Most frequently asked questions for an Executive Assistant, Administrative Assistant interview for C-level executives.

  • Tell me about yourself. I can safely say this is almost always a sure shot question by the interviewer. A great chance to sell yourself. Plan well, be precise and practice in front of anyone you can find. Yes, even your dog is fine! Try to touch upon a little bit of your personal self, this will give the interviewer a good insight into your personality. It is OK to be a little humorous as long as you don’t act like a clown.
  • What are your current duties as an Administrative/Executive Assistant?
  • What skills will you bring to the company?
  • What are the most important qualities to have as an Administrative/ Executive Assistant ?
  • Did you look at our company website? If for some reason you did not get time (which should not happen), don’t lie.
  • What type of personalities do you work best with?
  • How do you rate your computer skills? It might be good to mention you create presentations and reports using graphs, charts, pivot tables on a recurring basis and are quite comfortable working on social media sites and are always working towards increasing your skills. You need to come across as an advanced user of MS Office (Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Describe yourself in three words.
  • Do you have experience booking domestic and international travel?
  • Do you have experience handling calendars? Go a step further and mention you handle calendars in multiple time zones.
  • How do you organize your daily schedule?
  • What practice do you follow answering emails?
  • What practice do you follow when dealing with confidential paperwork?
  • How would you prioritize tasks if you support more than one person? Is there a system you follow?
  • You’ve been asked to set up a meeting. What actions will you take?
  • Are you good at keeping matters confidential if required? Explain an instance, don’t just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Confidentiality is a very important aspect in the Venture Capital industry. You never want an outsider to know what deals your firm is conducting due diligence on and what deals they are strongly leaning towards. And similarly most of the executives you will assist will have a need for confidentiality.
  • Are you open to working after hours if required and be available on email? It is OK to ask how much extra time the interviewer means. Don’t just say yes to everything, you will come across as a vegetable.
  • Our requirement is for someone who can multi task and wear many hats. Does this sound like something you are interested in? Give an example of multi tasking here.
  • Describe a time you were working on a project, and your colleagues did not agree with you, how did you solve this and come to an agreement?
  • How do you deal with difficult situations at work?
  • When was the last time you were in a high pressure situation?
  • What was the biggest challenge in your previous / current position?
  • What are your strengths? Again another great opportunity to sell yourself and show signs of great characteristics skills, which will make the interviewer want to hire you on the spot. I feel the key components to success as an Executive Assistant are attention to detail, ability to multi task, strong communication skills, good listening skills, and ability and desire to be 2 steps ahead in optimizing time of the executive you support.
  • What is your weakness? Careful! Don’t let your guard down. This can be a tricky question. Don’t lie, but ensure what comes out of your mouth does not result in you cringing later. Gather your thoughts and keep a mental check of what you are saying. And please don’t try to talk about your strengths disguised as weaknesses, “sometimes I just work too hard”. :)
  • How do you handle a large workload?
  • Why do you want to leave your current employer?
  • What salary are you looking for?
  • Do you have any questions for me? Always important.

Judge the interviewers subtle reactions to an answer and improvise. Be punctual, dress smart, always have an extra copy of your resume and smile. I hope this post is helpful for the readers who have an interview lined up in the near future. 

I am currently trying to build a Facebook group for Executive Assistants and Admin Assistants. Feel free to “Like” or leave a comment. 

https://www.facebook.com/executiveassistants