Wednesday, 13 June 2018

7 questions to ask a potential employer when interviewing for an administrative role

Today’s administrative assistants are highly-skilled and hugely-valuable members of your team. They keep departments and teams organized so that business can churn forward.


Successful administrative assistants bring additional value with their strong technical and communication skills. Administrative assistants who can communicate their value to prospective employers during a job interview can separate themselves from the pack and improve their chances of landing the offer.


Part of winning the job involves asking the right questions during the interview process. When searching and interviewing for today’s administrative assistant roles, recruiters and hiring managers want job seekers to show interest and curiosity by asking questions about the job.


What are the keys to success in the role, and how they can succeed in the specific role.


So, what exactly are some of those questions? We look at these seven questions to ask an employer when interviewing for an administrative role and why recruiters like them:



1. What Do You See Ahead for the Company and Industry in the Next Five Years?

Asking about the long-term plan of an organization helps the employer learn about your short or long-term goals. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t want an administrative assistant who is planning to jump ship to a new company after a few months. By asking them about the company’s goals, you’re showing them that you’re thinking long-term. You also will learn how you fit within that plan, which will help you discover how badly you want the job.


2. What Do You Consider to Be Your Firm’s Most Important Assets?

Employers want an interviewee to go beyond the resume. So being able to articulate your strengths, skills, and assets will help employers learn more about your potential as a candidate. By asking about the company’s most important assets, you’re able to tie your strengths to theirs.


3. Can You Describe a Typical Day or Week in the Position?

This shows the employer you are genuinely interested in the responsibilities of the role you’re interviewing for. Getting an idea of the typical work day shows the employer that you’re visualizing yourself in the role, which speaks to your interest in the position. It also gives you a sneak peak at the hats you’ll be wearing as the admin assistant. While most admin assistant roles have a consistent core group of tasks, ancillary tasks can vary. If they mention one that isn’t listed on the job description that happens to be a strength of yours, you can place emphasis on that skill.


4. What Are the Most Immediate Challenges of the Position That Need to Be Addressed in the First 3 Months?

Every job has a job description. But many jobs also have challenges that need to be met, or projects that need to be completed. In some cases, employers are hiring an admin assistant to help with expected or upcoming projects or staffing challenges.


Asking this question helps the employer explain more about some of the project work, department challenges, or responsibilities that come with the job – especially in the early stages of the job. When you start a new job, you want to come in ready to impress. Asking this question lets you do just that.


5. What Were the Major Strengths and Weaknesses of the Last Person Who Held This Job?

More times than not, there was a predecessor for the role your interviewing. There might have been several people in the role over the years. Asking about how your predecessors were in the role is a great way to learn about how others have succeeded, or where they may have come up short, in this role.


Asking about weaknesses allows the employer to share where the skill gaps were with previous employees. This is then a good opportunity for the job seeker to respond with examples of successes or skills that prove they can succeed where previous admins lacked.


6. Taking into Consideration the Company’s Most Successful Administrative Professionals, What Are Some of the Common Traits They Possess?

This is a good way to learn about what characteristics or traits the employer values, and what others who succeeded did to succeed. Listen closely here and consider sharing examples of similar successes in the interview, or use this info if hired, to fit in, and/or make an impact.


7. What Advice Would You Give to a New Employee Coming into the Company and Position to Ensure Success?

Asking for advice shows the employer you want to make a difference, fit in, and be a part of the team. The employer will be able to share tips like the above answers and tell the candidate anything else that would help the job seeker learn what it takes to succeed in this role.


Employers want job seekers who are curious, show they are interested in each specific role, and ask questions. If interviewing for an administrative assistant role, ask these questions to stand out, and improve your chances of proving you are the right person for the job.


Meet the Author and Team:

Tara Hernandez - Atlantic Group



Tara Hernandez | Managing Director – Administrative & Corporate Services | Atlantic Group
19 West 34th Street, Suite 806 | New York, NY 10001
Direct: 212.271.1582 | Email: thernandez@atlantic-grp.com