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.
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
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.
Good Questions To Ask At The End Of An Executive Assistant Interview
At the end of nearly every interview, youre presented with an opportunity. You can ask questions that help you figure out if this is the job for you. If you dont know what to ask, here are some questions to keep in your back pocket.
Here are some more great questions to ask the interviewer.
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Other Common Executive Assistant Interview Questions
To help you further prepare for your interview, here are some extra interview questions for the executive assistant to the CEO/CMO/COO roles you might want to practice:
How Do You Normally Anticipate The Needs Of An Executive
This is an operational question that seeks to understand how you go about your activities once your executives actions become clear. You can mention some of the means you have used in the past to observe your executive and establish their needs.
I have realized that the best way of anticipating the needs of an executive is to watch them closely and observe both their likes and dislikes. This helps in knowing their habits. Knowing their moods also comes in handy in need of anticipation. Once I know their needs from their likes and dislikes, I will then adapt my work and roles accordingly to meet them.
How Do You Prioritize Your Workday Tasks
You must be highly organized as an executive assistant and plan your days accordingly. Your potential employer will want to get an idea of your process to see if it matches their needs. Identify some key prioritization habits you have in your current or past positions that will help you to organize and prioritize for this future position.
Example:”I prioritize tasks using an electronic to-do list and calendar. I evaluate my deadlines and complete the most pressing or challenging tasks first. I am also able to adapt quickly when new tasks or projects present themselves.”
Executive Assistant Interview Questions To Find The Right Candidate
Providing robust administrative support is one of the many ways an executive assistant helps keep things running smoothly in a company. For example, theres usually a consummately professional executive assistant behind every C-suite member helping to orchestrate things behind the scenes.
Because of this, theyre often referred to as the unsung heroes of the corporate world. Thats why, when it comes to hiring a new executive assistant, you should do everything in your power to find the best possible candidate.
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Sample Technical Questions For Executive Assistants
How Do You Deal With Difficult Personalities At Work
Executive assistant act as a liaison between the c-suite member and other people lower-level management, business partners, board members, and other staff. Thats a lot of different personalities. So of course, your employer wants to be sure you can be tactfully protective of the execs time.
To best answer this interview question for an executive assistant, provide a short example of your interpersonal skills.
At Acme Corps, I supported the Head of Sales. As its easy to imagine, she was involved in a lot of business meetings and inevitably some schedule overruns happened. This one time, she got heavily delayed on the previous meeting, while the new business partners already arrived. I welcomed them into the conference room and provided refreshments, but they were growing frustrated with an almost hour-long delay. To defuse the situation, Ive paged our manufacturing facility and asked for a senior supervisor to conduct a short visit for them. While on tour, I ordered catered lunch and helped the Head of Sales get fully set up for the demo. The partners returned to a welcoming atmosphere and the deal went through successfully.
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What Is The Main Challenge That You Faced During Your Last Role How Did You Manage It
Interviewers usually ask such a question to determine if you are a problem solver. The best approach is to offer an experience that shows you are a good problem solver and can face any challenge that comes your way. Desist from being a whiner.
During my last role, the main problem was clients who would get angry whenever they found the executive absent. Most of them even grew verbally abusive. I listened to them calmly before apologizing, taking their message and assuring them that I would relay it to the executive as fast as possible. I also paired them with people who would help them out in the absence of the executive.
Top 10 Executive Assistant Interview Questions
Top 10 executive assistant interview questions
Make sure youre prepared with these interview questions and answers for an assistant job
Whether the job title is executive assistant, office assistant, administrative assistant or personal assistant, you want to do everything you can to show the interviewer your organization, communication and customer service skills. While its important to be prepared with common job interview questions and answers, there are assistant-specific questions youll want to make sure youve practiced beforehand.
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How Do You Prioritize Tasks
As an executive assistant, your job entails several varying duties. Sometimes you may have a number of tasks at once. The interviewer wants to understand your success in prioritizing these duties and tasks, and how you go about doing so. Some ways you may do this include:
Creating to-do lists
Organizing tasks by deadline or urgency
Assessing the value of tasks and completing them based on estimated effort
In addition, you may want to highlight your ability to be flexible and adaptable as different tasks are presented.
Describe A Previous Role In Which You Gained Valuable Executive Assistant Experience
Your candidates may mention roles in which they received training and were able to grow in the position.
They may describe a job where they received additional responsibilities, such as handling confidential information or booking travel arrangements. Look for responses that indicate an overall preparedness for your open roles responsibilities or a willingness to learn and adapt.
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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
Problem Solving Interview Questions
- Give an example of your work experience relevant for this role.
- Whatâs a day in the life like for an Executive Assistant.
- Do you support multiple people? How do you prioritize tasks?
- What would you do if tasks from two different people you support conflicted?
- What reports and comms did you work on for your superior/CEO?
- Describe a time you worked on a challenging project with multiple people. What happened?
- What would you do if an Executive asked about sensitive info you were given by the CEO?
- How would you rate your confidentiality skills?
- How are your IT skills?
- What tech is essential to your day-to-day work?
- Describe your experience with booking international and domestic travel.
- How would you set up a meeting?
- Have you ever disagreed with your colleagues about how to execute a project? What happened?
- How would you rate your ability to work with difficult personalities?
- How up-to-date are you with company/industry trends?
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How Do You Feel The Position Of Executive Assistant Has Changed Or Will Change In The Future
What you want to hear: This question gives your candidate an opportunity to show they take an interest in their career beyond showing up for work each day. Look for a candidate who can discuss the profession from various perspectives. For example, the responsibilities of the role, how the role is viewed in the organization, the technological advances that support the role, and the changing quality of continuing education for the position. A strong candidate is always aware of changes in the profession and how those changes can be used to ones advantage.
Red flag: If your candidate seems indifferent to exploring the professions changes happening around them, the same lack of curiosity will likely surface on the job. At a minimum, failure to know of technology or other advances puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to maximizing efficiencies in your department and company.
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These Days Employers Are Inundated With Job Applications Therefore You Have To Be Prepared To Sell Yourself And Stand Out From The Crowd So What Happens When You Do Land That All
In this chapter, you will find a list of 20 standard questions asked at most interviews for Assistants.
We will then look at specific questions around career development and competency/scenario-based questions. The answers are here to help you think about your responses. Remember to make them personal to your career and your experiences.
There are also different interview formats, including how to conduct yourself during a video interview.
In this chapter, we will cover:
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What Questions Should Assistants Ask At An Interview
So youve bagged a job interview, youve picked your outfit, youve researched the company and planned a few answers. Youve made your way to the company building and have managed to get through all of the tricky questions. You think youve done well and might just have got the job when the interviewer says to you do you have any questions? eeekkk!
We all know this part of the interview will happen, and we all know the questions not to ask. But, how many of us ask the potential employer questions that will make them want to hire us and more importantly, how many of us ask questions that result in us wanting to work at that Company?
When I go for a job interview, I make sure that every aspect of the job has been covered. If the interviewer hasnt discussed all of the details I need before I decide, I ensure I ask as much as possible during the do you have any questions? stage of the process.
Here are a few questions that I think Assistants should ask during an interview if the interviewer has not covered them:
What is the Company proudest of? What can be improved?
How does the Company see itself changing shortly?
How do the Companys departments work together, and how does the management team promote interaction?
What are the key issues facing the organisation now, and how does this affect the Assistant role?
Working with the boss
How do you like to work with their Assistant in terms of diary and email management?
Sample Situational Interview Questions For Executive Assistants
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Can You Give Me An Example In Your Previous Position Where You Had To Make A Critical Judgment Call
As was already mentioned, executive assistants do so much more than basic administrative tasks. Thats why having exceptional decision-making skills is so important.
They might be asked to help develop creative solutions to pressing problems, make last-minute decisions, or be responsible for developing methods for completing projects.
What Is Your Greatest Strength As An Executive Assistant
By asking this interview question, the person wants to get a quick snapshot of who you are as a person. Dont recite your executive assistant resume they already read it. Instead, pick one core strength and contextualize it with some examples.
Im a strong negotiator both in-person and online. In my past role, I was responsible for collecting new equipment requests on behalf of the team and negotiating on desired facility perks with the HR suite. Then Ive also finalized negotiations of procurement deals on behalf of the COO with the suppliers. On occasion, Ive managed to secure a 15% office furniture discount from a manufacturer and also proposed the team a more affordable wellness package they liked in place of an originally requested extra healthcare coverage we couldnt afford.
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If You Were Given Confidential Information By The Executive You Support And Another Executive Asked Questions About It What Would You Do
Many executive assistants are privy to confidential and sensitive information. Hiring managers ask this question to gauge a candidates level of discretion and approach to a potentially challenging situation. Navigating office politics isnt easy, and this is a scenario where that may be in play.
I would clearly and politely explain to them that I dont have the authority or clearance to share that confidential information, even to other executives in the company. I would then refer them to the executive I assist in case they wanted to discuss the matter further.