There are many administrative and executive support professionals out there who can recite their set of skills at the drop of a hat, but it’s important to keep in mind that some interviews may ask more of you. What makes careers in office support unique is that although almost every company has a need for assistants, the job responsibilities of an Administrative and/or Executive Assistant can differ greatly from industry to industry. Different skills can be developed with each experience. With this in mind, preparation is the key to acing any interview. Here is some solid advice to abide by when going on your interview.
Administrative and Executive Assistants are often considered the backbone of the organizations they work for because they are responsible for ensuring all operations run efficiently. As a result, it is imperative that during an interview, candidates can demonstrate their knowledge of the company’s mission, values, and services/products they offer. If you can show your interviewer that you understand the company’s objectives and you can explain why and how you can help the organization achieve its goals, you will be sure to make an impression. Quickly research the person/team they’re expecting to meet with. Knowing who you are interviewing with may give you a better idea of what to expect as well as help you prepare your own informed questions about the organization, department, and role.
A day or two before the interview, you should take some time to reacquaint yourself with the job description. Every administrative job description can vary depending on the industry, and if you have applied to enough jobs, it is easy to lose track of all the specificities you need to prepare for. It is important to have a complete understanding of the job description so you can anticipate questions and know what skills you will need to highlight.
Once you have reviewed the job description and conducted thorough research on the company, you should know which of your skills and experiences will be most relevant to the position. Answer any questions about your ability to do the job by emphasizing your strengths and giving them an example of an experience where you were able to learn and grow from a challenge. In addition to your qualifications, be prepared to discuss any weaknesses, because many employers see this as a sign of the candidate’s honesty and ability to take constructive criticism.
Typically, most administrative and executive support level roles call for some data-entry responsibilities. To test your data-entry proficiency, you may be asked to take a typing and/or ten key test. Prepare for these assessments by brushing up on your computer skills, keeping accuracy and efficiency at the forefront of your mind.
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