Administrative assistant–a commonly used job title in the United States. Lot of occupations can be labeled with these two simple words. While some companies want to hire an office manager, a person for everything; other recruiters prefer to brand a job of a secretary with the same expression.
One way or another, this position belongs to the most popular choices of job seekers all around the world. Dozens of candidates submit their application, and you need to stand out from the crowd to have any chances of succeeding.
Success, or failure, is actually a matter of not only giving good answers to their questions, but also of making a great first impression, and showing right attitudes in your interview. If you combine all of these, your chances of signing a coveted job contract will be great! We will try to help you achieving this goal.
What is going to happen in an interview?
The interviewers won’t use the most difficult questions. The job of an assistant is not technical and one do not need to have any special qualification, or knowledge,. On the other hand, HR employees typically use personality tests, or practical exercises, e.g. testing your skills with MS Office, while trying to assess your readiness for the position. On the top of that, personal preferences play quite an important role on the decision making, especially in small companies and institutions. All in all, the interview for AA job is far from easy….
List of questions
Recruiters typically use a set of personal and behavioral questions. They may ask you couple of technical questions as well, mostly related to your computer skills.
- 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 in our company from your point of view?
- Why do you want to work for us and not somewhere else?
- This job is quite 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?
- Can you work with MS Office? How would you rate your skills with it, on the scale from one to ten?
- Do you have any experience with reporting?
- Have you ever managed a small team? What challenges did you face?
- Tell me a little more about your experience (education)?
- What has been your biggest failure and greatest success so far?
- How fast can you type-write?
- How do you ensure to keep good qualification for this job?
- What do you think will be your daily job here?
- Do you like the working environment in our company? What can you improve about it?
- When are you able to start?
- Do you have any questions?
Everybody can talk about doing a job. But just few people can really handle it…. Interviewers started to apply practical testing lately. They may let you retype something in MS Word, for example. That helps them to see whether you can work with the program and the functionality it offers, and how quickly you manage to accomplish the assigned task.
IQ test and personality test
To be honest, one can hardly prepare for an IQ test in advance. Either you have good intelligence, or you just weren’t lucky with your genes and upbringing. On the other hand, a very high IQ is not desired for administrative positions. Employers look for candidates with IQ range of 100-115 points. Higher numbers are just too much for an assistant, and such a person will easily get bored in their job. So there is no need to be worried. If you are reading this text and understand our advice, your IQ should be above hundred and you should pass the test.
Personality test is a different story. One can prepare for it in advance, understanding what an employer expects from him and answering the questions according to their expectations. But to do it isn’t easy, especially since you are under time pressure while completing the test.
Good impression matters
Personal preferences can play an important role on their decision making, especially if the interviewers don’t use psychometry and IQ tests. Most applicants have similar background and experience. And, at least some of them will for sure know good answers to interview questions. In such a case, the winner will be determined by personal preferences of the recruiters. There isn’t any other factor to consider and decide a winner…
If they feel good with you, they will hire you. But it is an art to sell yourself in an interview and just very few people master this form of art.
Everything starts with such basic things as being humble and showing respect. You should never hesitate to compliment the recruiters for a quality interview template, or anything else that comes to your mind. Recruiters love honest compliments, and some favor flattering as well….
What to say at the end?
We could continue and write an entire new website about how to win the hearts of the recruiters in your office assistant interview. But this information shouldn’t be available to everyone, since nobody would have an advantage then…. Candidates that take their preparation really seriously can purchase our Interview Package for Administrative Assistants, and gain an advantage. It’s your chance to stand out from the crowd but whether you take it or not depends only on you….