Which Of Your Strengths Helps You Excel As An Administrative Assistant
With this admin assistant interview question, the hiring manager learns how you view the role, as well as gets insights into your capabilities. Its a simple way to assess your mindset and find out about your strengths.
If I had to choose just one strength that I feel allows me to thrive, its active listening. An administrative assistant is generally a support role, ensuring others have what they need to manage their tasks. Active listening skills make me particularly effective.
As part of my process, I go beyond simply hearing whats shared. In my last role, I began with simple listening. Then, I restated what Ive heard, allowing me to ensure I fully understand. As necessary, Ill ask probing questions to gain additional clarity. Overall, Ive found the strategy is highly effective, allowing me to exceed expectations simply by gathering the right information from the beginning.
Executive Assistant Interview Questions
Executive assistants support members of executives by answering phone calls and emails, scheduling meetings, directing visitors, and other clerical tasks. Strong candidates will be proactive, communicative, and efficient. Avoid those who lack interpersonal skills.
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Tough Interview Questions For Executive Assistants
While most interviews focus on learning about a candidates experience, education and background, an executive assistant interview has another level to it that of detailed competency, confidentiality and tact. Posing tough hypothetical questions to interview candidates will help you gain an in-depth understanding of their ability to take on the most critical executive-level tasks.
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More Admin Assistant Questions You Should Prepare For
Finding Top Job Candidates To Interview
Of course, having the right interview questions for administrative assistant candidates works best when you have top job seekers to interview. We can help make the process of finding and hiring an administrative assistant easier. You can see profiles of skilled administrative assistant candidates in your area using our online database. Tell us who interests you, and we can quickly arrange an interview or placement.
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How Do You Stay Motivated To Perform At Your Best
Some values that can help executive assistants stay motivated to perform at their best include curiosity and adaptability. Your candidates may also outline a few methods to remain focused and stay up-to-date with new tools and approaches, for example by keeping track of new task management software or developing new computer skills.
What Tools Or Systems Are You Most Familiar With
Executive assistants may have it written on their resumes, but go over what tools they know and are skilled in as an interview question. Ask them for past experiences and projects they worked on using various software and tools. You may also learn new tools that will improve your experience, plus bring in old tools to build on new ones.
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What Administrative Duties Have You Been Responsible For In Past Roles
Interviewers will likely ask this question as a way to address the responsibilities and skills you have outlined on your resume. This helps the hiring manager determine if and how they fit in with the administrative role you are interviewing for. This is also an opportunity to highlight the work experience you listed in your resume. Here is an example of how you can answer this question.
Example answer:As the administrative assistant for Time Wise Financials, I was the first person to meet customersin person and on the phone. I maintained the main office phone line as well as five separate lines for company vice principals. I was also in charge of managing the calendars of my vice principals, arranging business conferences and travel and helping produce presentations using PowerPoint and Apple Keynote.
Tell Me About A Time When You Encountered An Unhappy Client Or Customer As An Office Assistant How Did You Handle The Situation
An interviewer may ask this question to assess how you handle difficult or stressful situations. Be honest in your answer, and include how you felt in the situation and how you handled it. Similarly, you can answer this question with how you would handle a stressful situation if one were to occur if you have no prior experience diffusing a conflict in the workplace.
Example answer:As the office assistant at Save Financial, I once dealt with a frustrated customer on the phone. The customer was stressed and angry that a seemingly unwarranted charge had been made to their credit card. I did not interrupt the customer even though they were yelling at me, and I reminded myself how worried and anxious they must be to be acting out that way.
After acknowledging the customers feelings, I asked the customer for their membership information and continued to explore the problem. It turned out that the customer forgot the due date for their membership. Once we solved the problem, the customer was calm and apologized to me. We ended our conversation talking about the weather and my three-month-old puppy. I always strive for patience and empathy when working with clients, as I would want my experience to be the same.
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What Administrative Tasks Do You Have The Most Experience With
Sometimes you want the candidate to explain their experience to you, rather than ask them individually about each skill required for the role. Ask them where they have the most experience, and it will lead you to what they feel they are most comfortable with. After youve gathered this information, you can vet where the candidate in lacking skills.
My primary experience is with data entry, social media, and some basic bookkeeping tasks. However, data entry is my strong suit. Ive worked within Microsoft Excel for three years.
What Experiences Do You Have That Fit The Position
Another important question to ask a candidate for an administrative assistant role is inquiring about the experience and qualifications that make them ideal for the job. The answer they provide will obviously depend on the qualifications listed in the job description, but this is a good general question to have them detail their skills for the job.
This question should open the door to other questions that dig deeper on each of these experiences. For example, if an interviewee mentions they worked six months as an assistant during an internship in college, ask them what they did on a day-to-day basis during that position.
I have a degree in business administration, and I have previous experience working as an administrative assistant at the deans office in college. During that time, I helped the payroll team process reimbursements, schedule catering for events, and connect with the marketing department on how to communicate events promoted by the dean were happening around campus.
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Question: Tell Me About A Time When You Had To Deal With A Difficult Client Or Customer
Intent: Some support jobs are internal positions, while other positions, like receptionists, interact with customers or clients. Either way, hiring managers want to assess your interrelationship skills and how you diffuse conflict, Crompton says.
Response: Any question that begins with, Tell me about a time when is a behavioral interview question, where employers use your past experiences and behaviors as an indicator of your future success. So in this case, its important to prepare a compelling anecdote of when you used your communication skills and professional demeanor to respond to a difficult client or customer.
Crompton recommends framing your answer by explaining how the issue arose, how you analyzed the situation, and how you resolved the issue diplomatically. For example, At my last job, a customer angrily complained that a shipment was late. I apologized profusely and was able to track the shipment and saw that our drivers truck broke down, which delayed delivery. I explained this to the customer and offered her a discount on her next order to help smooth things over.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths And How Do They Help You Perform As An Administrative Assistant
If you are presented with this question, give the interviewer an honest answer. Think of one to three strengths you feel reflect your professionalism and skill level.
Example answer:I feel my greatest professional strengths are my communication skills and organizational skills. In my last position at Save Financial, I managed the companys email account and created weekly updates that team members received. I helped keep the team organized and on task through these email updates, and everyone felt they were so helpful that the emails became part of the daily tasks required by the assistants. If hired for the position, I would use these strengths to help contribute to the productivity of the company.
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Tell Me About A Time You Had A Conflict With A Supervisor Or Coworker What Happened And How Did You Resolve It
Workplace disagreements and conflicts are natural. As an administrative assistant, you interact with a lot of the staff, so the likelihood of a dispute arising is higher. Hiring managers use this question to assess if you possess the ability to self-reflect, self-analyze, and learn from past experiences.
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?
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What Do You Feel Are Your Most Valuable Skills As An Executive Assistant
This question allows you to showcase your knowledge of what an executive assistant is expected to do and allows you to connect that knowledge to the skills that you possess. When answering the question, pick two or three skills that you feel are important as an executive assistant. Explain what the skills are, why they are important to an executive assistant and how you developed the skills or have used them professionally.
Example:”I think my strongest skill is my decision-making. In my prior position, I supported a construction project manager, and for one project, a contractor contacted me about an unforeseen problem at the job site. I knew that my responsibilities in my role as an executive assistant included making calls in situations where the project manager was unavailable. So I assessed the problem, discussed the two options the contractor had to solve the problem and reviewed the project manager’s notes on similar circumstances. I chose an option that enabled the crew to get back to work that same day rather than wait until the next day when the PM was available. The project continued and was completed on schedule.”
How Will You Judge One Year From Now If Your Time Here Has Been A Success
This question helps to uncover how much the candidate understands your particular needs for an executive assistant. Their answer will determine if theyve given thought to what success in the role entails. What will be working well if theyre doing their job well?
How a candidate judges success can also say something about their own values. For example, if teamwork is one of your core values, do they talk about helping the team in their answer? What exactly do they define as success? Listen out for any non-answers or downplaying the importance of the question, too.
Briefly Describe Your Experience
The interviewer wants an overview of some of the places you have worked in before or the roles you occupied. The best way to approach this question is to give a summary of your experiences.
This is my seventh year in this field. I first worked at KYZ Company, where I was the executive assistant for the chief executive officer. I managed his diary, took care of his appointments, attended meetings, and wrote minutes. I then moved to BYZ Resource Centre, where I supervised other junior staff members and worked as an executive assistant to the CEO. In my last workplace, I was the executive assistant for the chief managing officer of operations. This is a role I maintained till recently.
Describe A Situation In Which Discretion Was Needed In Your Role As An Administrative Assistant And How You Handled It
Administrative assistants often know a lot of confidential information about both the office and the companys customers. This question helps the employer determine whether you can handle complex or sensitive situations while maintaining confidentiality and discretion. Again, when answering this question, it is important to use the STAR technique to identify a specific scenario in which discretion and confidentiality were critical to the situation and describe how you were able to handle the situation.
Example:In my role as a human resources assistant, I supported the director of HR and became aware of an impending reduction in the workforce. I had many friends who worked for the company but understood that discretion was imperative to maintaining structure and peace within the office. Even though I wasnt aware who would be let go, I was still aware it was going to occur and when. While this was a stressful time for everyone in our department, I maintained my confidentiality and the information was communicated with the rest of the staff through official channels at the appropriate time.
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Provide An Example Of Collaborating With A Team To Solve An Issue
Most of your work will likely be completed individually, but there will likely be occasions when you have to work with a team to help an executive with a task or project. Try using an example where you can accurately describe the task and the outcome.
Example:”I worked with a team of five to compile and condense many pages of important data for an executive. Our goal was to make the data more readable and actionable so the executive could make a sound decision for the company based on the data. We split our work up into five parts and met daily to discuss progress. Each person contributed, and I compiled the final report with the condensed data and successfully turned in the assignment on time.”
Which Processes Do You Use To Organize A Travel Schedule
Ask candidates this question to test their planning skills. Responses may include communicating with executives to clarify itinerary requirements, using travel management tools to organize the itinerary, considering alternative travel arrangements if there are any delays, and making expense reporting simpler.
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