Admin support staff are critical

Can you pass this one question quiz? 

Interviews happen everyday in a variety of settings. Think about this, though. Which employees are the hardest working multitaskers, making sure executives know where they need to be for their next meeting, keep stock closets full, invoices processed on time and making sure that the workspace generally runs smoothly?

The answer: if you said administrative support staff… Congratulations! You nailed it!

Because these admin support positions are so critical employers usually have extremely high expectations for candidates who apply for these positions. Don’t worry after tweaking your resume for an admin position hiring manager won’t be able to turn you down as long as you can answer these five questions.

 

Question: What do you do to stay organized?

Why they ask:

Any administrative support position needs to have highly organized people to fill these roles. If you can’t organize your own schedule, how will you keep your boss organized and on time?

What you say: 

You should be specific. Talk about managing your workspace and what systems you use to support that. Period what messaging in Calendar system do you use do you have a dedicated space for pending projects how do you keep your workspace physically clean and organized? showing the hiring manager how you’ve mastered the systems can make you much more attractive as a candidate.

 

Question: how do you manage stress?

Why they ask:

This is one of the more difficult areas to master. Juggling assignments one at a time and keeping cool or an absolute must to be successful in the administrative space. Prospective employers want to make sure you have strategies in place to manage job demands without caving in when the pressure is on.

What you say:

Lead with an example of past performance under pressure with a previous position. Here’s an example: “I got a frantic call from an executive one day, requiring me to drop everything and handle a change. The solution to this problem was communication… once I had the other managers on board and worked some extra hours I was able to meet his deadline without falling behind.“

 

Question: What are your strongest computer skills?

 

Why they ask:

It’s basically a fork on completion you’ll be using a computer most of the day, and it won’t be for social media. Diane Crompton, career coach and author of Find a Job Through Social Networking says, “Employers want to see that you’re current with administrative technology.” Some companies may even want you to take competency or skills tests for certain programs. 

During an admin support interview, be prepared to share your level of software proficiency.

What you say:

One of the best ways to show your technical prowess is to use appropriate language during the interview process. Use specific terms relating to the systems you’re familiar with. For example with XL talk about creating charts formulas macros, etc. as you discuss those skills, include metrics or benchmarks that quantify your achievements using those platforms. 

 

Question why do you want the administrative assistant position?

Why they ask:

In general, admin work can be quite tedious for many people. However, many enjoy it. Hiring managers just want to be sure it’s a genuine interest not a search for something “easier”.

What you say:

Hopefully it’s painfully obvious you can’t say something like “Because I need a job.” When you get this question the best approach is to talk about while you enjoy the support role and administrative work. Give me details about specific aspects of the job. Use a what and why approach if you like doing data entry mentioned that your detail oriented and enjoy project-based work. if you don’t say so, they’ll never know!

Question: Can you share an example of dealing with a difficult client or customer?

Why they ask: 

Many times support chops are internal positions, unlike receptionists, who interact with customers and clients. Hiring managers want to know how you manage interpersonal relationships, and how you avoid conflict.

What you say: 

Here’s the big flag! Any you encounter question that starts with “Tell me about a time when…“ , that’s a behavioral question. Employers like to use past experiences and behavior as an indicator of how you perform in the future. When you get these questions, it’s important to have a good story about an experience where you used communication and professional composure to respond to the situation. 

Another important detail questions to frame how the issue arose, then tell the story about how you handled it.

You got this!

Admin support staff to a large variety of work in their positions, so it makes sense that the interviews for those positions touch on a White variety of skills sets. You may get some of the answers more quickly than others but don’t sweat it. Another thing you may consider, is brushing up on soft skills as well.

 

If you’re looking for a new admin support or other opportunity, check our search engine for job seekers.

 

 

 

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