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How To Ace An Administrative Assistant Interview

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7 ADMIN ASSISTANT Interview Questions and Answers (PASS!)

Making sure youre prepared for an administrative assistant interview position means doing your research beforehand, putting yourself into the right mindset, focusing on your past work experience so you can draw out relevant, targeted examples to interview questions, and making sure youre not just ready for the job interview, but the actual job itself.

Of course, as a student of the The Interview Guys this stuff should be a snap!

Good luck!

Essential Steps In Preparing For An Administrative Or Executive Assistant Interview

There are many administrative and executive support professionals out there who can recite their set of skills at the drop of a hat, but its important to keep in mind that some interviews may ask more of you. What makes careers in office support unique is that although almost every industry has a need for assistants, the job responsibilities of an admin/executive assistant can differ greatly from industry to industry. Different skills can be developed with each experience. With this in mind, preparation is the key to acing any interview. Here is some expert interview advice for administrative and executive assistants from Erin McCarthy, a Director of our Office Support/HR division who concentrates in office support placement across a wide range of industries.

Research the company and the person/team youre meeting with

Understand the job description

A day or two before the interview, you should take some time to reacquaint yourself with the job description, Erin suggests. Every administrative job description can vary depending on the industry, and if you have applied to enough jobs, it is easy to lose track of all the specificities you need to prepare for. It is important to have a complete understanding of the job description so you can anticipate questions and know what skills you will need to highlight.

Have a good grasp of your relevant skills, experiences, and strengths

Run-through some data-entry activities

Expect to answer questions about

What Are Your Biggest Strengths

This question is most likely to lead you astray if you try to gauge your interviewer and say what you think they want to hear. Your best option is to be honest. Faking an answer for your interviewerâs benefit can backfire. Though choosing specific skills that are relevant to the job are ideal, your strengths can also be simple and applicable to every job. Some examples of universal strengths include: working well under deadlines, strong communication skills and punctuality. These skills are always nice to have, no matter what job is on the table.

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Test Or Scenario Question

During a phone interview, you might be asked to perform a simple test or respond to a scenario of some sort. They might be looking for something in your answer like your thought process, ability to be creative or think under pressure. While it might feel awkward to be silent on the phone, it is acceptable to ask for a moment to think about your answer.

During this time, calmly consider the steps you would take to respond to their test. Try and avoid taking more than 30 seconds to respond. You can also try asking clarifying questions to better understand what theyre looking for. Write down the question to make sure you address each part.

Example answer: The employer explains that theyd like you to provide ideas for marketing a local event on a tight budget, and which companies they could partner with. For this scenario, you might explain that grassroots marketing is both affordable and effective with local events. You would invest in strategized word of mouth efforts and a bold, teaser-style social media campaign. You provide examples of several local companies with the same mission or similar industry to partner with to help get the word out.

What Management Style Do You Prefer

How to Ace Your Business Administrative Assistant Interview

This question helps the interviewer determine your level of independence in the workplace and helps them decide whether their management style aligns with your work preferences. It is important for administrative assistants to be independent enough to keep the office running smoothly with limited oversight but it is also important that the administrative assistants work preferences and their supervisor’s management style align. When answering this question, it is important to be honest about your preferences to make sure the job is a good fit for both you and the employer.

Example:I prefer a supervisor who gives me the information I need to complete my tasks and who sets clear expectations but also trusts me to complete those tasks without being micromanaged. Because I am organized and efficient at managing my time, I dont need someone to check in regularly to make sure I am staying on task and productive. I also appreciate occasional feedback that lets me know how I am doing and gives me suggestions for improvement if there are any.

Read more:Management Styles: Overview and Examples

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More Administrative Assistant Interview Questions

Its important to find out if the person youre interviewing is serious about being an administrative assistant and understands what the job entails. You want someone who is genuinely interested in the role and also in your company.

21. Whats the most interesting project youve worked on as an administrative assistant?

22. What do you enjoy most about administrative work?

23. How have you changed the administrative assistant position at past companies?

24. What trends do you see impacting the administrative assistant role in the future?

Finally, dont forget to ask:

25. Do you have any questions for us?

What Is An Executive Assistant

An executive assistant is similar to an administrative assistant or secretary because they assist and support other individuals with their work. However, executive assistants are typically in charge of assisting one executive, and they may train or supervise other office staff. Some of the detailed responsibilities of an executive assistant include:

  • Answering phones, taking messages and routing phone calls to the correct person

  • Handling simple bookkeeping tasks

  • Using computer software programs, such as word processors, email, spreadsheets and presentation software

  • Greeting visitors

  • Booking travel arrangements for executives

  • Reading and analyzing incoming memos and submissions

  • Performing other tasks for executives as requested

Read more: Interview Questions for an Administrative Assistant

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How Do You Handle Difficult Personalities At Work

The interviewer wants to get a sense of your temperament to assess if you will be able to handle the people you may encounter while working as an executive assistant at their organization. It is best to answer this question with understanding and confidence.

Example:”I understand that some personalities I will come across in this position may be difficult. I have the patience and communication skills to effectively handle difficult personalities with ease without becoming personally offended.”

What Type Of Management Style Do You Prefer

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Interview Questions And Answers!

Employers may ask about your ideal management style to see whether or not you would fit well with the supervisor that will be managing you. For example, if you prefer to work with a trusting, collaborative manager that creates a calm, creative working environment, you might not work well with more fast-paced, aggressive leadership styles.

Example answer:While Im flexible in working with many different personality types, Ive found that the management style I thrive most under is both trusting and involved. While I dont like to feel micromanaged, I do very much enjoy quality one-on-one time on a regular basis to brainstorm ideas for the projects Im working on and how I can do better in my role.

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Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role

Administrative assistants play a significant function in the organization. Share how you anticipate contributing to or assisting your employers success to demonstrate that you can make a huge difference. Administrative assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, and employers value their ability to contribute to a team of workers. In your response, show the interviewer how you intend to support the companys development and growth.

Sample Answer

Administrative activities such as keeping schedules organized, assisting with data entry chores, and engaging with clients are prioritized and valued by me. Ive always been enthusiastic about assisting others in staying organized and providing financial assistance. As a result, I believe I would be a good fit for the position of administrative assistant.

What Do You Enjoy Most About Being An Administrative Assistant

When interviewers ask this, they’re wanting to know that you’re passionate about this role. Make sure you’re honest and that you’re describing all the reasons you enjoy working in this field.

Example:”My favorite part about being an administrative assistant is getting to work with so many people in the office. Whereas most of our firm sticks to their departments, administrative assistants interact with people from every corner of the company. I enjoy getting to expand my skill set and learn something new each day from these interactions.”

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Question: Why Do You Want To Be An Administrative Assistant

Intent: Although admin work can be tedious for some, many people enjoy it. Hiring managers want to be sure youre genuinely interested in the job responsibilities, especially considering happy workers are more productive, research from the University of Warwick found.

Response: Obviously, you cant say, Because I need a job. Your best approach is to describe what you enjoy about administrative work, says Christen Garcia, a human resources faculty member at Ashworth College, which offers administrative assistant training. Do you like welcoming visitors to the office , or organizing travel plans , or doing data entry ? Say so!

What Interested You About This Particular Role

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Next up you should also expect to be asked why the job caught your attention or why you chose to apply. Saying, Im unemployed and just need a job is NOT good enough. So have a specific reason or two why you chose to apply, based on the job description.

They might also ask, why do you want this job? which is the same idea but even more direct. So prepare for that, too.

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Understand The Job Description

It is important for you to understand the job description properly. You should know the skills they are looking for, the level of experience and expertise required for the role, and the duties and responsibilities youll be taking on. This way, you can anticipate certain questions and be prepared for them. It will also help you plan questions for the interviewer.

Tell Me About A Time You Had To Support A Large Team Were You Successful

This question helps the interviewer determine how well you can prioritize work, multitask, meet deadlines and support a large team in a manner that produces successful results. This question is great for candidates who dont have experience as an administrative assistant because it allows you to describe your ability to complete the core responsibilities of the job and support your answer with evidence from a team project you have worked on. Like other questions, this one should be addressed using the STAR method to show a specific relevant example you have from your past experiences.

Example: I am great at working on large teams and supporting the team in a manner that helps them achieve their goals. I was a member of my high schools cheerleading team all four years I was in school and I was elected to be the teams captain during my junior and senior year. As the teams captain, I was responsible for choreographing routines, scheduling practices and events and making sure everyone on the team attended practices and were prepared for events. During my senior year, our team went to the state championships and earned second place under my direction.

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Why Do You Want This Job

Recruiters might ask this question during a phone interview to understand more about your current work situation. When explaining why you want the job, remember to stay positive about your current employer if you currently have a job.

Example answer:I noticed that the parts of my previous positions I enjoyed the most were those that aligned with whats listed in your job description, like creative writing and building relationships with stakeholders. While I am grateful for my time at my current company, I feel that its time to move into a role more tailored to my talents where I can continue to grow as a PR professional.

Your Role And Key Organisation Issues

Top 5 Administrative (Admin) Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

As you read through the information provided, highlight the key organisational details, behaviours or responsibilities that will dictate how you decide to deal with the in-tray items.

For example, in the scenario where you are Jamie Wong of Jugete, you should highlight the following items:

Your role:

  • You are responsible for the development of the UK market and have three
  • Your previous experience is in technology toys…

Key issues:

  • Project GERTIE has strategic importance for the company
  • … the User Group and the vital role it plays in Jugetes new product launches

You could even write these on one of your post-it notes and keep it visible all the time so that as you read each in-tray item you consider its importance against these key facts and use these in making your decision or arriving at an action.

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What Are Some Skills You Think Administrative Assistants Should Have

Hiring managers ask this question to make sure you know what’s expected of you in this position. Make sure to answer with relevant skills and how you meet these qualifications. It can be helpful to refer to the job posting when preparing your answer.

Example:”As an administrative assistant who interacts with several people a day, it’s important to have top-notch communication skills. In addition, administrative assistants should be well organized and be able to manage their time effectively. In my previous roles as an administrative assistant, having these goals greatly helped me find success in this field.”

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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Become A Vital Part Of A Business Today

Northwests Business Administrative Assistant Program Las Vegas offers on-campus and online Business Administrative Assistant classes to accommodate your work and family schedule.

We value real, hands-on experience, which is why youll be visiting businesses and organizations of different sizes, industries, and structures and why our instructors are all experienced business professionals with extensive backgrounds working in, starting up, and operating various businesses and organizations.

Featuring a host of business professionals and guest speakers, our classes will give you all the skills you need to play a vital part in any business, and still graduate in as little as 9 months.

How Do You Work When Faced With Stress Or Pressure

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This question can be a bit tricky. . When a hiring manager asks this, they want an honest answerbut knowing how to strike the balance between being honest and too honest can be tough.

First off, dont lie and tell them they dont have to worry because you never get stressed.

Nobody will believe you. No, really. Nobody.

Being an administrative assistant means youre pretty much guaranteed to have to handle some stressful situations now and then, and a hiring manager wants to know youve got the perseverance and ability to hack it without crumbling like last weeks sugar cookies.

Speaking of last weeks sugar cookies, no hiring manager is going to want to hire someone who has zero coping skills when it comes to a little extra work pressure, so while we said be honestdont go overboard.

The tricky part is finding a way to strike a balance between admitting you do get stressed while also highlighting how you handle those tough moments without folding like a card table. Good things to focus on when answering these types of questions are organizational skills, redirecting stress energy into creative energy, and what steps you take when faced with a crisis to prioritize what needs to get done over what is just going to cause more stress.

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What Tools Do You Use For Time Management

Getting things done on schedule and helping your supervisor or team members stay on track are common specifications for administrative assistants. Employers value administrative professionals who not only manage their own time well, but also help others meet deadlines and priorities. Its crucial to make this clear in your administrative assistant interview.

Possible answer: If you have expertise or familiarity with time management tools that have helped you in the past, describe your experience now. Your time management helpmates dont have be apps or other techie tools you can also talk about strategies like goal-setting , organizational skills, and meeting or exceeding deadlines.

Interview Tests For Administrative Assistants

Accomplishments. Related: How To Prepare for an Interview General questions. Apr 2, 2021 – Explore Ramya’s board “Administrative assistant interview questions” on Pinterest. Administrative Assistant Interview Questions & Answers … Administration support and administrative assistance are core to the efficient operation of a department or company. While it may be a challenge preparing for interview questionsboth questions for you and questions for the employerpreparing for an interview test can be extremely difficult. First interview was with all the AAs in the department and second interview was with direct supervisor. Follow the following process to answer interview questions using the STAR technique. Administrative Assistant is a broad job category that designates an individual who provides various kinds of administrative support to people and groups in business enterprises. When interviewing for an administrative assistant position, the interviewer would want to learn more about how your . Administrative Assistant Interview Questions … Job qualifications. The Administrative Assistant test evaluates candidates’ competency in attention to detail, basic Excel spreadsheets, time management, written communication, and interpersonal skills, as well as their general aptitude for logical, numerical, and verbal reasoning.. It’s an ideal test for pre-employment screening of candidates applying for office-based clerical roles, such as administrative .

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