In the world of business, there are few jobs as unusual as the administrative assistant. Because the type of work that they do varies so much, even pinning the job description down can be tricky. Of course, this also makes it difficult to interview a candidate for the position of administrative assistant. There are many aspects that you need to take into consideration, and these include more than just whether they are qualified. Take a look at the following tips to get a better idea of how to interview an administrative assistant and how you can tell which candidate is the right one for you.
Identify the Hard Skill Requirement
Each administrative assistant has different responsibilities. This means that even candidates that have been administrative assistants in the past may not be qualified or experienced enough for the position you are offering. Before you begin the interview, make sure that you have a strong grasp of what skills the candidate you choose needs to possess. One of the best ways to figure this out is to ask a current administrative assistant to keep track of every task they do and write them all down. You may be surprised at some of the odd jobs they do on a daily basis. This will give you a good idea of how to interview and what you should be looking for.
How to Learn About Their Skills
Once you have an understanding of what skills your new administrative assistant needs to have, you should begin to identify interview questions that will draw this information out. As a general rule, it is usually more beneficial to ask about how they apply these skills, rather than if they have them. For example, if inquiring about experience with software, you may ask – What is the latest version of Microsoft Office you have used? – How many hours a day does your current work require you to use a computer? – List some examples of ways in which you utilize Microsoft Excel. These questions will yield more useful information than asking questions such as – Are you proficient with Microsoft Word? – Have you coordinated a work schedule before? When thinking about how to interview your assistant candidates, be sure to include plenty of questions dealing with each area that they will be working on a daily basis. This may include travel planning, schedule creation, communication, resource coordination, and others.
Question Their Soft Skills
Learning about an administrative assistant’s technical skills is only half of how to interview candidates. It is also important to ask questions about how they will perform their duties. This is especially vital when interviewing for administrative assistants because the actual tasks they do can change quickly. You will want to ensure that, regardless of their responsibilities, the candidate you choose is compatible with your office’s culture and will always accomplish the objectives you task them with. It can be difficult to get a strong impression of the work ethic and soft skills that someone has, however. For this portion of the interview, you will likely focus on more personal questions, as well as asking about their previous experiences. You may ask questions such as – How do you approach a heavy workload? – How do you manage stress? – Describe your method for organizing responsibilities. Remember that you can focus these questions around the specific areas they will be working in as well. If they will be managing projects, ask about previous projects they have dealt with. If they will be coordinating people, ask about their communication skills. Of course, you should be keeping their personal preferences in mind. Despite their qualifications, they may simply not be a good match for your company based on office and staff size, office culture, or other factors.
Other job skills
Finally, you should also take the time to explore whether the candidate has skills in areas outside of administration. If you ask them if they have ever gone beyond the typical responsibilities of an administrative assistant, you may learn some valuable information about them. Because of the nature of the job, having an administrative assistant that has a wide range of skills will always be beneficial.
Learn More About Conducting Interviews
Learning the art of how to interview potential employees is difficult. Be sure to check out Mighty Recruiter for more information about interviewing, administrative assistants, and managing the rest of the daily business operation. There are numerous articles readily available on a large variety of business topics that are sure to help you boost success.