The following administrative assistant interview questions and answers are those that are most commonly asked among interviewers. They are broad in nature as administrative assistants have very broad job descriptions. From answering telephone calls to data entry, you should be sure to let your skills shine through in each answer you provide.
Are You Comfortable with High Call Volume and Complex Telephone Systems?
One of your primary duties as an administrative assistant will be answering telephone calls efficiently and courteously, and as such, your interviewer will want to know how comfortable you are with this. If you have not yet had much experience with this, you should never try to fake it. Be honest and state that while you have not been introduced to handling complex telephone systems, you are a quick learner and you understand the importance of handling all calls professionally. If you have had experience, be sure to point this out. State that you have experience handling several calls at once and that you are able to keep the conversations separate, friendly and professional at all times.
How Well Do You Work with Others?
Depending upon the size of the company for which you are interviewing, you may be expected to work alongside two or three other administrative assistants. You should be sure to reply with any experience you have had working with others and any strategies that you developed to stay on top of your duties. As an example, maybe you were required to coordinate your breaks so that everyone was able to take lunch at times when the call volume was low. Similarly, be sure to describe any systems that you developed in relation to improving your team’s overall productivity, such as utilizing each team member’s strengths when delegating administrative tasks.
What is Your Greatest Strength? What is Your Greatest Weakness?
When asked about your strengths and weaknesses, be sure to answer in a way that is directly related to the position you are seeking. For instance, perhaps you have a manner with clients and customers that fosters understanding and empathy. This is a definite strength for an administrative assistant, particularly when faced with a potentially unpleasant situation such as a disgruntled and upset client. When mentioning your weakness, you should be honest and provide positive statement directly behind it. As an example, if you have trouble with finishing your tasks too early, you should say so—but be sure to boost this by mentioning that you very rarely struggle with deadlines.
What Do You Expect from Your Supervisor?
This may seem like a trick question, but it truly is not. Your interviewer will likely ask this question in order to determine how well you will work with—and for—your supervisors. Some of the topics you could touch upon in your answer include interpersonal relationships with higher-ups, favoritism, constructive criticism, disciplinary tactics and more. As an example, you may provide an answer similar to “Although I like to be able to go to my supervisor for advice when I am having an issue, I am open to constructive criticism.”
The job of an administrative assistant is one is filled with dozens of different tasks. In order to truly succeed in your interview, you need to display professionalism, multitasking abilities and organizational skills to land the position.