20 Administrative Assistant Job Interview Questions – CV Nation

20 Administrative Assistant Job Interview Questions

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The complete guide to job interview questions for administrative assistants, with 20 admin assistant interview questions and example answers.

Administrative assistant job interviews are difficult. You will be asked a number of tricky behavioural and competency based questions. Interviewers will also ask you questions to see if you have the appropriate organisation, time management and communication skills for the job.

In this guide, we cover 20 common admin assistant job interview questions and example answers. Use our examples and job interview tips to give yourself a better chance of acing your interview.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

Many job interviews start with this question. Interviewers ask it to learn a bit about your background and your admin experiences.

When answering this question, try to convey why you’re a perfect candidate for the job. You could do this by highlighting your experiences, achievements and passions.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I’ve been employed as an administrative assistant for over 12 years. During this period, I have provided administrative support to large companies, politicians and business executives.

Most recently, I was employed as an admin assistant at Example Company. In this role, I rewrote policies and restructured office processes, saved over 25 hours of work per week and generated annual cost savings of over seventy-thousand pounds.’

2. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?

This question helps interviewers determine if your values match their own and if you have specifically targeted their company.

Research is vital when answering this question. By studying the job description or reading articles about the company, you will be able to show how you are aligned with the their values and provide a genuine answer about why you want to join the company.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I want to join your company because of the opportunities for promotion and professional development. While researching the company, I noticed that you have a training programme for administrative assistants looking to progress to more senior roles. As I am passionate about professional development, I would love to get involved in such a programme and eventually progress to senior administrative roles.’

3. How Do You Balance Multiple Priorities?

As an administrative assistant, you should possess the time management skills to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. For example, you be responsible for answering phones while preparing reports and other documentation.

Interviewers want to know that you have the organisation and time management skills to perform multiple tasks while maintaining quality levels.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘When I am working on multiple tasks, I always assign priority to each task. This enables me to ensure that the most important tasks get completed first. I always ask my supervisor if there is a deadline for tasks, and if there is prioritise those with the nearest deadline.

I have the cognitive flexibility, organisation and time management skills to perform multiple tasks to high standards simultaneously. In my last role, I received written commendation from Management for my organisation skills.’

4. What Software and Technologies Do You Use for Administration?

Administrative assistants are required to use many different technologies and software systems, such as Microsoft Office.

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know if you will be able to use their systems and if you’re capable of learning to use new technologies.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I am an expert with Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Access. I am also adept with Travel Perk and Google Workspace.

As someone who enjoys learning new skills and is able to get to grips with new technologies with ease, I am confident that I can quickly learnt to use any technologies that you use.’

5. How Do You Handle Confidential Information?

Admin assistants often deal with highly sensitive or confidential information. When interviewing for admin jobs, you may be asked how you handle such information.

When answering this question, show how you handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism. Having operated as an administrative assistant for over 15 years, I have a great deal of experience when it comes to working with such information in the appropriate manner.

During my last role as an administrative assistant, I was responsible for handling a significant amount of non-disclosure agreements. I also handled sensitive information related to the company’s director. I always handled this information with the utmost professionalism.’

6. What Do You Like Most About Being an Admin Assistant?

This question helps interviewers determine if you are enthusiastic about administration. Those who are enthusiastic about their job tend to get better results. So if you can demonstrate enthusiasm for the profession, you’ll make a positive impression on recruiters.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘One of the things I enjoy the most about being an admin assistant is the fact that I am playing a key role in the smooth-running of organisations. Utilising my organisation and time management skills to keep things running efficiently gives me a great deal of satisfaction.’

7. Describe a Project You Managed

Competency-based interview questions, such as this one, are designed to help interviewers learn how you perform in certain situations.

When answering these types of questions, consider using the STAR methodology. STAR is a method for answering job interview questions. When you use the STAR method, you start by describing the situation (in this case, the project), followed by the task, the action you took and the end result.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘In late 2021, while employed as an administrative assistant, I managed a project to install new printers in all offices at the company’s headquarters. There were 24 printers in total to be installed. I sourced and negotiated the supply of the printers, before managing the entire installation process. I encountered no roadblocks during the project, which was completed on time and within budget.’

8. What Are Your Key Strengths?

The goal of this question to determine your strongest skills and see if they match the ones the company you’re interviewing with is looking for in candidates.

As with previous questions we have covered in this guide, research should play a big role in your answer to this question. Study the job advert or job description and find out what skills are deemed as essential. Then you will be able to prepare your answer in line with that.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘My key strengths are organisation and time management. I am adept at managing multiple projects and tasks simultaneously, while effectively managing my time and maintaining quality standards. In my current role, I am responsible for performing multiple tasks at the same time, and I have successfully met all targets while doing this.

I am also a skilled communicator. During my time in my current role, I have been commended for my communication and my ability to establish robust channels of communication between departments.’

9. What is Your Biggest Weakness?

Questions about weaknesses are the ones that many interviewees worry about most. How can you discuss your flaws without conveying to recruiters that you’re not a good candidate for the job?

The key to answering this question is to turn a negative into a positive. By showing how you don’t let your flaws impact your job and touching on the steps you take to improve on your weaknesses, you’ll make a positive impression on recruiters.

Avoid focusing on weaknesses that would prevent you from performing your job. For example, as an administrative assistant you wouldn’t want to say your weakness is organisation. On the other hand, you should avoid answers like ‘I don’t have any weaknesses’. Answers such as this one my lead interviewers to believe that you don’t have the self-awareness to identify and work on your shortcomings.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘One of my biggest weaknesses is public speaking. As part of my job, I have attended a number of conferences and events where I have been required to speak to large audiences. While my shyness in front of crowds hasn’t prevented me from delivering speeches, it does make me very nervous. In order to combat this weakness, I have taken up public speaking as a hobby. I’ve learned various public speaking techniques and improved my confidence in speaking to large audiences. In the future, I believe I will be much more confident when participating in speaking events.’

10. What Motivates You?

People who are motivated tend to be much more effective at their job. For this reason, interviewers want to find out what motivates you and what makes you tick.

There are probably a number of things that motivate you, but you should try to keep your answer relevant to the job you’re interviewing for.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I am motivated by the fact that my job as an administrative assistant plays a key role in the efficient running of businesses. I take pride in being able to make a genuine difference by performing all administrative activities to high standards.’

11. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Hiring managers ask this question to find out if your salary expectation matches their own.

At this stage of the interview process, avoid providing the interviewer with a specific number. Instead, give them a range, such as between twenty-five-thousand pounds and thirty-five-thousand pounds. This will give you wiggle room for negotiation later.

12. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

At the end of job interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Always respond to this by asking at least one question. By saying no, you would indicate that have little interest in the job.

Questions that you could ask the interviewer include:

- What do people enjoy most about working at your company?

- Could you tell me about the opportunities for professional growth at your company?

- What career paths do you see for people who are employed in this role?

More Administrative Assistant Job Interview Question
13. What Do You Enjoy Most About Being an Administrative Assistant?
14. Tell Me About a Time When You Received an Order That Went Against Policy
15. Why Do You Want to Work in Administration?
16. How Do You Ensure You Meet Your Targets?
17. How Do You Define Success?
18. How Do You Maintain Your Professional Development?
19. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
20. What Is Your Biggest Achievement?

We hope you have found this guide to administrative assistant job interview questions helpful.

If you would like help preparing in pursuing admin jobs, take a look at our free guide on how to write an administrative assistant cover letter, which includes three admin assistant cover letter samples.

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