Administrative Assitant Interview Questions

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.

A business owner from Florida called me the other day to talk about his current job search to fill a vacant Administrative Assistant position in his company.  Listed below is a sample of possible interview questions I offered to him.

  1. Describe your normal workday to me.
  2. As an Administrative Assistant, what are your three primary goals?
  3. Share the most recent constructive feedback you received from a supervisor.
  4. Regarding your Excel skills, when was the last time you used Pivot Tables, VLookup, and imported data from QuickBooks?
  5. Regarding your Word skills, when was the last time you used Styles and Themes, Macros, and Mail Merge?
  6. As an Administrative Assistant, what are the three most important SOPs you should rely on?
  7. What is more important, having a good team working environment or being efficient?
  8. Describe a challenging project you were assigned in the past and how you approached it.
  9. What would you do if you heard other administrative staff gossiping about another employee?
  10. How many times should an Administrative Assistant be late to work in an average month?
  11. Describe your time management system to me.
  12. What one feature would you change about your most recent supervisor?
  13. Have you ever compromised confidentiality?
  14. What one core value best defines you?
  15. What is more important, truth or respect?
  16. If a field employee told your supervisor, you were unapproachable, how should your supervisor convey that opinion to you?
  17. Who is your primary customer?
  18. Tell me about the most recent time you raised your voice to a customer.
  19. What percentage of your work will be completed at the end of each day, at the end of each week?
  20. In one year’s time, what will your supervisor identify as your biggest performance weakness on your annual review?
  21. Why do so many Administrative Assistants grow complacent in their position?
  22. We have all done it:  When was the last time you used company resources for personal use?
  23. Describe your expertise in:  using multi-line phone systems, troubleshooting a printer/photocopier, and Boss LM software.
  24. What does professionalism look like to you as an Administrative Assistant?
  25. Will your work ever be late?
  26. How often do you proofread your work products, emails, deliverables, etc.?
  27. We all have one:  What type of employee do you like to work with least?
  28. How do you organize your file management system?
  29. What do you do that provides exemplary customer service, that other Administrative Assistants fail to demonstrate?
  30. What is the most recent workplace conflict you had to deal with?
  31. Tell me about the most recent time you had to complete an assignment under a tight deadline.
  32. What one administrative policy do you think is unnecessary?
  33. In specific, what do you do to make others feel comfortable in your presence?
  34. At the end of your first 30 days, what will likely be your greatest complaint about the work environment?
  35. What one administrative skill do you need more training in?
  36. Is your work likely to be “fast with occasional errors” or “late and accurate?”  You must choose one.
  37. How promptly do you return voice-mail and e-mail messages?
  38. Tell me about the last time you made a workplace decision that turned out to be unsuccessful.
  39. Provide a recent example when you dealt with an irate customer complaint and how you resolved it.
  40. Would you perform better for more money?

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.