Administrative assistant is a commonly used job title in the United States. Lot of occupations can be labeled with the two words. Some companies want to hire an office manager, while others look for a secretary. But both of them will advertise an opening for an administrative assistant…
One way or another, you will compete with many other job seekers, becasue this job is popular everywhere in the world. How can you outclass them, and walk away with a new job contract?
You will have to give good answers to their questions, and win your interviewers over, convincing them to hire you, and not one of the other job seekers. How can you do that?
We will try to answer this question on our website, that specializes only in administrative assistant job interviews. Written by Matthew Chulaw, Professional Recruiter & Job Interview Coach.
List of questions
Recruiters will ask you personal and behavioral questions in this interview. The first help them to understand your personality, motivation, and goals, while the second help them to assess your readiness for the job, and your attitude to various situations that happen in a workplace. Let’s have a look at the questions.
- Why do you want to become an administrative assistant?
- What do you want to accomplish on this position?
- What is the main responsibility of office assistant from your point of view?
- Why do you want to work for us, and not somewhere else?
- This job is repetitive. What would motivate you to do it well every day?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you have any experience with multitasking? How did you handle it in the past?
- Can you work with MS Office? How would you rate your skills with the software?
- Do you have any experience with reporting?
- Have you ever managed a small team? What challenges did you face while managing the team?
- Tell me something about your experience (education)?
- What do you consider your biggest failure, and your greatest success?
- How fast can you type-write?
- How do you ensure to keep your qualification up to date?
- What do you think will be your job here?
- Describe a conflict you had with a colleague (or with a schoolmate).
- Describe a time you had to meet a tight deadline.
- Describe a situation when you struggled with motivation in work (or in school). How did you overcome the crisis?
- Do you have any questions?
- Why should we hire you?
Talking about doing a job, and really doing it, are two completely different things.
Interviewers can ask you retype a page of formatted text to MS Word, or give you some simple jobs to complete in MS Excel (or in other office software).
This form of testing helps them to see whether you can work with the software, how fast you typewrite, what your methodology of work is, etc. Simple yet effective way of recognizing talkers and doers…
IQ test and personality test
You may have to deal with an IQ test, and a personality test in your interview. The tests are not common in small business environment, but you can definitely experience them in big corporations, and agency recruitment.
When hiring administrative assistants, interviewers look for an IQ score between 90 and 115 points. If you do better, they will consider you too clever for the job. (People with IQ above 120 would get bored with repetitive work of an assistant, and they would eventually quit the job. That’s the main reason why we prefer to hire people with lower IQ score.)
You should not worry about the tests, however. You can not prepare for the IQ test, or the personality test, in advance… Just be honest, and try your best when completing the test.
Personal preferences do often play an important role in a job interview, especially if you apply in a small company.
If they feel good with you, if they can imagine sitting next to you in an office, they can easily prefer you to other job candidates. But can you actually influence how they feel with you in an interview? You can, at least to some extend.
Try to show some recognition, some respect for their work and achievements. Compliment your interviewers, and show humility. Show enthusiasm, and positive emotions. Try to be a person it is a pleasure to talk to….
Making an extra step
If you want to have an unfair advantage in your interview (and who would not want to have it?), have a look at my Administrative Assistant Interview Package. It consists of two parts:
An eBook with great answers to 30 most common interview questions (you will find answers to only eight of them on the free section of this website–still better than nothing), and an audio recording that will teach you everything you need to know to win the hearts of your interviewers (which is important especially in small companies).
Thank you for your visit, and support. I wish you good luck in your interview!
Your Personal Job Interview Coach