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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.

 

 

 

It’s commonly understood that taking vacation days provides a significant mental health benefit.

But does vacation also allow us to better develop our work lives? A study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior finds that all of that is true, and that vacation is really good for our health.

 

Research shows

Researchers ran a study involving 120 students who completed self-reports of their mood and general well-being. Half of the participants went on vacation the first week of the semester, while the other half remained in class. On their vacations, the participants were told to eat and rest regularly throughout the weekend, and to exercise and relax as much as they could over the weekend.

 

The researchers found that this schedule improved their mood and well-being dramatically. Participants who used vacation days had fewer bad moods and lower levels of depression than those who stayed in class. They were also more likely to be engaged with their studies on their vacation, and they had higher happiness levels and a healthier overall lifestyle.

 

Laws and employee benefits should encourage short term vacation to allow us to rebuild our mental, physical, and social health from a work-based perspective vacation days spent anywhere, like camping can be beneficial

 

Why does such a simple change have such a dramatic effect on mental well-being? What else might be involved? And what might other workplace policies do to promote healthier days off?

 

Practices that build on the previous steps of the vacation schedule could be key to promoting healthier days off. First, the study members observed that students who went on vacation were more likely to take physical exercise while they were gone. Many young people are uncomfortable taking time off, particularly in the summer, so letting them come back to school after their long-planned vacations would allow them to take physical exercise and socialize before they even return.

 

Vacation Days just make sense…

Second, there is evidence that having paid holidays encourages employees to take their vacation days more often than employees without paid holidays. This, in turn, may lead to an easier transition from school to work, and it could also contribute to maintaining or boosting their mental health and well-being in the days afterward.

 

Finally, sharing a “work-based” vacation schedule with employees could also make it easier for employers to include policies about clean, healthy food at work. Focusing on having healthy days off as part of a broader “work-life balance” would allow companies to promote healthy choices, encourage employees to get food at work, and offer employee and management feedback on employee behaviors that promote healthy eating and exercise.

 

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

 

Everybody agrees that building great relationships with coworkers and networking is a great thing to do. 

It’s also valuable to have a degree of candor when doing so… But you need to practice self censorship as well. One easy, low-hanging fruit in this area is knowing what’s not OK when asking ice-breaker questions, or that quick chat in line at the coffee shop. Make it a point to avoid these 10 questions at work. A little forethought can save you some headaches later.

 

“Wow, are you pregnant?”

One would think that common sense might prevail in this situation but you never know. Especially at work, this can be a really difficult situation. Mainly because out of the two possible outcomes neither of them will be good. It’s quite simple actually, if that coworker isn’t pregnant you’ve just insulted her by saying she’s overweight. If she is in fact pregnant, she may not be ready to announce it to everyone. So perhaps it’s best to avoid it. Seriously though, coworkers reproductive plans are none of your business anyway, so along those lines don’t ask if they’re planning to have kids either

 

“Have you lost a little weight?”

 

If one of your colleagues has in fact slimmed down, this may seem like an all right question. However, you may not know the full story behind their weight loss. A very common and not unlikely example is because they are ill, which means you’ve just put them in a very uncomfortable position. Leave it alone.

 

“Are you feeling tired?”

This one applies more to people you might not know as well as others. This one should certainly be avoided as an icebreaker… Nobody likes to hear that they look exhausted or overworked. This can often be interpreted as looking old and haggard. Stick to compliments.

 

“Mike in shipping is an idiot, don’t you think?”

While you may be great friends and talk about everything under the sun at the water cooler venting your frustrations about other people in the workplace can result in much bigger problems than you probably imagined. The biggest one is it could get right back to the person you’re speaking about. Best advice, vent about work to people outside of work.

 

“What do you make, anyway?”

Many companies actually have a policy about this.Many companies actually have a policy about this. In Asian cultures where many workers’ salaries are common knowledge and often published as a publicly available wage scale. Discussing compensation in the U.S and other western cultures is generally frowned upon.

 

“What’s your religion?”

If you haven’t heard it before, the two cardinal sins for conversation at work our religion and politics. Few topics are more polarizing than these two. Both of these topics If you haven’t heard it before, these topics are often linked together in some way. So best to give a wide berth to these questions at work. And besides, there’s so much more to talk about!

 

“Any good dates recently?”

It may be innocent enough, or even meant as a joke. Regardless of your intentions the sex or dating life of coworkers should be considered off-limits look in the mirror and picture yourself being asked the same question.

 

“When are you and [significant other] going to get married?”

Who says everyone wants to get married? If a particular coworker doesn’t want to marry their significant other it stands to reason they don’t need to be reminded that they haven’t made plans yet. And, you may have no idea if their relationship is even healthy.

 

“What’s your tattoo mean?”

Current estimate show that four and 10 people have a tattoo. Of those, a Pew Research Center survey says nearly 75% say they hide them at work.Current estimate show that for a tattoos tend to be very personal. So even if it’s visible, that coworker may not want to share the story behind it. Stick to compliments, and if they want to share, they will.

 

“How old are you, again?”

OK so you’re the worst judge of age on the planet. However, asking someone their age can have serious repercussions. A recent survey conducted by AARP showed some kind of age discrimination at work in nearly 2/3 of workers age 45 and older.  Age related questions at work could get you in hot water with HR and an age discrimination claim. Steer clear.

 

If you’re still looking for opportunities for yourself or someone else, check our Career Search Engine.