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15 Admin Interview Questions and Answers 2019

Filed in Interviews by on June 21, 2019

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Admin Interview QuestionsI can still remember being tensed in one of the interview I had because I was I was not prepared for the questions I faced. I can still remember that feeling of disappointment I had because I felt I had already failed the interview. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you.

Admins perform a lot of work for a company, so it makes sense that the interview questions touch on a number of various skill sets. Some answers will come to you more quickly and easily than others, but don’t sweat it if you get stumped.

Admin Interview Questions

This article is going to be helpful to anyone going for an administrative job interview as it contains questions and answers that you expect at administrative job interview.

Admin Interview Questions and Answers

1. Why do you want to be an administrative assistant?

Chances are you will be asked this question, especially if you are switching careers and haven’t had a job like this before. Think about the benefits of the actual position. You can go into why you want to work for the specific company in other questions.

“I am one of those people who really enjoys being super organized and finding ways to balance my time, which is why I started looking into become an administrative assistant.

Actually, you can find me in my free time reorganizing my house and trying to discover the most efficient ways to maximize my time. Also,I truly enjoy making others happy and helping them succeed and I feel like this type of role would fit in with my personality.”

2. How do you handle stress?

Intent: Though it’s a difficult skill to master, being able to juggle multiple assignments at one time—and keep a cool head—is a must for a lucrative administrative career. Employers want to be sure you have a strategy for taking on the demands of the job without crumbling under the pressure.

Response: Give an example of how you’ve performed well under pressure at a previous job. For example: “When I received a frantic phone call from one of the executives, I had to drop everything to get a change processed.

Communication was key; I explained the situation to the other managers and told them their requests were temporarily on hold so I could tend to the boss. By working some extra hours, I was able to meet his deadline without falling behind on my other assignments.”

3. What computer skills do you have?

Intent: You’ll likely be in front of a computer for the bulk of your day, and you won’t be using it to check Twitter. “Employers want to see that you’re current with administrative technology,” says Diane Crompton, career coach and author of Find a Job Through Social Networking. Some companies may require you to take tests for certain programs, Crompton says.

Response: One way to demonstrate your technical expertise is to use the right lingo. “Throw out specific terminology,” says Pacton-Garcia.

When describing your Excel skills, for instance, you might talk about the process of creating charts, formulas, macros, or pivot tables.

If possible, weave in metrics that quantify your achievements, says Amber Rosenberg, a San Francisco–based career coach who specializes in interview skills. (“I suggested procedures that decreased our company’s average order-processing time from 10 minutes to five minutes.”)

4. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or customer.

Intent: Some support jobs are internal positions, while other positions, like receptionists, interact with customers or clients. Either way, “hiring managers want to assess your interrelationship skills and how you diffuse conflict,” Crompton says.

Response: Any question that begins with, “Tell me about a time when…” is a behavioral interview question, where employers use your past experiences and behaviors as an indicator of your future success.

So in this case, it’s important to prepare a compelling anecdote of when you used your communication skills and professional demeanor to respond to a difficult client or customer.

Crompton recommends framing your answer by explaining how the issue arose, how you analyzed the situation, and how you resolved the issue diplomatically.

For example, “At my last job, a customer angrily complained that a shipment was late. I apologized profusely and was able to track the shipment and saw that our driver’s truck broke down, which delayed delivery. I explained this to the customer and offered her a discount on her next order to help smooth things over.”

5. How do you stay organized?

Intent: Strong organization skills are a must for admin or support positions, particularly for executive assistants, says Crompton. After all, if you can’t organize your own schedule, how are you going to help your boss stay organized?

Response: Be specific when describing how you keep on top of your time and workplace. What messaging system and calendar programs do you use? Do you have a dedicated basket or small shelf for pending projects?

How do you prevent clutter from accumulating on your desk? Showing how you’ve mastered these systems or practices can make you a more attractive job candidate.

6. What experience do you have in admin?

This is a very broad question, so make sure you don’t just blurt out an answer straight away. Take a few moments to consider all the events that have led to you being in this interview.

With these types of admin interview questions, a good place to start is at your first, most relevant experience, working through to your current job.

Make sure you communicate all the information, but in short, concise points, so you keep the interviewer’s attention. Mention your transferable skills, as well as technical skills and any relevant qualifications you have gained.

7. Tell me what technology you’re experienced with

In an admin role, you will need to be proficient with technology. You may therefore be asked various interview questions in relation to your technical skills.

Be honest with the interviewer as you don’t want to be caught out at a later point. If there’s something you can’t do, make it clear that you’re open to learning and are interested in developing your skills.

When explaining the skills you do have, backup your claims by explaining how you have obtained them, i.e. through self-learning, online courses, or professional bodies.

8. What would your most recent boss say about your ability to do your job?

Instead of asking for your opinion of yourself, this question asks about what your boss thinks of you.

Think back to any reviews you’ve had with your boss or feedback you have received. Ensure you relay this across to the interviewer clearly and as accurately as possible.

Don’t make feedback up, as you can be caught out through your references. If there is any negative feedback, be honest, but turn it into a positive by explaining what steps you have taken since to improve.

9. What tools do you use to stay organized?

As an Administrator, you will often have to balance lots of different tasks and responsibilities, for different people, all at once. It’s therefore important to stay organized.

However, there are now an increasing number of tools that can be used to help. This question therefore also tests whether you are confident using technology and understand how it can benefit you within your role.

Consider some of the tools you use during your work, such as Google Docs to easily share documents whilst managing version control, or tools such as Asana, to view projects, manage tasks and set deadlines. Don’t forget to explain why you use each of the tools and how you feel they could help you in this new role.

10. Have there been times when you have gone above and beyond?

An interviewer will ask this question to establish whether you always complete the task that you have been assigned to, or whether you go the extra mile.

Make sure you have a strong answer ready, as this could really help put you in a good position for securing the job. Think about whether you are proactive in your work, put in extra time when needed, or bring additional skills to the job beyond administration.

11. What are your greatest professional strengths and weaknesses?

When answering these admin interview questions, make sure you consider all your strengths and how these can be an asset to the business you’re applying for a role at. Whilst you may be reluctant to share your weaknesses, it’s a question that often comes up in interviews.

Pick one of your smaller weaknesses and keep it positive. Focus on how you have learnt from your weakness and as a result, have improved professionally.

Don’t forget to consider some of the more generic admin interview questions you may get asked too, such as why you’re leaving your current role and why the interviewer should choose you over other candidates.

Remember to ensure you give relevant examples of your capabilities to the job position you’re applying for.

12. Are you comfortable handling multiple responsibilities at once?

As an administrative assistant, you will have to juggle multiple projects and responsibilities at the same time. Even if you don’t have any direct administrative assistant experience work, you can pull from times in your life that you’ve had to prioritize different tasks and come up with a game plan on completing them.

“In my previous position I was tasked with handling all travel from the sales team, organizing the calendars of multiple people and managing the office. In this role I had to quickly get used to tasks being handed to me last minute and that were all high priority.

I would really have to write down everything that needed to be done to see which had the biggest impact and which was the most important. Often times the hardest project was the most important, so I found that it all came down to time management and prioritization.”

13. What computer programs are you comfortable using?

In most administrative assistant jobs you will find yourself using various computer programs. Make sure you are honest, as you don’t want to be asked to do something on your first day and have to admit that you lied in an interview. Think about classes you’ve taken and programs that you’ve used in previous roles.

“I have a lot of experience using all Microsoft Office programs like Word, Publisher, PowerPoint and Excel. In fact, I recently took a class at the community center to really get a feel for Excel and everything it has to offer.

In addition, my previous roles had me putting together many PowerPoint presentations and I have basic PhotoShop knowledge.”

 14. Why do you want to be an administrative assistant?

Chances are you will be asked this question, especially if you are switching careers and haven’t had a job like this before. Think about the benefits of the actual position. You can go into why you want to work for the specific company in other questions.

“I am one of those people who really enjoys being super organized and finding ways to balance my time, which is why I started looking into become an administrative assistant.

Actually, you can find me in my free time reorganizing my house and trying to discover the most efficient ways to maximize my time. Also,I truly enjoy making others happy and helping them succeed and I feel like this type of role would fit in with my personality.”

15. What do you think your previous boss would say about you?

Your relationship with your boss will be very important as an administrative assistant. Think of any specific times you went above and beyond to help your previous employer.

“In addition to being told that I’m super organized, I’m confident that my former boss would tell you that I am one of the hardest workers they have had as an administrative assistant.

You could always find me staying late to make sure everything has been completed and I would sometimes come in on the weekends if necessary. Also, I was often praised for my ability to handle multiple presentations at once and was recognized by the corporate office for my reporting skills.”

CSN Team.

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