Being positive is important because often a person’s attitude to their work can come across in their writing and presentation. Administrators sometimes provide the first impression a customer has of a business, so a positive and professional outlook is needed at all times.
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“Office Administrator related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with job experience as Office Administrator. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts”
70 Office Administrator Questions And Answers
Besides duties like handling calls and other forms of communication, managing documentation, coordinating events, etc., an office assistant maintains an efficient and pleasant working environment by keeping it fresh and free of clutter.
Answer that by staying organised and keeping a strict diary you find that stress does not become a real issue. As soon as you identify a possible delay due to high work volumes you raise this with your manager to see if the work can either be reallocated or given priority.
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 and setting realistic targets. Outline the tools you use to plan your day including the computer applications you have found helpful.
Strong successfully fielded this question by going with her gut. “My response was out of my mouth before I knew it: ‘Because I'm smart,’” she recalls. She followed that up by outlining the positions she’d previously had that gave her the necessary skills for the job.
This question allows interviewers to see how you react when put on the spot, which happens to administrative assistants all the time, and how confident you are in your abilities.
As an administrative assistant, you will have to juggle multiple projects and responsibilities at the same time. Even if you don’t have any direct administrative assistant experience work, you can pull from times in your life that you’ve had to prioritize different tasks and come up with a game plan on completing them.
“In my previous position I was tasked with handling all travel from the sales team, organizing the calendars of multiple people and managing the office. In this role I had to quickly get used to tasks being handed to me last minute and that were all high priority. I would really have to write down everything that needed to be done to see which had the biggest impact and which was the most important. Often times the hardest project was the most important, so I found that it all came down to time management and prioritization.”
This is similar to the strengths/weaknesses questions - what you like least must be turned into a positive trait. Say that you enjoy the challenge of meeting deadlines and of working in a team environment. For what you like least, say that you do not like it when you see disorganised work and a poorly managed diary; you feel the need to help organise and manage the workload.
When Erik Lars Myers of Durham, North Carolina, was asked this question during an interview for an admin position, he wasn’t sure what to think. “The first thing I said was, ‘Can you repeat that?’” he says.
That request bought Myers some valuable time to puzzle out an answer. “I said, ‘So they don't fall in?’ which, incidentally, is the correct answer,” he says. “It was the only reasonable thing I could come up with.”
This interview question is asked to test problem-solving skills, which come in handy when the network goes down and your boss is hounding you for a report.
My career is my number one priority right now, so I would not have a problem putting in extra time to complete a project.
Yes, these timings are perfect for me and I am readily available and willing to work overtime and on weekends.
11⟩ Explain a big part of this job will be scheduling and maintaining the work facilities. Do you have experience with this task?
At my last job, I occasionally had to step in as office administrator when our administrator was on vacation, out sick or on maternity leave. A big part of her job was to set schedules and maintain the work facility, so I do have some experience with those tasks. My time doing these duties was short, but I think my attention to detail, analytical skills and communication skills helped me do well. My attention to detail will help ensure I do not overbook an office space or employee. My analytical skills will help me review procedures and schedules to ensure everything is set up in the best way possible. My communication skills will help me explain the schedule and what everyone has to do at a given time.
I am very well organized in my head which I can translate perfectly in actions. This strength alone has helped me secure a permanent position as an administrative assistant after going through training for just three months.
One of the top office manager interview questions involves the training process. Because proper training can lead to various kinds of positive results in the organization, it’s crucial to find out how the candidate trained employees. What specifics were employees trained for? Did anything go wrong later on that was, in fact, covered in your training process? A great office manager should have the ability to successfully train employees in his or her wheelhouse.
14⟩ Tell me how did you gain the technical knowledge needed for this insurance office manager position?
An insurance office manager has to have technical knowledge related to insurance and office management. I have a bachelor’s degree in business, which gave me some expertise in the administrative world. I spent three years as an insurance underwriter, which gave me a technical understanding of the insurance side of things. I then spent five years as an office administrator, which is where I learned how to use scheduling software and other important computer programs.
Besides time management and cleanliness, an office assistant has excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively coordinate activities between the office manager and his business colleagues, present reports, send and answer emails, etc.
16⟩ Tell me 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 as well as your ability to listen actively and understand the communication taking place.
In most administrative assistant jobs you will find yourself using various computer programs. Make sure you are honest, as you don’t want to be asked to do something on your first day and have to admit that you lied in an interview. Think about classes you’ve taken and programs that you've used in previous roles.
“I have a lot of experience using all Microsoft Office programs like Word, Publisher, PowerPoint and Excel. In fact, I recently took a class at the community center to really get a feel for Excel and everything it has to offer. In addition, my previous roles had me putting together many PowerPoint presentations and I have basic PhotoShop knowledge.”
“You definitely want to find some positives to share,” says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University in Boston. “Tell them what they did well...and maybe find something negative that could be positive, like, ‘I wasn't expecting question X, but you really made me think about why that is important to me.’”
Your response shows your ability to be diplomatic as well as your willingness to speak truth to power. These are valuable skills for a trusted administrative worker.
Say that an administrator plays an important role in ensuring that diaries are properly managed and that all outgoing correspondence is well written and all incoming correspondence is read and delivered to the relevant managers quickly.
Not all administrators need to be excellent problem solvers so if you are not the best, be honest and say so. You could say that you are not good at solving problems but you understand the skills of your colleagues well and will always be able to persuade somebody to assist.