Thursday, July 25, 2024

Competency Based Interview Questions For Executive Assistant

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Describe Your Daily Routine

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Interview Questions And Answers!

This is a common question in interviews used to determine your main expectations in the new job and some of the things you regularly did in your previous job. Pick a busy day and explain it to the interviewer.

Sample Answer

My day begins early. I usually report to the office and plan my day. I will then go through my emails, and answer missed phone calls before taking appointments. The rest of my day will be spent managing the executives diary, making travel plans, liaising with clients and senior staff members, arranging meetings and conferences, attending meetings, and taking minutes.

Have You Supervised Other Office Staff Members Before

This question allows you to explain your level of expertise and supervisory experience. If you are asked this question during an interview, then the job will likely require you to supervise others in addition to managing your own tasks.

Example:”I have supervised a small group of four team members, including interns and receptionists while completing my own work.”

How Do You Handle A Demanding Supervisor What Is Your Experience With Dealing With Difficult Visitors Or Callers

Its important that you remain pleasant and professional in a variety of circumstances on the job. Many executive assistants are often the face of the executives they work with, and the person who deals with clients or visitors first. Unfortunately, sometimes these people can be unpleasant. The interviewer is looking for your experience with handling these situations, as well as your ability to do so professionally.

Some skills to share include:

  • Customer service

  • Resourcefulness

  • Ability to reflect professionalism and company values

Give an example of what you would do in this situation. For example, you may politely offer to take a message, reassure the visitor the message will be seen by the executive, and youll have them contacted as soon as possible. You may also provide the option of speaking to someone else who is available or can help resolve the situation faster.

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Mention A Time When You Failed In This Job What Did You Learn

Admitting failure does not make you weak or incompetent. However, when answering such a question, make sure that you do not throw yourself under the bus. Do not mention an experience that will make you look incompetent.

Sample Answer

I once failed to confirm the travel plans that I had made for the CEO of a company I was working on, which saw him miss his flight. However, we managed to reschedule, and he traveled later in the day. This experience taught me to be thorough in my job and not leave anything to chance.

What Software Systems Do You Have Experience With


This is another one of the must-know admin assistant interview questions to prepare for. Most administrative personnel are required to use specific software, theyll want to know what youve used in the past.

Dont get discouraged if you havent used the exact software they use. Just explain what you have worked with. Be sure to include desktop software as well as online software .

If the tools youve used are different than what this employer uses, explain how youd approach learning the new software That way, youll put their mind at ease that youll be able to use the resources around you to learn quickly.

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Questions To Ask The Interviewer

Even if you ace all the interviewers questions, youll still need to present a few of your own. Questioning the interviewer helps answer some of your burning questions, and it also helps demonstrate that you have a vested interest in the position.

Question: I read about on . Would my position be involved in that?

  • Why you should ask: It shows that youve done your homework, that youre ready to dive in, and that you have strong anticipation skills.

Question: Do you have any concerns or hesitations about my experience that I can address right now?

  • Why you should ask: If the interviewers have any questions or concerns that they havent yet asked you about, then they will likely discuss them when theyre considering candidates. If you address these concerns head-on, then you might be able remove some of their hesitations, hesitations that might otherwise stop them from hiring you. In fact, your answers might impress them so much that you climb the ranks and rise to the top of the candidate list.

Question: Describe the day-to-day routine of this position.

  • Why you should ask: No games here! This question helps youfind out what exactly youll be doing every day. Even if the prospect of planning one annual event excites you, just one big project wont be enough to keep you satisfied if your day-to-day routine doesnt meet your expectations.

Question: What do you like most about working here?

Question: What do you think my biggest challenge would be?

Communicating And Influencing Competency Interview Questions

Here is a small selection of competency based interview questions related to Communicating and Influencing taken from the InterviewGold online training. How would you answer?

  • Talk me through a time where you used your communication skills effectively resulting in a successful outcome.
  • Describe a time when you successfully conveyed your ideas to an audience who were unfamiliar with the subject matter.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to communicate complex technical information to a client. What was the situation, what approach did you take and what was the result?

In order to answer questions successfully you will have to think of examples of when you were effective when communicating either in the workplace or outside. Effective communication and influencing can be displayed in many forms and here are some potential scenarios to help refresh your memory when choosing your examples.

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What Is Your Greatest Strength And How Will It Help Your Performance In This Position

The interviewer is trying to figure out what strengths and strong attributes you can bring to the position that other applicants cannot.

Take a look at the job description and be sure you understand what specific skills the interviewer is looking for. Highlight those in which you excel. Also focus on skills and strengths that are important to be successful in an executive assistant role, and provide specific examples of how you showcase those strengths.

Problem Solving Competency Interview Questions

7 ADMIN ASSISTANT Interview Questions and Answers (PASS!)

Here is a small selection of competency based interview questions related to Problem Solving taken from the InterviewGold online training. How would you answer?

  • Tell me about an occasion when you went out of your way or spent a significant amount of time analysing the cause of a particularly complicated problem. How did you proceed and what was the result?
  • Describe a complicated problem you have had to deal with. How did you tackle it and what was the outcome?
  • Talk through a situation where you developed an innovative solution to a complex problem.

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Mention A Strategy And Mindset Required For This Role

This question does not have a specific answer. You just need to mention a strategy and mindset that works for you. However, make sure that you can relate them to the job. Remember, the interviewer can also ask follow-up questions.

Sample Answer

When going about this job, the best strategy is to embrace collaborative work and invest in strong organizational skills. These two play an essential role in the dispensation of my duties as an executive assistant. You need to work with others to arrange meetings and book travels. As for the right mindset, one needs to be accommodative, given the different personalities that we come across in this job.

Preparing For An Assistant Video Interview

The vast majority of recruitment agencies and employers now use video as part of their interview process because it saves time and money in the early stages of the interview process.

In our recent interview with Hayley Lawrence, PA, for the Regional General Manager on Necker Island, she told us that she had to submit a video before the interview rounds for her new role. Here is what she said:

When I saw the job being advertised online and gone viral, a friend joked to me that I should apply. Challenge accepted! So I made a short video and sent it off and didnt give it a second thought. When I got the email asking me to interview, I checked the email a few times to make sure it wasnt my friend playing a trick.

Never in a million years did I think I would be the one to get the job, mainly when I had found out over 5,000 had applied. One day after I had been through the interview process, I got a call from Richards assistant advising that he would be calling me shortly as part of the interview process. I couldnt believe it! I was on a train at Waterloo East at the time, and I remember frantically running around the station trying to find somewhere quiet to take the phone call. After Richard had told me, I got the job, and we said our goodbyes, I remember just bursting into tears in the middle of Starbucks and walking around the station in a daze.


Dress the part



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What Strategies Do You Use In Coordinating A Meeting With Many Stakeholders With Varying Calendars

    How to Answer

    A vital responsibility for an Executive Assistant is booking meetings. An interviewer will ask this question to evaluate your knowledge around the complexity of meeting management. When booking meetings for others, you play a large part in their day and essentially plan their day for them. The interviewer wants to make sure that you are methodically booking invites and coordinating multiple employees thoughtfully.

    Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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Communicating And Influencing Examples

Pin by Vanessa Hall on Marketing interview questions

To answer successfully, you will have to think of examples of when you were effective with this competency in the workplace or outside.

There will be untold scenarios where you have used your communicating and influencing skills and your answer must include an example which is complex and relevant. Show an understanding of good communication and an ability to communicate and influence at all levels.

Effective communication and influencing can be displayed in many forms and here are some potential scenarios to help refresh your memory when choosing your examples.

  • In the past, have you communicated complex information clearly in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner perhaps in a written report or verbally?
  • Have you given a presentation to a group of people and dealt with questions?
  • Have you presented technical or complex information to a non-technical group and made it easy to understand?
  • Did you persuade other to accept your point of view, perhaps got buy-in for your recommendations?

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Administrative Assistant Interview Questions

Here are 10 common questions you may have in an interview for an administrative assistant job:

  • What role do you feel the administrative assistant serves in the office?

  • What do you enjoy about being an administrative assistant?

  • What software and office equipment are you proficient in using?

  • Describe a project you enjoyed working on as an administrative assistant.

  • What skills do you believe are most important in the role of an administrative assistant and why?

  • Describe a situation in which discretion was needed in your role as an administrative assistant and how you handled it.

  • How would you approach a situation in which you were given a task but didnt receive complete instructions?

  • What management style do you prefer?

  • What do you believe is the most challenging part of the administrative assistant role?

  • Tell me about a time you had to support a large team. Were you successful?

  • What Role Do You Feel The Administrative Assistant Serves In The Office

    This question helps employers determine how much you know about the role an administrative assistant plays in the office and helps them understand how you would view your job responsibilities. This question can help an employer understand how you view yourself within the office hierarchy, whether you view yourself as part of the team and if you enjoy the job duties of an administrative assistant. When answering this question, try to highlight the most common job duties of an administrative assistant and discuss why the role is important to the office.

    Example:I feel the administrative assistant is a key member of an office. In addition to keeping up with everyday tasks such as filing, organization and maintaining schedules, they also help the people they support by providing important information when needed and making sure everything runs smoothly.

    Related: Learn About Being an Administrative Assistant

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    Making Effective Decisions / Decision Making

    Making Effective Decisions or Decision Making as it is traditionally called is one of the most common competencies required at any level and in most roles. While decision making is simply choosing between two or more outcomes, effective decision making is about making sure the right option is chosen.

    We make decisions daily and they can be as small as deciding what to eat for lunch or have more significant consequences such as determining which home or car to buy. In a work environment the ability to make and take decisions is paramount and you will face interview questions exploring this competency at most levels and in most roles.

    How Do You Organize Your Daily Schedule

    PA (Personal Assistant) Interview Questions and Answers

      How to Answer

      Interviewers often ask this question because they want to make sure that you can self-manage and operate productively. Most Executives wish to avoid micromanagement and don’t want to get too deep in the weeds with your work. They prefer to use high-level and manage overall strategy versus day-to-day operations.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

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    How Would You Approach A Situation In Which You Were Given A Task But Didnt Receive Complete Instructions

    This question helps the interviewer determine what your approach is to handle complex situations that dont have clear instructions. The employer will be looking to find out what research skills you use to find out how to do something and whether you are comfortable asking for clarification and assistance when needed. When answering this question make sure you identify your ability to research the issue on your own and also ask for clarification when needed.

    Example:If I was given a task and didnt receive clear instructions, I would first consider whether I could get the information needed to complete the task through simple research of my own such as doing a web search. If I still needed further instruction after my research, I would follow up with the person who assigned me the task and ask them for clarification. I would make sure I fully understand what needs to be done and when the deadline for the task is before I begin working on the project.

    What Computer Programs And Software Are You Comfortable Using

    Hiring managers generally dont mind doing some computer training, but they want to see you have some experience using different software and are willing to learn any other programs needed on the job.

    People who are hiring admin assistants are often looking for experience in Microsoft Office Suiteespecially PowerPoint to help craft internal or external presentations for the team. Depending on the job, hiring managers might want a candidate who is proficient in social media, can manage online conferencing, is adept in document creation, or has experience using collaboration software, says Stephanie Naznitsky, the executive director of OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half that specializes in placing highly skilled office and administrative professionals.

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    How Would You Deal With An Angry Person Demanding To Speak With An Unavailable Executive

    An exceptional executive assistant is pleasant and professional when dealing with irate people. This question reveals how a candidate will reflect their bosss values and serve as an effective gatekeeper all while diffusing volatile situations. What to look for in an answer:

    • Customer service skills
    • Resourcefulness


    I would speak calmly and evenly, putting a positive spin on the situation. To avoid escalating the conflict, I would politely offer to take a message, reassure them that the executive will contact them as soon as possible and give the customer the option to speak with someone else who was available.

    More Executive Assistant Interview Questions

    Sales Assistant Interview Questions

    Here are additional executive assistant interview questions you might face during a meeting with the hiring manager:

  • What software programs have you used in the past? Which ones would you deem essential for your success?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to make scheduling adjustments after an unforeseen circumstance arose?
  • How do you make sure that you can properly anticipate an executives needs?
  • How would you describe your primary duty as an executive assistant?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you made a scheduling mistake? How did you handle it?
  • Do you have previous experience supporting more than one executive at a time?
  • How would you handle it if you were given two sets of conflicting directions from two executives?
  • Can you describe your previous reporting experience?
  • Describe your prior experience booking domestic travel. What about international travel?
  • Think about a time when you had to work on a challenging project with a group. How did you proceed? What role did you play? What was the outcome?
  • If you needed to set up a meeting quickly and the conference room you needed was booked, how would you proceed?
  • How do you respond to constructive criticism?
  • If you were given a project that becomes overwhelming, how would you handle the situation?
  • Describe a time when you and a colleague did not see eye-to-eye on a project you were working on together? How did you get past your differences? Was the project a success?
  • What weakness holds you back the most at work? Why?
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