Top 10 Questions You Can Ask When Hiring an Administrative Assistant

Why hire an administrative assistant? Because they can do the tasks you hate so you have time to focus on what you love. When hiring an administrative assistant, there are many questions that need answers before making a final decision. How will this person work with my team? What tasks will they be responsible for? Are we aligned on the required skills and experience? Will this person be a good fit for our team dynamic? Those are just a few of the important things to ask when hiring an administrative assistant. The right partnership can bring out the best in both parties and result in a more efficient office while also creating a better work environment by reducing stress from overworking employees. Read on to find out what questions you should ask when hiring an administrative assistant.

What is your experience working in an office environment?

The person you hire will be around your team at least 40 hours a week — more if you have a 24/7 support team. They need to fit in with your team, especially if they are sitting at a desk next to your team members. But what if you have a virtual assistant who you only communicate with via email or online project management software? some interview questions for an administrative assistant This experience is still important because it can show how they interact with others on a regular basis. Your employees will be able to see how your administrative assistant works with others and can let you know if there are any concerns. If your assistant is a remote employee, this is even more important to consider. Communication is key in any professional environment, and this experience can help show your team members how the person you are hiring communicates. Whether it is an in-person interview or a virtual one, these questions can provide a good overview of the candidate’s level of experience and also help determine if they are a good fit for your company culture.

What is your preferred communication method?

When hiring an administrative assistant, this question can help determine if the person you are interviewing is a good fit for your team. Does the person you are interviewing prefer to communicate via phone calls or emails? If they prefer phone calls, does the call come at a certain time each day? This answer can also help determine if the person you interview will be a remote or onsite employee. If they prefer phone calls and you are hiring a virtual assistant, this could be a red flag. If you are hiring an administrative assistant for an onsite position, does the person you are interviewing prefer to communicate via emails?

What tasks are you best at?

Hiring an administrative assistant is a two-way street. You get help with tasks you hate and your assistant gets a paycheck. But what are the tasks you want them to do? In a job description, you can say they should be responsible for XYZ. But you have to ask specific questions to find out if they have the skills to do the job. When hiring an administrative assistant, you want to find someone who enjoys what they do and is good at it. If you hire someone who hates doing something, they will not do a good job. They will resent you for putting them in a position to dislike going to work every day. You don’t want that. You want someone who enjoys their work so they will look forward to coming to work each day.

Are there certifications or skills you’re particularly proud of?

Some administrative assistants are hired because of the skills they have. You can ask this question to find out if the person you are interviewing is proud of the skills they brought to the table. If the person you interview has a specific certification, for example, Project Management Certification (PMP), you can ask them to describe how they used that skill to help your team members. Did they help a team member finish a project on time? Did they manage the project themselves?

Why did you want to join the workforce?

Asking this question lets you know the person you are interviewing wants to work. You might ask this question if you hire someone who is older or who has been out of the workforce for a while. If the person you interview wants to work, they will take the job seriously. They will be committed to doing a good job. They will want to do their best so they don’t let you down. People who don’t want to work may be looking for a handout. Those people are a headache to hire and fire. People who want to work will do their best to prove themselves. You want employees who want to work for you because they will do the best job they can do.

Which co-workers did you enjoy working with most? Which ones not so much?

This question lets you know if the person you are interviewing enjoyed working with certain co-workers. If they loved working with a particular team member and hated working with one team member, that could be a red flag. You can also ask this question if you are hiring an administrative assistant who will work with your team members. If the person you are interviewing enjoyed working with a certain team member, that could mean they have a good working relationship. If they didn’t enjoy working with a team member, you might want to give them a warning and let them know they need to adjust their attitude or find a different person to work with.

How do you handle conflict and stress?

Hiring an administrative assistant is stressful, especially if you are trying to find the right assistant. The person you are interviewing might be nervous, too. You can use this question to see how they handle stress or conflict. Are they the type of person who likes to duck out of the room when things get heated? Do they let the stress consume them so they are not able to do their job? Are they the kind of person who stays calm and let’s the stress roll off their back?

Summing up

An administrative assistant can be a great addition to any team, especially if they have the right set of skills to meet the needs of the company. The hiring process can be tricky, though, as there are many things to consider before making a final decision. Before hiring, it is important to ask the right questions to get a better idea of how the candidate would perform in the job and whether or not they are a good fit for the company culture.

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