Acing the interview questions for an administrative assistant position will gain you an advantage in landing the job. On average, there is an estimate of 2.3 million people in this job position, and the numbers keep going up for years.
Since the competition is tough, the only way for you to stand out is to answer all the interview questions for the administrative assistant in the most distinctive way possible. We are going to share interview questions and answers for administrative assistant job that most of the interviewers asked.
Administrative Assistant is considered to be one of the best paying jobs. In the modern corporate setup, the admin assistants should gain ordinary clerical skills and many hard and soft skills—such as collaboration, communications, organizational, and computer skills—to get the job done. This will all be highlighted as you answer every question during the interview.
To help you out, here are interview questions and answers for administrative assistant job, which you can review as you prepare for your application.
7 Interview Questions and Answers for Administrative Assistant
Most hiring managers often ask the standard interview questions for administrative assistant. We have listed them here, including sample answers, to give you an idea of how you can respond appropriately during the interview.
This is one of the most common interview questions for administrative assistant you will encounter. Since administrative assistants handle several daily tasks, the hiring manager would like to know how you prioritize the jobs assigned to you. It will also give an impression of how you strategize and accomplish your work.
“If I have a lot of tasks to work on, I often check the requested deadline to know which requires urgency and the difficulty of the task. I also consider some tasks that require other people’s responses or approval as an important factor. If I need to wait, I can start focusing on easier tasks first to lessen the workload and still maintain productivity.”
2. What strengths will make you an excellent administrative assistant?
Saying out each of the skills you consider your strength will give the hiring manager an idea of what you are capable of and help them assess your mindset with the job position.
“I consider myself an active listener, and it helps me a lot to keep up with my job as an administrative assistant. Since I have to face several tasks to accomplish daily, I can only do it if I listen attentively and understand what I should do to get it done.
In addition, my communication and organizational skills will also help me work effectively for the job. I can prevent misunderstandings with my manager or the team while working on a project since I can deliver my concerns well. I can also ensure that all our deadlines will be met since I can monitor and prioritize every task that needs to be accomplished immediately.”
3. How do you organize your work or tasks you need to finish? What productivity techniques or tools do you use to stay organized?
One of the most popular interview questions for administrative assistant focuses on how you organize stuff at work. Since the job requires you to be flexible with the daily tasks you need to cross out on your to-do list, it is easy to get lost if you fail to plan how to face each task.
“Based on my experience as an administrative assistant, I learned the importance of productivity and scheduling apps. I can keep track of every work I need to finish since I can set a reminder, and it will notify me of its deadline. Most of these apps also have color-coded features, which make it easier for me to categorize each task or use it to label an urgent task.”
4. Did you ever experience working on tight deadlines before? How did you handle it?
Deadlines are a common thing that every admin assistant faces each day during their working hours. But still, many people feel pressured whenever the deadline is approaching.
Answering these common interview questions for administrative assistant will help the hiring manager know your attitude when handling pressure and difficulties.
“In my previous experience, I often asked and discussed a clear deadline for each task my manager wanted me to work on. In this way, I can also understand which of them I should prioritize or finish first, especially for the tasks with the same deadlines. Communicating with my manager or team members about the set deadlines is the key to always keeping track of our projects.”
5. Have you ever experienced making a mistake as an administrative assistant? How did you manage it, and what are the things you learned?
It is normal to encounter mistakes on your job. We are all human, after all. But the most impressive thing you can do when you commit mistakes, especially on important projects, is to take responsibility for it.
However, hiring managers already expected you to answer that way. To set your bar high, you may want to share a previous experience and how you manage to overcome that situation.
Since it is personal, it will leave an impression that you can already handle difficult situations and how you exercise your problem-solving skills.
“I was assigned to schedule a business trip for my boss. Unfortunately, I failed to include a car pick-up service for him during his layover, so he called me to ask why he wasn’t still being picked up from the airport to his hotel.
When I rechecked his schedule, I realized I missed including a car pick-up service for his trip. I apologized and owned my mistake. Good thing my boss was able to look for assistance right after that, and he arrived at his hotel safely.
After that incident, I dedicated a specific time within my shift to check his schedule and confirm some of his arrangements, so I would not miss any bookings or reservations for him.
I also send him reminders on his scheduled pick-up location, including another contact person to assist him immediately. At the same time, I attend to other tasks at work or am occupied with meetings.
When my boss returned from his trip, he said he appreciated how I owned up to my mistakes and worked the extra mile to ensure he was safe and always on time with his schedule.
The entire incident left a great lesson for me. And then I learned to be more organized to avoid repeating the same mistake again.”
Being tech-savvy is also an edge when you are applying for an office job these days. One of the common interview questions for administrative assistants you may encounter is about the computer programs and software you use.
Businesses and companies have preferred tools to monitor projects and communicate with the team. You can share the previous ones you have used and other software you are already familiar with.
“I mostly use Google Workspace, both personally and on my previous job, to create documents, reports, presentations, and emails. But since then, I have always been using Microsoft Office.
Aside from these, I also experienced using Trello and Slack for team project collaboration and communication. At first, it was a bit confusing for me to use since I’m only used to exchanging emails or chatting on a messenger application to reach out to my boss and team members. But since I have been using it daily for my work, I instantly got used to it.
If there are some features I find confusing, I can head to the software’s website and read some of their blogs explaining the different parts I can do within the platform. It helped to stay organized with my work and discuss projects with my team more efficiently.”
7. Do you ever experience handling discretions or confidentiality on some projects or changes in the company? How did you take it?
Your job as an administrative assistant allows you to be the first few people to know about the decisions within your organization. Since you are working next to a CEO, director, or manager, you have access to confidential information that is off-limits to your colleagues.
Hiring managers often ask administrative assistants these types of interview questions to see if they are trustworthy enough and can handle sensitive situations.
“I was an assistant to the HR director, and at that time, our company had a planned reduction in our workforce. I did not know which of our employees we had to let go of, but just the thought that I had already built a lot of good relationships with most of my colleagues from different departments, I felt mixed emotions at that time.
I still need to do my responsibility and duty to maintain confidentiality in our organization despite that stressful moment. It is not my role to disseminate the plan, and I understand that every department head will do their duty to talk to each member about the situation at the right time.”
Prepared with These Interview Questions and Answers for Administrative Assistant and Get Hired!
Are you ready for your interview now? These questions are often just rephrased by most hiring managers but have the same thought or concept. As long as you familiarize yourself with these and get an idea of how to answer each, you can prepare yourself better. You can also prepare to have a professional certification for administrative assistants to show up your specialization and increase the possibilities of hiring.
We hope that these interview questions and answers for administrative assistant job will help you plan out and practice for your job interview and get hired. If you’re also interested in a marketing manager position, knowing about common marketing manager interview questions will help you identify essential things to take note of for the job.