Administrative Assistant Interview Questions

Typical administrative assistant interview questions with expert practical interview answer help.

Administration support and administrative assistance are core to the efficient operation of a department or company. Office administrative jobs are one of the most commonly listed job opportunities on the job market.

Administrative assistant sitting at her desk with hands on keyboard and words "Administrative Assistant Interview"

Jobs in the administration sector require a wide range of skills and abilities. These interview questions for administrative assistant jobs explore the 9 key skills and competencies required for success in the role.

The interview answer guidelines will help you to prepare for success in your administrative job interview.

Administrative Assistant Interview Questions and Answers - 3 key areas

1. General Administrative Experience

Briefly describe your administrative experience.

What do you consider your administrative strengths?

How does your previous experience make you a suitable candidate for this job?

When describing your past experience:

  • focus on the aspects that directly apply to the job you are interviewing for
  • consider the needs of the organization and relate your skills and abilities to these

Carefully study the job description or posting to determine what the employer is looking for and outline how your previous work experience has equipped you for this job.

2. Communication Skills

Describe the different types of business communications you were responsible for.

How do you make sure you have clearly and accurately understood an inquiry or request made of you?

Communication is key to any job that provides support and assistance in an organization. Your answers should clearly demonstrate:

  • your ability to express yourself effectively both verbally and in writing
  • your ability to listen actively and  understand the communication taking place

Communication skills interview questions and answers

3. Information Management

What different  systems have you used to store information and documents?

What record keeping were you responsible for?

What sort of data were you responsible for processing?

Administrative assistant interview questions will explore your ability to gather and manage information. Detail:

  • the types and volume of data you had to manage
  • how you ensured your information management was up to date and accurate

Behavioral Interview Questions for Administrative Assistants

Planning and Organizing

How do you organize your daily schedule and prioritize your activities?

Tell me about a meeting you recently arranged. How did you coordinate and schedule it?

Tell me about a situation where you had to re-prioritize quickly to meet changing demands.

Give me an example of how you had to multitask to meet your deadlines.

In your behavioral interview answer focus on scheduling and prioritizing activities. How do you decide which are the most important activities? Include criteria such as:

  • urgency of the tasks
  • deadlines to be met
  • available resources
  • setting realistic targets

Outline the tools you use to plan your day including the computer applications you have found helpful.

Good time management interview questions and answers.

Problem Solving

Describe a complicated problem you recently had to deal with in your job. How did you go about sorting it out?

How do you go about getting the relevant information necessary to understand a problem in order to decide on a possible solution?  Highlight how you collected all the necessary information to determine the cause of the problem and how you used the available resources to resolve it.

Problem-solving behavioral interview questions


Tell me about a specific contribution you made to improve team performance

Describe a situation where you were able to help out a colleague or team member.

Administrative assistants have to work effectively as part of a team or group. Your behavioral interview answer should highlight your ability to build relationships with other group members and show how you contribute to team success.

Customer Service Skills

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a very demanding customer. How did you handle it?

Describe a situation where you went out of your way to provide customer satisfaction.

Remember when answering behavioral administrative assistant interview questions about customer service that your colleagues, supervisors and managers are your internal customers in addition to any external customers that you have to deal with.

In your interview answer focus on the following:

  • asking the right questions in order to clarify the customer's wants and needs
  • using your knowledge and skills to determine how to meet those needs

Describe how you went about providing the right service to meet the customer's needs.


Can you tell me about a challenge you faced when dealing with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, how did you handle it?

Tell me about a time when you had to adapt quickly to a new procedure or policy.

An administrative assistant has to provide support to a number of different people under a number of different circumstances. Your ability to adjust successfully to different individuals and task requirements is very important.

Provide specific examples of when you had to adjust your approach and behavior in different situations.

Attention to Detail

How do you check for errors in your work?

Describe a project you worked on that involved a large amount of detail, how did you manage it?

Attending to and completing all the details results in accuracy. Give behavioral examples of when you have addressed mistakes in your or other people's work. Focus on following the correct procedures to complete a task and check your work.

Find out how to handle behavioral interview questions for an administrative assistant like these at The Behavioral Interview

For help with all competency-based type interview questions go to Answers to Behavioral Interview Questions

What skills and qualities are most important in an administrative assistant?

It is important to have a full understanding of the role of the administrative assistant in an organization in order to answer this interview question competently.

These job descriptions list the duties, responsibilities and skills for the administrative assistant position.

View the Administrative Assistant Duties that apply to administrative assistants in different environments and departments including sales, marketing, medical and human resources.

Admin Assistant Job Seekers also used:

How best to prepare for an administrative assistant job interview? Administrative functions are wide-ranging. These related job interview pages will help you get the administrative job you want.

Standard Interview Questions

In addition to administrative assistant interview questions you will be asked standard interview questions including:

"Tell me about yourself"

"What are your strengths?"

"Why should we hire you?"

"Why this company?"

Be ready for these and other Basic Interview Questions and Answers

Expect some tough questions in your job interview about reason for leaving, gaps in employment and salary. Use these sample job interview answers to handle these difficult questions with confidence.

Administrative assistant interview questions to ask the employer

It is important to have a list of smart questions to ask in your interview. Asking insightful questions indicates a strong level of interest in the job and demonstrates that you have spent sufficient time thinking about the job opportunity.

Good sample questions to ask include:

  • What will be the recruit's main focus in this job for the first couple of months?
  • Can you describe the immediate challenges in this position?
  • What are the essential qualities of a successful employee in this department?
  • How is job performance evaluated?
  • What sort of management style can a new employee expect?
  • What do you enjoy most about working for this company?

Administrative Assistant Interview Questions to ask the interviewer about the job opportunity, the company and management.


Questions about the job


Questions about the company


Questions about  management

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