4 answers

What are the most common questions asked in an interview for office administration?

Updated El Paso, Texas

4 answers

Elena’s Answer

Updated Tampa, Florida

Hi Antonio!

When interviewing for a job in office administration, they will most likely ask you questions related to the following topics

  • Being organized - how do you manage your day and tasks?
  • Multitasking - as an office admin you will most likely have multiple tasks to complete every day
  • Communication - Are you good at speaking to others and writing emails?
  • Customer Service

I think it's helpful in interviews when you can pull in real life examples you from situations you have been in related to the topics, even if its a school project!

Hope this helps!


Elena recommends the following next steps:

  • Think of real life examples to use in your interview

Amanda’s Answer

Updated

Hi Antonio,

It is really great that you are reviewing interview etiquette! Most organizations are looking for the right fit and will ask how your interests align with their mission. I recommend visiting their company website and reading through their mission statement or "about us" passage. You can often link your past experiences, interests, and passionate causes to the work they are doing. The interviewer will also know that you did your personal research and are proactive by nature. Office administrators often communicate with external stakeholders so if you can speak to their mission or recent developments you already qualify as a great candidate.

Another tip for interviewing is being prepared to showcase your organizational skills. Everyone has a different method for keeping on track with their assignments. Your go-to method may be note taking in a journal, post-its, calendar reminders, etc. Walk the interviewer through your process for remembering all tasks.

Lastly, another concern for employers is how will the candidate prioritize multiple tasks that may need to be done within the same time period. I have attended interviews in the past where I had to review a list of tasks or emails and prioritize them by different factors (time sensitive, involves other parties, quick to complete, etc). Feel free to jot down questions you may have when completing the task; the interviewer really just wants to get a sense of how you think and if you are open enough to speak up and ask for questions or feedback.

Amanda recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore Linda Raynier professional interview channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kayOhGRcNt4

Sarah’s Answer

In addition to the previous answer, I would also say it depends on how busy the office could be. Most office admin jobs will have busy and quiet periods so I'd also expect some questions like the below:

  • Prioritization - Sample Questions: when you have more than one task to do with similar deadlines, how do you prioritize? Can you tell me about a time where you had two or more conflicting goals or tasks? How did you prioritize?
  • Managing Pressure - Sample Questions: Can you tell me about a time you felt most under pressure? What was happening? What did you do? How did you handle it? How was it resolved?
  • Self Motivated - Sample Questions: Can you tell me about about a time where you weren't busy? What did you do with your time? If you have some job experience they're looking for someone who can find work to do or even go a little bit beyond the job description to help make office life easier so examples of being proactive or offering assistance to others is helpful.

Most of these types of interviews should be "competency based interviews"

For these types of interviews it's important to try have examples and if you don't have examples you can suggest what you would do based on an experience that's similar.

Answer structure is important. When answering competency based questions use the STAR method to structure your answer so you don't go on a tangent.

Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.

Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.

Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.

Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

Sarah recommends the following next steps:

  • Write down a list of examples for each competency suggested. Examples can come from School, Extra-Curricular, Hobbies, part-time jobs/work experience.
  • Take your examples and format them against the STAR framework.

Will’s Answer

To add on to these previous answer one thing to focus is on how you deal with competing priorities and request. As an office administrator many request are sent to you on a daily basis for things as important as time on an executives calendar to the snacks available to the company. Show that you can be tactful in how you work with people in these situations.