Administrative assistants support overall company operations by providing a variety of services to an office in terms of administrative work. From the very small to the biggest detail, an administrative assistant manages everything that can impact an office’s work.
They are usually the first point of contact for customers and visitors which is why they must be able to provide exceptional customer services utilizing their communication and interpersonal abilities. Administrative assistants should be well versed in answering phone calls, providing information, managing correspondence, receiving and disseminating information and packages, scheduling appointments and maintaining executive calendars. There are many requirements and expectations on the employers’ side when hiring someone for this position as running a smooth office is a basic necessity of any organization.
Look at some interview questions along with their possible answers that an employer may ask when interviewing a candidate for an Administrative Assistant’s position.
How do you think Administrative Assistants add value to a business?
Administrative assistants keep the office organized while ensuring that the operations of every department run smoothly. They add efficiency to the business’s daily routine work. In fact, they liaise between departments and help in maintaining a smooth flow of information, provision of office supplies while maintaining confidentiality.
Tell us something about your previous experience as an administrative assistant.
There were several tasks which I performed including taking phone calls, directing visitors to the right departments, taking minutes of meetings, assisting in procurement of supplies and equipment and, managing correspondence and mail.
Why did you leave your previous job?
Because the company shifted its head-office to Alabama where I was unable to shift my family to a new destination.
Tell us how you handled correspondence at your previous work experience?
I used to receive fax, mail and couriers with signing the receipts and maintaining an organized record of each respectively. I used to sort and distribute all incoming or outgoing mail to the relevant departments and executives. It also included maintaining printers and fax machines for retrievals as well as routing incoming fax and also guiding others on how to use the specialized machines for sending fax.
How do you handle a particularly busy day and still manage to run a smooth office?
At times work can be quite demanding and 8 working hours seems too little. However, I have learned that if you prioritize your work, you can manage even the busiest day with a lot of ease.
What do you believe to be your biggest strength?
I am very well organized in my head which I can translate perfectly in actions. This strength alone has helped me secure a permanent position as an administrative assistant after going through training for just three months.
How do you manage deadlines?
I have a track record of meeting deadlines. If I find that I cannot manage a deadline in advance, I work extra unpaid hours to work towards it. In fact, I have not missed a single deadline yet!
Suppose you are given three tasks at the same time i.e. order office supplies, make travel arrangements for a senior manager and call up a few clients to set appointments, how will you go about it? What will be the first thing you would do?
I will prioritize tasks according to the urgency and importance. Multi-tasking will be my centralized approach.
How many telephone calls can you attend in an hour, maintaining the same level of interest and professionalism?
It depends on the duration of the call. If it is a 5 minute call each, 9 to 11. If it is a route/transfer call, 30 to 40. A mixture goes well, repetition of the same kind of telephone calls for example applicants interview scheduling calls can become notorious at times
Are you familiar with professional use of Microsoft Office? Specifically MS Outlook, Word and Excel?
Yes. I have used all of these at the previous job as well as company’s own oracle based enterprise software application.
Although this is a temporary job, but if your performance exceeds our expectations we will consider hiring you as a permanent employee. Would that be okay with you?
I would definitely welcome such a great opportunity.
On rare basis, can you travel to other cities and towns on official tours? (With the travelling allowance provided)
I enjoy travelling. It will be my pleasure to travel for official work.
What are your future your goals?
I gradually want to reach at a managerial level where I would be able to utilize my experiences and talents for the growth of company.
Do you have a valid driver’s license? Any tickets?
Yes, I possess current Houston State Driver’s license with no tickets.
Are the timings of this job suitable to you? Can you work overtime and weekends?
Yes, these timings are perfect for me and I am readily available and willing to work overtime and on weekends.