Top 20 Administrative Assistant Interview Questions To Ask [2024]

A great Administrative Assistant keeps the inner workings of an office or company functioning. They’re the ultimate supporter and heavily relied on team member. To find the right person for the job, you’ll need to come prepared with the right interview questions during your interview process.

Read on to find unique Administrative Assistant interview questions to help you learn more about your candidate, their experience and skill set. You’ll also find guidance on what to listen for in your candidates’ answers and how that can be useful throughout the interview process.

<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">💡 Remember: Your candidate is also interviewing you about what it is like to work at your company. They need to feel that they're making the right decision to join your team. Be prepared to answer candidate questions and share information that’d get them excited about accepting an offer to be your next Administrative Assistant.</p></div>

📣 How to conduct a job interview: a complete guide to everything you need to know

<h2 class="h2-small">1. Can you tell me about your previous experience in administrative roles?</h2>

Beyond what’s written on the CV or job application, you’ll want to hear more from your candidate about their background as an Administrative Assistant. What drew them to this career? What did they do, if anything, before working in administration?

Listen for: An easy-to-follow story of how they landed a career as an administrative professional. With this interview question, remember that you’re not looking for a linear career path — it’s okay (and welcome!) if your candidate has taken an unconventional career route.

<h2 class="h2-small">2. What are you hoping to gain from the next role that you’ve lacked previously?</h2>

This question can help you gauge whether their career aspirations align with your needs as an employer. It will also help you understand what motivates them at work, which is an integral part of keeping employees happy, productive and loyal to your company.

Listen for: What really makes this person tick and what it’ll take to keep them around for the long haul. That could be money, growth opportunities, or a passion for the work. It’s important to listen without judgment and try to meet them where they are at.

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<h2 class="h2-small">3. Which of our company values do you most identify with and why?</h2>

If a candidate wants to work for your company, they likely will have done their research on what your business is all about — including your company values. This question allows you to potentially spot someone genuinely interested in your company's vision and determine if their own values align with yours.

Listen for: Someone who understands what your company believes in and how they see themselves reflected in those values. Every team member on your team, regardless of their seniority, should understand your values and appreciate them.

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<h2 class="h2-small">4. What would you say is the biggest contribution an Administrative Assistant can make to a team and an office?</h2>

This interview question helps you understand what your candidate thinks the role of an Administrative Assistant is and how they believe they can add value to your team. This is their opportunity to reiterate the importance of their skillset and talents.

Listen for: Examples of strong communication skills, a collaborative spirit and signs of resourcefulness. Their answer should also demonstrate organizational skills and attention to detail.

<h2 class="h2-small">5. What type of management style works best for you?</h2>

Every manager has a different type of management style and every team member responds to that style in a different way. Ask this interview question to get an idea of how your candidate works and if they would be a good fit for your company.

Listen for: Preferences that align with your company’s management style. This might be someone who is patient and calm, and who has good communication skills.

<h2 class="h2-small">6. What office equipment and software are you familiar with using?</h2>

With this question, you can find out if your candidate is proficient in the software and equipment used in your office. This can be a helpful indicator of how ready they are for this role. You should also keep in mind that being able to use certain software and office equipment can be learned —  so, don’t rule anyone out just yet!

Listen for: Some experience using common office equipment and software. You may hear the popular programs like MS Office and Google Suite. They should also display computer literacy and familiarity with printers, copiers, or even fax machines, depending on your industry.

<h2 class="h2-small">7. What do you think is the most challenging part of the role of an Administrative Assistant?</h2>

This question can help you identify challenges the candidate has faced if they’ve been in this role before and what they think they will face if they have not.

Listen for: How they deal with challenges. It’s okay for them to speak in hypotheticals at this point, and if they can articulate specific takeaways and learnings from real-life situations, even better. You’ll get a sense of who’s capable of growth and development.

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<h2 class="h2-small">8. Which skills do you believe are essential for an Administrative Assistant to have?</h2>

This is another question that will speak to their level of preparedness to take on this role. It’ll also shed some light on what your candidate believes is vital to the position.

Listen for: Whether their expectations line up with yours. They should mention their communication, organizational and time management skills in addition to their computer literacy skills.

<h2 class="h2-small">9. Tell me about how you manage your time. Do you use any tools or strategies to make sure you’re successful?</h2>

Administrative Assistants for some companies are considered the backbone of a team. They often have to balance multiple tasks and competing priorities at once. As a hiring manager (particularly when you’re hiring remotely), you must know how your Administrative Assistant candidate manages their time and gets things done.

Listen for: Task prioritization and various strategies the candidate uses to work efficiently. They might have a daily to-do list or they might use a particular task management software to keep them on track. They should mention how they set realistic deadlines and expectations with team members when work is particularly busy.

<h2 class="h2-small">10. Tell me about a time when discretion was required in your role as an Administrative Assistant.</h2>

Administrative assistants become privy to confidential information about an office and its clients. This question will help you gauge whether your candidate can maintain that confidentiality with discretion and if they have experience with those situations too.

Listen for: A specific example of a situation that required discretion and how they handled it successfully.

<h2 class="h2-small">11. How do you handle collaboration with people and their varied personality types?</h2>

This interview question for an Admin Assistant will help you establish if your candidate will work well with your team. Working in a collaborative environment requires mutual respect among everyone, not just the boss.

Listen for: How they discuss the importance of healthy communication, mutual respect, teamwork and participation. Your candidate should display a sense of empathy, patience and openness.

<h2 class="h2-small">12. How do you respond to constructive feedback?</h2>

Feedback is a vital part of anyone’s professional growth and development. As an employer, you need to know that your candidate will be able to embrace reasonable constructive feedback in a productive way.

Listen for: How they view feedback as an opportunity for growth and professional development. A strong Admin Assistant candidate should be able and willing to receive and deliver feedback in a professional, positive way.

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<h2 class="h2-small">13. How do you handle conflict within your team?</h2>

When you have teams of people working together, it’s only natural that conflict amongst team members will happen whether you’re a fully remote team or working in-office. When conflict does arise, you need to feel confident that you have the right team members on board who will help defuse the situation.

Listen for: Your candidate’s ability to de-escalate a situation with strong communication skills. You’ll also want to pay attention to their conflict resolution skills.

<h2 class="h2-small">14. How do you stay organized when managing multiple projects?</h2>

With their answer, your candidate should display prioritization and multi-tasking skills. Additionally, they should be able to identify tools or techniques to maintain organization.

Listen for: Their ability to prioritize their workload and delegate to their team. While Admin Assistants can really do it all, they should also understand the importance of teamwork when getting projects done.

<h2 class="h2-small">15. Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to solve a problem at work?</h2>

While it’s essential for people to maintain healthy boundaries to protect their work-life balance, occasionally, like any job, an Administrative Assistant will require experience navigating tasks and situations that might not necessarily be part of the written job description. This question will help you assess those abilities.

Listen for: A real-world scenario. You want to hear that they displayed sound judgment, applied logic to the situation and collaborated with their colleagues to resolve the problem.

<h2 class="h2-small">16. Describe a work accomplishment you’re proud of.</h2>

This is your candidate's chance to brag a little bit and demonstrate their abilities. It’ll give you a glimpse into their personality, passion and dedication to their work in their role as an Administrative Assistant.

Listen for: Excitement or pride as they talk about their accomplishments. Is this person motivated by being acknowledged for their achievements? Whatever it may be, you should consider if you’ll be able to meet that motivational need as an employer.

<h2 class="h2-small">17. Has there ever been a time when your outside-the-box thinking helped solve a problem?</h2>

Sometimes a problem requires a different set of eyes to be seen clearly. The candidate should display the ability to see issues from different angles and develop creative solutions to overcome any problem.

Listen for: How their example displays creativity, adaptability and solution-based action.

<h2 class="h2-small">18. If your colleagues could describe you in three words, what would they be?</h2>

The words your candidate selects can say much more about a person than you might think. This is a good opportunity to get insight into who they are around their fellow teammates and how they themselves view them.

Listen for: Words like “organized”, “adaptable,” “patient”, “flexible”, “determined”, “focused” and “collaborative.” Listen for words that would describe the ideal candidate for the role.

<h2 class="h2-small">19. How do you see your role as an Admin Assistant evolving over time?</h2>

The role of an Administrative Assistant is forever evolving — from new technologies to new industries, there’s a lot for an Admin Assistant to keep on top of in their industry. Ask this interview question to get a sense of what kind of future your candidate sees for their industry. Their answer will also demonstrate how they stay on top of any Admin trends.

Listen for: Mention of technology and strategies that they suspect will become more popular in their industry. An ideal Administrative Assistant candidate will be on the lookout for trends that will help make their job easier.

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<h2 class="h2-small">20. What kind of work environment do you thrive in?</h2>

From in-office to hybrid to fully remote, you’ll want to dig into what kind of work environment your candidates work best in.

Listen for: How flexible they are and if your company can provide them with the ideal work environment to help them feel their best and be their most productive.

Organize your Administrative Assistant interview process with Homerun

You have the right interview questions to ask your Administrative Assistant candidates. Now it’s time to get set up with the right hiring software to make recruitment smoother, faster and more successful.

Homerun helps you organize and streamline your interview process, creating a positive experience for candidates. With Homerun you can:

  • Keep team interview notes in one, centralized place
  • Schedule candidate interviews using built-in templates and invite your team to join in
  • Set to-dos for your team, reminders, roles and permissions
  • Auto-confirm interviews with candidates and much more

Try Homerun Free to post one job slot per month or get started with a free 15-day trial of Homerun (no credit card required).

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Alessia Musso
Alessia is Homerun's resident Canuck and Content Writer based in London. She's been writing B2B content for small and medium-sized businesses for eight years and is passionate about helping people feel more confident (and happy!) in their jobs. When she’s not researching the ways growing teams can improve their hiring, she’s probably thinking about pasta, books, craft beer, and the importance of the Oxford comma.

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