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The Top 10 Interview questions for Administrative Professionals

The Top 10 Interview questions for Administrative Professionals

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    Top10 Questions Top10 Questions Presentation Transcript

    • Top 10 Interview Questions for Administrative Professionals
      • In these ever changing economic times, everyone must be prepared for the unthinkable – loss of a job.
      • These are some of the most common questions you can expect during an interview. These are generic in nature and are typically discussed on an initial interview.
      • Carefully consider your responses, and practice saying them until you can answer them with confidence.
    • Breaking the Ice
      • “ Tell me about yourself.”
      • This is typically the ice breaker that will set the tone for the interview. The interviewer is paying careful attention to your communication skills. It is very important to be informative, yet succinct.
      • Avoid making personal statements. Keep your response geared towards your work. Share your background as it relates to the current job requirements.
    • Are you prepared?
      • “ What do you know about our company?”
      • This question will likely be presented. Always go prepared by researching the organization before the interview.
        • History of the company
        • Recent industry issues and their impact on the company
        • Current company news
        • Company mission, values, vision
    • The Present Situation
      • “ Why did you leave your last position?”
      • This answer must be carefully thought out. Be honest and stay positive. Even if the situation at your last job was unbearable, make certain you do not make negative remarks about your last employer.
      • Smile and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity to advance your career, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.
    • Can you deliver?
      • “ What are your greatest strengths?”
      • Exercise caution with this question. Don't come across as egotistical or arrogant; neither is this a time to be modest.
      • Your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's wants and needs before you answer questions. Pick about three of these traits that all employers love to see in their employees:
        • Good communication skills
        • A proven track record as an achiever; especially if your achievements match up with the employer's greatest wants and needs.
        • Intelligence; political "savvy".
        • Honesty and integrity
        • Good fit with corporate culture
        • Likeability – positive attitude, sense of humor
        • Dedication...willingness to go above and beyond to achieve excellence
        • Clearly defined goals
        • Enthusiasm! High level of motivation.
    • Do you have humility?
      • “ What are your greatest weaknesses?”
      • Don't pretend you don't have weaknesses, and don't avoid answering the question. This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you are honest and take responsibility for your actions. A good way to answer this question is to mention your weakness, then tell what you have done to overcome that weakness. If you have been disorganized in the past, you could say, "I used to be very disorganized, always forgetting assignments and birthdays. But I managed to work out a computerized system of to-do lists and reminders that keeps me on top of everything."
      • Do not fall into the trap of misrepresenting a weakness, interviewer’s can see through the act. A classic example, “I am too accessible to others. When people need my help I can take on too much work because I am a team player and can’t say no.”
    • Do you have goals?
      • “ Where do you see yourself in five years?”
      • Given the current unemployment rates, interviewers ask this question to see if you’re settling for a position, using it as a placeholder until something better comes along. They could also be trying to gauge your level of ambition. If you’re too specific, i.e., naming the promotions you someday hope to win, you’ll sound presumptuous. If you’re too vague, you’ll seem rudderless.
      • The best approach is to reassure your interviewer that you’re looking to make a long-term commitment…and that the position is well aligned with your competencies . As for your future, you believe that if you perform each job at hand with excellence, future opportunities will take care of themselves.
        • Example: “I am definitely interested in making a long-term commitment to my next position. This position is exactly what I’m looking for and what I am very well qualified to do. In terms of my future career path, I’m confident that the quality of my work with warrant future opportunities for me.”
    • Ethics and Integrity
      • “ Tell me about a time when you had to maintain high confidentiality”
      • Confidentiality is paramount in an assistant role. Given the access granted to assistants (email, salary information, company filings, etc…) the interviewer must ensure you can remain confidential – no matter the situation. When an interviewer presses you to reveal confidential information about a present or former employer, it may be a test. Stand firm and do not compromise your integrity.
      • A good example could be, “My executive was traveling and outside of wireless coverage. One of his managers requested an update on a pending, and unannounced, merger. Rather than providing the information based upon his apparent knowledge of the project, I told the manager I was not familiar with a “Project X” and would have to inquire with Mr. Executive.”
    • Adaptability
      • “ What’s the most difficult part of being an Assistant?”
      • Use caution with your response. You do not want your interviewer to conclude that whatever you identify as “difficult” is where you are weak.
      • First, redefine “difficult” to be “challenging” which is more positive. Then, identify an area assistants consider challenging and in which you excel. Describe the process you follow that enables you to get impressive results…and be specific about those results.
    • Are we a fit?
      • “ Why do you want to work for us?”
      • If you did your homework and are familiar with the company, you should have at least two reasons.
      • Benefits, opportunities, and work environment are always good answers.
    • Closing the deal
      • “ Why should I hire you?”
      • A good example: “As I understand your needs, you are looking for someone who can manage the training databases in an organized and efficient manner. Organization is one of my greatest strengths. I also understand from Anne that ABC Imports is a great company to work for with great people to work with. I think I could really contribute to your team."
      • This is your opportunity to sell yourself.
    • In a Nutshell....
      • When you are posed with the ice-breaker “Tell me about yourself” be prepared with your own “infomercial”. You have about 45-60 seconds to sell yourself without giving too much information.
      • When you formulate your responses, you will have the interviewer’s attention for about 30-45 seconds. They will already start to formulate a follow up question.
      • Listen!! Make sure you are not only listening, but also reading between the lines. Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said.
      • Don’t be tempted to fill a silence with words.