The most common interview questions for administrators

Administrative roles are some of the most commonly listed job opportunities, and are vital to businesses in all sectors. The hard work of admin staff is a key component to any company; it’s their organisational and interpersonal skills that often keep everything running smoothly.

Before the day of your interview, there a few areas worth knowing back to front that it’s wise to prepare yourself with – these include having a thorough knowledge of the company, the industry they’re in and the position you’re interviewing for. These will help you better understand what your potential new employer is looking for and how you can successfully fill their expectations.

Got a big admin interview coming up? Worried about what on earth they might ask you? When the day finally arrives, you’ll want to be prepared for a variety of soft and hard skill questions along with some specific admin interview questions. These are designed to really test your ability as a professional.

Naturally, in such a detail-orientated role, it will be assumed that you already have well-honed organisational skills, as well as first-class interpersonal communication. But what else might they throw at you? We’ve pre-planned a few common interview questions for administrative roles to help you avoid any flustered moments.

What experience do you have?

This is a classic interview question, and the best opportunity you’ll have to display your wealth of knowledge – so go for it! Explain your past roles and what you’ve learnt and gained from each. If you’ve got minimal experience, link together a variety of skills to show what you’ve learned.

What computer skills do you have?

In such a communicative role, having strong administrative skills now encompasses technology – making it crucial for you to have up-to-date knowledge on the latest programmes and potentially even social media. Your potential new position may require light computer skills and perhaps knowledge in specialised software, so it’s worth researching ahead of time. Be sure to express your knowledge of Microsoft Office and include any advanced software experience you have. If none of the latter computes but the role requires such competence, conveying a willingness to learn coupled with a previous experience where you acquired new knowledge in a short space of time will further reiterate your abilities. 

Are you comfortable handling a high volume of telephone calls?

Doing some research about the company and the phone system it uses will help you prepare your answer before the interview. Make a list of all the previous phone systems you’ve had experience with and the skills you’ve picked up from using them. Putting people on hold, organising conference calls, taking messages and managing voice mail all count. Meanwhile, discussing a challenging experience where you maintained a calm, courteous manner will prove how well you work under pressure. 

Describe a time when you triumphed during a challenge

This could be anything from dealing with a negative interaction with someone to managing a big team during a busy period of the year. Ultimately, your potential new employer wants you to demonstrate your ability to take charge of a situation and how creative you are at problem-solving. Exuding a positive attitude that makes you desirable to work with should be your priority during the interview.

How do you work within a team? Do you have any experience supervising?

An administrator is someone other employees interact with regularly, so it’s crucial to prove to your hiring manager how personable you are. Detail any relevant experience you’ve had working within a team, however big or small the group was. Remember to include any experience you have supervising employees too. Leadership qualities are always deemed as desirable, especially within an admin role where ad hoc tasks and responsibilities are common.

Thinking about applying for an admin job? Explore these Monster tips for interviewing before you start. If you’re really worried about your nerves on the big day, don’t miss these pointers.