Your interview is the time to shine and showcase the skills that make you the best candidate for the job. The interview typically gets started with practical questions and answers but often quickly goes deeper since administrative support is key to the efficient operation of any company.
You might be responsible for making travel arrangements, preparing reports, maintaining documents, data entry and may be required to be proficient with several pieces of software. In other words, your position enables the company to work and run smoothly. Here are four important questions you should prepare for that go beyond simply getting information about the type of software with which you’re familiar or the standard, “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.”
How Do You Feel About Working on a Team?
As an administrative assistant, you’ll be interacting with many people on the team. Your employer needs people who are capable of successfully working together in an effective and collaborative environment. To answer the question successfully you will want to give specific examples that include the time you might have handled conflict or solved a problem creatively.
How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure?
An administrative assistant will not only be in a position of dealing with multiple tasks simultaneously but will likely also need to handle the stress of the immediate supervisor and those around the office. Employers are seeking to weed out candidates who might meltdown under tense situations and so may use the interview process as a test run. It’s important you don’t get emotional, disruptive or allow your feelings to get in the way of answering questions.
However, while there are answers that help your employer to see you in a positive light, never lie about how well you handle stress as this just reflects poorly on your performance after you are hired and likely means you won’t get a reference if you really cannot handle stress. Answers such as, “I find under a deadline I become the most creative,” or “When I’m under pressure I tend to focus on the task at hand and tune out any distracting environment,” may seal the deal when they are the truth.
In Your Opinion, What’re the Most Important Skills You Bring To The Job?
Your interviewer is attempting to get at the most important skills you believe in administrative assistant should have and whether or not you have them. They already know what those skills are, they want to know if you know them! All successful assistants must be organized in order to help coordinate team efforts, have strong time management skills and work well under pressure. What other skills do you have that enable you to work well with a team and help them to work well together?
How Do You Juggle Multiple Bosses?
Your hiring manager is looking for someone who can handle directions coming from multiple people without sacrificing productivity and at the same time supporting creation and development in others. This is a good time to bring up past experience in which you were able to accomplish those tasks, even if it was not in a job situation. In other words, you may not have ever worked as an assistant for multiple people, but maybe you were in such a position as a volunteer, in your church or in another organizational structure. This is a good time to think outside the box since it also helps your hiring manager to see how well you function outside the box.
Are You Ready for Your Next Interview?
Of course, it’s also important to be able to quickly answer questions about why you left your last job, what makes you want to work at this new company or the ever-popular, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” If you are ready to find your next position as an administrative assistant or need help getting ready, contact Anodyne today. Our recruiters are ready and waiting to help you!