Administrative Assistant Interview Questions

As an administrative assistant, you may be tasked with many responsibilities that can include managing your boss's schedule, organizing correspondence and attending meetings. If you are interviewing for a position as an administrative assistant, know that your interviewer will most likely ask about these skills as well as other details of your background and work history.
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Example Interview Questions

In this article, we provide some sample questions and answers to adequately prepare you for an administrative assistant interview.

What is the most important thing a secretary/administrative assistant can do to be successful in their job?

The administrative assistant is the first point of contact for any administrative issues. The interviewer wants to know that you understand that you must be organized, attentive and polite.

Example answer: "An administrative assistant must be organized, proactive and polite. In my last role, I was polite and attentive. I kept my boss's calendar up-to-date and made sure to respond to his emails in a timely manner. I was also proactive by planning his travel arrangements and his schedule for the day. I made sure to make room for his personal appointments so they wouldn't fall through the cracks. This meant he always had his calendar with him and could keep himself organized."

What qualities do you possess that make you suitable for the role of administrative assistant?

The qualities you want to highlight are typically personality traits and skills that can benefit the company. This role requires a lot of work, but if you are highly organized, then you're more likely to be the perfect candidate.

Example answer: "I am passionate about helping others. I am a strong communicator and I believe that I can help the company by streamlining office processes and creating more efficient workflows. I am a multi-tasker and I feel that I have the ability to juggle many projects at once and still meet deadlines. I am a natural leader and I like to see my workmates succeed."

What are the key skills required for an administrative assistant?

An administrative assistant not only handles administrative duties, but also assists his or her team members with non-routine requests. It is important to show that you are a team player, dependable and flexible. This requires communication and relationship building skills. You should also demonstrate your ability to take initiative and communicate effectively.

Example answer: "The three key skills required for an administrative assistant are organizational skills, time-management skills and communication skills. I worked in a busy office before and I was able to prioritize my tasks and meet deadlines to avoid missing the due dates. I readily volunteered to pick up extra duties, which showed my team that I'm a flexible, dependable assistant. My communication skills allowed me to communicate effectively with clients and coworkers. This is a key skill because I need to be able to relay non-routine requests and ask about their status."

Why have you chosen this career path?

Employers might ask this question to understand what motivates you and how your motivation fits in with the role. Your answer should show that you're a trustworthy worker who wants to help people. You can use this opportunity to explain how you do what you do, why you like helping people, and why you think your career choice is right for you.

Example answer: "I enjoy helping people and have a great deal of patience. I feel I can really help people in a career as an administrative assistant because I know how to support them, listen to their concerns, and help them meet their goals. I especially enjoy getting to know each person and learning about their interests. I know that I will not only be helping my clients achieve their goals, but I will also be helping them feel a sense of comfort and confidence."

What makes a great administrative assistant?

As an administrative assistant, you bring a lot of value to your company. A great assistant is one who is indispensable to his or her boss. Demonstrate this knowledge by first defining what makes a great assistant, then using an example to explain how you have met this goal in your current or previous roles.

Example answer: "A great administrative assistant is one who is reliable and has the skills to be able to handle any situation. I have created a system for my boss and other executives that allows me to manage their calendars and take care of their day-to-day needs. I make sure all their meetings and business trips are scheduled and any important documents are filed and shared with everyone involved. Because I handle emails and phone calls, I am also a valuable resource for the executive team. They can count on me to verify information and share updates with everyone in the office."

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