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What are some good interview questions for a professional administrative person?

Administrative Assistant Interview QuestionsI'm looking to hire a professional administrative person. What are a few good administrative assistant interview questions?


Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I always tailor my interview questions around the position. In accounting/inventory I need someone very detail oriented. I would ask questions around their attention to detail. Ask open ended questions and avoid yes/no questions. Ask what they do on their day off; I'm leery when someone tells me they sleep on their day off. I try to get them comfortable and then let them start talking. If they say something that catches my attention I will add "tell me more about that"...

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

In addition to the great answers on this page, here some other discussions here on Proformative about interview questions.

I hope it helps.

Best... Sarah

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Good question. Administrative roles support the business operatives, or the people in operations. So supportive skills and being on time all the time really matter. Being able to work under pressure is another one that is personality driven. Do you expect this role to be supervised or work independently? The questions will be different. If your office is small, being on time all the time, and being willing to flex with the different personal preferences will be critical. When you check references, you will want to ask if the person had a lot of absences or out time due to personal interruptions outside of the PTO policy is a good question, and whether or not they worked to achieve objectives rather than simply putting in 8 hours per day. Finding the right Admin to match the operations personalities and their level of drive in the business is what to focus on.

(Business Development Coordinator) |

Thanks for this info. I'm the Office Manager/Business Development Coordinator for a small engineering firm. As we add projects and work, we will need to add additional professional administrative staff to assist in answering the phones, helping greet the few visitors that come into our office, assist engineers in writing letters, reviewing proposals, selling plans and specs, and doing actual billable administrative engineering type work.

Sandy Carter
Title: Product Manager
Company: Equity Administration Solutions, Inc.
(Product Manager, Equity Administration Solutions, Inc.) |

I recommend asking questions that reveal past behavior. An individual's response in the past is a great predictor of future performance. Because professional administrative staff deal with such a variety of activities and often report to several individuals, I would want someone who can manager his/her time well. So I would ask, "Tell me about a time when you had a heavy workload. Describe your responsibilities and how you managed your time to meet expectations?"

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

I try to get an idea of sense of urgency and attention to detail. The administrative description can be pretty broad, but if this individual is gong to review reports for accuracy I try to find someone that has some "business" sense that can look at how things are worded and not just check for spelling and grammar.


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