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Hiring an Administrative Assistant – What You Need to Know

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” Well it certainly rings true when you’re without an administrative assistant. An administrative assistant is usually a huge help to an organization, and, once you have one, it’s hard to be without. When filling an opening for an administrative assistant position, make sure you interview smart. Not sure where to start? Our associates at High Profile have compiled some tips on how to interview for an administrative assistant.

Start with your current administrative assistant. Ask them to write down the tasks they perform on a daily basis for a week or so. If they are using computer programs, make sure they write down how they are using the programs. This will provide a good base for notes on the type of skills you seek. Key categories include software use, research, organization, project and time management skills.

Next, write down a list of interview questions you plan to ask. Good questions not only ask what the interviewee can do, but also how they apply their skills to their position. Some sample questions include:

I see that you’re proficient in Microsoft Excel, what do you typically use it for?

Are you more comfortable working on a Mac or PC?

Many administrative assistants also control travel plans. If this is the case, make sure you ask questions in this area. For example:

How often have you booked corporate travel?

Do you have experience with coordinating both domestic and international travel?

When booking travel, name a problem you encountered and how you solved it.

If you’re looking to hire someone that will work for multiple people, focus on questions about time management:

How do you prioritize multiple projects? Give a recent example.

How do you manage stress and deadlines?

Are you familiar with calendar management? If so, how many calendars did you manage?

These questions should provide a good start to the interview, but make sure to also include general questions as well. The ideal candidate will want to work in an office setting similar to yours, and will transition seamlessly with your team. The best administrative assistants are analytical, extremely efficient, and know not only what you want done but also how you want it done. For more expert tips on interviewing for an administrative assistant for your organization, contact us today!