tasks generally related to office paperwork.
Clerks prepare office documentation, answer/send e-mails, direct phone calls, enter data, print invoices and administer records in database.
Clerks are needed in government offices, law firms, insurance companies, accounting offices, banks, courts, hospitals, universities, commercial businesses and basically any establishment.
Some clerical positions fill an important administrative role and must be highly responsible, accurate, as well as a good communicator. The ability to multi-task and meet strict deadlines is a big plus.
This article provides samples of job interview questions for clerical positions and suggests answers for the same.
Clerical Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me about yourself. What is your job experience?
This is the generally the first question that is asked by an interviewer.
Keep in mind that the interviewer does not have time to listen to a detailed story.
Therefore, speak briefly regarding your work experience. Highlight important factors, and be concise. Share your recent and relevant career experiences and how it qualifies you for the said job.
2. What are your educational qualifications that would support your application for the job of a clerk?
Any job that has a responsibility attached to it has several qualifications that should be held by a person that applies for the said profile. Speak with a few friends, and compile a list of your qualifications and positive attributes. See which relate to the job. List them, with a quick real-life example of that trait in action.
Make sure that you carry your academic as well as other documents that support your application for the said position. Of course, not every interviewer will have the time to go through your documents, but the very fact that you have brought them would give you some extra leverage in obtaining the job offer.
3. Tell me about your typical workday – how do you prioritize assignments?
A clerk is a company resource who receives tasks from many departments and individuals within the business organization.
The straightforward answer is that you ask your immediate superior to prioritize your work. They will do so with regards to the level of seniority and the level of importance. When additional tasks are brought to you, even those marked urgent, your superior must either decide on a case-by-case basis or give you specific guidelines.
4. What are the types of software that you are comfortable with?
The answer to this question should be factual – detail the Windows based applications and other business management applications you have used and your level of competence for each.
5. What is your ‘words per minute’ speed? What is the accuracy value that you have at that speed?
If you wish to know how much typing will be required of you, now is the time to inquire. Answer the question; you may wish to express your confidence that with greater time spent typing, your speed and accuracy will surely improve.
6. Can you tell us of a recent incident in your job where you had to handle an atmosphere of stress? How did you handle it?
As a clerk, it goes without saying that there would be stress in the job and that your attitude of calmness can avert many a crisis. If you have had any such experiences, recount them to the interviewer when asked. Warning! Remember to be brief, and avoid arrogance.
7. Do you have experience in which you assigned to be the main person who handles an important project – the focal point? (Optional – depends on the job description)
This question is basically pitched at you to find out whether your recent employers gave you more responsibilities than a clerk would normally have. The interviewer may want to discern whether you have personal management skills or leadership abilities that would make you the perfect candidate to be promoted down the road.
Answering this question in the affirmative can make or break your application.
Therefore, highlight some of the major projects/responsibilities that where given to you. If you did not have any, but are interested in such responsibilities, mention this idea. If you had responsibilities in a volunteer position, elaborate on that.
8. Why do you want to do this job?
This is a question that may be asked in the middle of the interview. It is asked to determine whether the applicant knows the ins and outs of the job and is serious.
The best way to answer this question is through giving a proper break down of the aspects of the job that you like, and how it fits your skills.
9. How many languages do you speak? (Optional – depends on the job description)
With the advent of globalization and outsourcing, it is very important to know more than one language, so as to be better placed to interact with all kinds of clients.
To answer this question, provide the languages and the level of knowledge write/read/speak for each.
For more questions that are related to clerk position, refer to:
Job Interviews for Administrative Positions