Secretary Interview Questions

Sample secretary interview questions that explore your personal traits, work competencies and motivation for the secretarial job. Expect questions that assess the behaviors required for successful performance in the secretarial role.

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Be prepared for the range of typical interview questions asked in a secretary job interview. Use the answer help to develop your own excellent interview answers and get the secretarial position you want.

What made you apply for this secretary job?

Use the information you gathered from your background research to prepare for this interview question, this way you will stand out from the other candidates for the secretarial vacancy. Find something specific about the company and position that attracts you.

Look at:

  • the company mission, vision and successes
  • at the responsibilities and activities involved in the job itself

Find resources for conducting your company background research at Job Interview Information

What motivates you to do a good job?

What does motivate you will depend on your background and experience but try to make it relevant to what this position and company provides. Different motivators include:

  • work and task challenges
  • increased responsibility
  • team involvement
  • interpersonal interaction
  • task complexity
  • learning opportunities and growth

What qualities do you consider the most important in a secretarial job?

Secretaries today are increasingly taking on the roles of information and communication managers. Secretary interview questions will explore key qualities that include:

  • planning and organizing ability
  • oral and written communication skills
  • initiative
  • confidentiality and ethical behavior
  • adaptability
  • reliability
  • accuracy and attention to detail

Look at the key tasks of the position in the job posting and see which qualities would be essential for performing these tasks - for example if "scheduling" is a key activity then the secretary would need to be organized and able to plan and prioritize effectively. The job skills list can help you with this question.

As a secretary, highlight your strengths and your weaknesses.

Focus on three or four strengths that refer directly to the secretarial job requirements. Potential examples include:

  • organizing and planning
  • adaptability and flexibility
  • data management
  • attention to detail
  • problem analysis and problem solving
  • reliability and dependability
  • initiative
  • discretion
  • multi-tasking and prioritizing
  • good judgment and decision making skills
  • communication and interpersonal skills

Back up your answer with specific examples that demonstrates your strength in the work context. This list of workplace strengths will help you with this question.

It is best to refer to one or two true weaknesses and then to detail the steps you have taken to try to overcome the weakness. This comprehensive list of typical workplace weaknesses will help you.

What did you like best about your last secretary job and what did you enjoy least?

The interviewer is trying to assess your fit with the job so try and make your answers relevant to the requirements of the position.

Appropriate general answers about what you enjoyed can include :

  • meeting new challenges
  • dealing with diverse people
  • learning new skills
  • meeting daily and weekly goals

Your dislikes should not relate to the characteristics of the job you are interviewing for.

Also avoid dislikes that relate to working conditions such as overtime, office environment and pay. Criticism of your manager or colleagues raises red flags about your interpersonal skills.

Keep it general and rather refer to the absence of something in your previous job such as insufficient challenge or not enough work to keep you busy.

View these secretarial interview questions that explore your secretarial skills and experience. Prepare your interview answers using the excellent answer guidelines.

Behavioral Secretary Interview Questions

You can expect a number of behavioral interview questions in your secretary job interview. These are designed to explore the specific behaviors or competencies required for successful job performance in the secretarial role.

Prepare for these type of secretary interview questions.

Describe a situation in which you had to carefully schedule your activities to meet an objective.

This question explores your ability to plan and prioritize in order to accomplish a specific result or goal. Sample answer

Good time management interview questions and answers

Tell me about a time that you were not satisfied with your work performance. What did you do about it?

The interviewer is looking at your commitment to high work standards and whether you self-impose standards of excellence rather than having standards imposed by others. Sample answer

Describe what you do to control mistakes in your work.

This question explores your attention to detail and accuracy. Sample answer

Describe a difficult problem you had to sort out in your last job.

Are you able to identify problems promptly and reach a sound resolution using all the available information? Sample answer

Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.

This question explores your ability to cope under pressure and maintain performance standards. Sample answer

Tell me about a time a co-worker asked you about confidential information.

Maintaining confidentiality is a core requirement of the secretarial position. Your commitment to keeping sensitive information confidential and adhering to ethical standards will be explored in your interview.

Secretary Interview Questions Part 2

Questions to ask the employer in your secretary interview

Prepare a list of good questions to ask in your interview. Asking the right questions shows that you have spent some time considering the position and the company and is a good indication of your interest in the job opportunity.

Use the examples at interview questions to ask in your secretary interview to help you. Be ready when the interviewer asks "Do you have any questions?"

How to prepare for your secretary interview

These pages provide you with all you need to get ready for your secretary interview.


Key Interview Questions & Answers


Secretary Interview Tips


Questions to Ask the Interviewer

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Are you going to an interview for a school secretary? This complete guide to succeeding in your school secretary interview will help you stand out as an excellent job candidate.

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Your Secretary Job Application

The professional secretary resume and sample secretary cover letter will set you up for job search success.

The best way to land that secretary or administrative professional job is to prepare your interview answers to common secretary interview questions and practice delivering these in a confident manner.

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