Administrative Assistant Interview Preparation Guide
Download PDF

Administrative Assistant job test questions and answers guide. The one who provides the best answers with a perfect presentation is the one who wins the job hunting race. Learn Administrative Assistant and get preparation for the new job

32 Administrative Assistant Questions and Answers:

1 :: Who is Administrative Assistant?

Administrative Assistant is a broad job category that designates an individual who provides various kinds of administrative support to people and groups in business enterprises.

2 :: What are the duties of administrative assistants?

► Excellent customer service skills
► Assisting with all aspects of administrative management, directory maintenance, logistics, equipment inventory and storage
► Managing inventory of assets and supplies, sourcing for suppliers (vendors) and submitting invoices
► Coordinating between departments and operating units in resolving day-to-day administrative and operational problems
► Scheduling and coordinating meetings, interviews, events and other similar activities
► Research and the identification of key data sources
► Prepare and distribute payroll for staff
► Performing multifaceted general office support
► Preparing meeting minutes, meeting notes and internal support materials.
► Sending and receiving forms for the company
► All day-to-day operation matters
► Sending out and receiving mail and packages
► Preparing business correspondence, typically using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook)
► Data entry using 10-key keypad
► Sending taxes
► Managing files
► Address all employees concerns in accordance with company policies and government regulations.

3 :: What are the employer expectations?

► Strong work ethic
► Productivity
► Professionalism
► Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
► Technical skills
► Interpersonal skills
► Communication skills
► Customer focus
► Teamwork and collaboration skills

4 :: Do you know what is the Association of Administrative Assistants?

The Association of Administrative Assistants is a chartered, non-profit Canadian organization founded in April 1951. The Association is proactive in encouraging its members to further their education and enhance their career opportunity. The Association's motto is: "Professionalism through Education".

5 :: How does the Association of Administrative Assistants differ from other administrative associations?

Goals and aims are similar, but the main difference is that AAA wholly Canadian and their Qualified Administrative Assistant certificate program is based on Canadian content and offered exclusively at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

6 :: Tell me what role do administrative assistants and executive assistants play?

Executive assistants and administrative assistants play an important role in a wide variety of industries, and these professionals are crucial to keeping many offices running smoothly. Responsibilities vary from position to position but often include:
► Managing the day-to-day operations of the office
► Organizing and maintaining files and records, both paper and electronic
► Planning and scheduling meetings and appointments
► Managing projects and conducting research
► Purchasing supplies
► Preparing and editing correspondence, reports, and presentations
► Making travel and guest arrangements
► Planning and coordinating events
► Providing a good first impression of the business

7 :: What is the job market for administrative assistants and executive assistants?

Administrative assistants and executive assistants can be found working in schools, government agencies, and corporate settings across a broad range of industries. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that employment in this field will grow by 12%, which equates to over 479,000 new jobs. Job opportunities are expected to be especially high for those who have a strong background in computer software applications, and with Career Step training you can train on either Microsoft Office 2010 or 2007 software so you can become a certified Microsoft Office Specialist Master.

8 :: How much can you earn as an administrative assistant or executive assistant?

The U.S. Department of Labor report states that the middle 50% of administrative assistants nationwide earn between $25,350 and $39,440 annually. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that executive assistants earn more, reporting average annual salaries of over $48,000 a year. You may also qualify for benefits as an administrative assistant or executive assistant.

9 :: Tell me do I need to be certified?

Certification is not required for employment. However, the U.S. Department of Labor states, "[Job] opportunities should be best for applicants with extensive knowledge of computer software applications." The Career Step Executive Assistant program prepares you for the Microsoft Office Specialist Master credential with training on either Microsoft Office 2010 or 2007 software applications. Earning the MOS Master credential will prove your knowledge of software applications and increase your job opportunities and earning potential, and a free exam voucher to take a Microsoft Office Specialist exam is included with the course upon graduation (a $120 value).

10 :: Tell me what is your greatest weakness?

Job candidates sometimes fall into a trap when responding to this question. The answer you want to avoid is something along the lines of, "my greatest weakness is that I can do everything that can be done in office but I just don't have enough time to do it." Hiring managers want you to provide an honest and modest answer so they can gauge your level of self-awareness. It's okay and encouraged for you to be upfront when answering this question. The truth is everybody possesses weaknesses, just be sure you choose a legitimate weakness and highlight what you have done to address the weakness.

11 :: Tell me about your greatest strengths?

This question presents an opportunity for you to toot your own horn, but you want to approach this answer with caution. Spending too much time on this question, by going on about how great you are or how many strengths you possess, is a strategy that will most likely backfire. Try to focus on no more than three specific strengths and select those strengths beforehand, so they're tailored to the needs and expectations of the employer.

12 :: Have you done anything to develop your knowledge for this profession?

Your answer to this question can reveal a couple of things about you: you're committed to self-improvement and you stay current with the latest trends and technology. As an admin assistant it's important to remain dedicated to improving your efficiencies and understanding operational systems currently used in the business world. Maybe you acquired continuing education on laws and regulations related to privacy, for example. Be sure to highlight the things you've learned that relate most to the company or industry for which you are applying to work. Include workshops, conferences or online courses you've attended, or books you've read.

13 :: What is the reason behind leaving your last job?

The important thing to remember when responding to this question is to stay positive. Don't ever say anything negative about any of your previous employers. Instead, list one or two reasons related to your desire to learn and grow in your career. Perhaps you're looking for opportunities to contribute more than you have in the past, or you're looking for a greater challenge. Regardless of the actual reason, the person interviewing you will note that you elected to speak respectfully and professionally about past employers, which speaks volumes about your character and integrity as an employee.

14 :: Tell me about your career goals?

This is one question to which you really ought to have a well thought-out answer, because it shows the interviewer you're goal oriented and you plan for the future, and this job you're applying for is a part of that plan. In your response, appeal to the needs and desires of the employer, which include commitment, stability and ambition. Employers will give you greater consideration if you can ensure them that their investment in you will be good for their business. Indicate your intention to stay with this company long-term and express your desire to excel as an administrative professional.

15 :: Why you want to be an administrative assistant?

Most people try to get this job simply because it is convenient, offers routine duties and clean working environment. And a decent salary of course…
Well, we naturally apply for a job to earn money (nobody would work full time for free). But earning money should not resonate in your answer.
Oppositely, you should try to convince the hiring manager that you really want to have this job. Motivation is crucial for every administrative assistant, do not forget on it. If you want to get hired, you can't look like someone who takes this job as a last option only.
Sample answer:
Each of us has some preferences. Speaking honestly, I never wanted to have a job when one deals with new challenges every day, manages the others and is responsible for making major decisions. I prefer to have my job in an office, being focused and knowing always what to do and what action to take. Therefor, I am looking for an administrative job.

16 :: What is the main responsibility of an administrative assistant in a company?

Some people think that a typical day of an administrative assistant consists in making coffee and typing data to the computer. Some job seekers have the same opinion.
However, if you want to succeed in an interview, you need to show that you are ready to do much more than cooking good coffee and answering phone calls. You need to convince them that you see your vital role in a team and believe to influence the productivity of the office. Actually, the main duty of an administrative assistant is to carry out every task assigned by the boss, but on the top of that, to come up with his own ideas of what to do.
Sample answer:
"Good administrative assistant should listen to the boss and work on the assigned tasks constantly."

17 :: What are the duties on a job of Administrative Assistant?

You can find a list of duties on a job description. This should help you to understand if they want to hire a secretary, on office manager, or something between these two. It should be easier for you to identify their goal and talk about right duties in your answer.
After all, your attitude matters the most. Show them that you are ready to work hard and do more than expected of you.
Sample answer:
"I believe that the main responsibility of an administrative assistant is to take care of all administrative and other assigned duties, so the managers can focus on the important tasks and carry out their job well. I believe that a good assistant should try to create a motivating and positive atmosphere in an office too."

18 :: What would motivate you to do it well every day?

Motivation is a crucial factor for every employer. If a recruiter has to choose between inexperienced, but motivated, job seeker and a bored professional assistant with ten years of experience, in most of the cases, he will hire the motivated fresher.
Repetition makes job boring for many of us. Therefor there is this question, to see if you can find motivation in a routine job. You should do one of the following things:
► Stress that you prefer routine jobs. Some of us do not like challenges and prefer to have routine roles and carry out the same tasks every day.
► Stress that good relationships on the workplace, or other factors, matter for you more than the variability of tasks in job.
► Alternatively, you can try to convince the employer that from your point of view, this job is not repetitive.

19 :: What is the way to tell about your strengths and weaknesses?

This question belongs to the most common in an interview. They use it everywhere. Inexperienced HR managers use it to learn something about your weaknesses. And sometimes they use it simply because it can be found on the majority of interview templates. They follow no special intentions with it…
However, the experienced recruiters have another reason to use it. Of course, they are able to assess your strengths and weaknesses without inquiring about it. That's their specialty, the skill they get their salary for. But they use this question to check your trustworthiness and humility, to see if you can assess and admit your own weaknesses.

20 :: Can I tell about my weaknesses?

Humble employee is a good employee. You should feel free to talk about your weaknesses in an interview. After all, interviewer is aware of it, doesn't matter if you talk about it or not… Therefore, try to be honest. But do not stop there. Elaborate on your answer, explaining what you do to improve on your weakness. That is an attitude of a responsible assistant, an attitude all interviewers seek in the applicants.
We all have weaknesses… But just some of us are able to admit it and do something to improve on it.