Print

Career Tips >> Browse Articles >> Job Seekers: Resume, Interview and More

+24

Questions for Administrative Professionals to Ask the Interviewer

Questions for Administrative Professionals to Ask the Interviewer

As my career has progressed and I’ve added some interesting on-the-job experiences to my work history, I started to develop a list of interview questions that I asked the interviewers when I was in a job interview.

An interview is an information exchange between you and a potential employer. They are not obligated to offer the position to you, and you are not obligated to accept it even if they do. It is your responsibility to find out as much information about this company as you can BEFORE the interview. Then, you need to fill in as many gaps as possible DURING the interview by asking good questions.

Listen to their responses and watch their body language and facial expressions as you ask the questions and you may learn a lot of valuable information before you take a position that isn’t right for you.

Here are some questions to consider asking in your next interview.

Questions for Administrative Professionals to Ask the Interviewer

1. Can you describe the duties and the responsibilities of the job for me? (If a future manager cannot describe what the position does, I would be concerned about how out of touch with their staff and departmental functions they may be. I like the next two questions for this purpose also.)

2. Describe a typical daily schedule in this position for me.

3. Describe a typical weekly schedule in this position for me.

4. What is a typical workweek? Is overtime expected? How often?

5. What kind of characteristics are you looking for in the candidate?

6. Have there been any personnel or production problems in this department? (If there is more than one person in the interview, I like to watch their exchange of glances or facial expressions when I ask this. It may help you to know if you should ask a follow up question or not.)

7. What are the department’s strengths and weaknesses?

8. What kind of career path is typical for your employees?

9. WHO will be my biggest challenge in this position? Why? What will I need to do to work successfully with this person? (If you had told me a “personality” would be my biggest challenge when I walked into one of my executive assistant roles, I would have laughed at you. I had never encountered anyone that I couldn’t figure out how to consistently work successfully with…until this one. So this question has become a REQUIRED question for all interviews now.)

10. What are some of the more difficult problems one would have to face in this position? How do you think these could best be handled?

11. How many assistants have you had support you over the course of your career? Who has been the best and why? Who has been the worst and why?

12. How do you view the administrative support role in the overall functioning of this office? (If they view this role as the person who keeps the coffee made and the mail sorted, then it may not be the career ladder position you had in mind. If they view this role as the hub of the wheel that keeps all of the spokes connected and smoothly rolling down the road, then you’re probably entering into a potentially great relationship.)

13. What do you do to support your assistant in his/her professional development?

14. Do you support membership in professional associations such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) or other local networking groups?

15. If I were to talk to any of your past assistants, what would they tell me was the best part about supporting you? The worst part about supporting you?

16. Why is this position open?

17. How often has it been filled in the past five years? What were the main reasons?

18. What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this position?

19. Do you encourage/support daily lunch breaks for your assistant?

20. Who provides backup for this position when they are out of the office?

21. Who will review my performance? How often?

22. How do you determine or evaluate success within the company?

23. How do you determine or evaluate success for the person in this position? How will I know I am successful in this position?

24. How do you reward and recognize achievements of your team members? How often do you do it?

25. What don’t you like about working here and what would you change?

26. What do you think is the greatest opportunity facing the organization in the near future? The biggest threat?

I’m sure there are other great interview questions to ask. If you have some others, please share them with me at <mailto:julie@julieperrine.com>julie@julieperrine.com. Interviewers want to see someone engaged in their profession and engaged in what is going on around them. Asking questions during an interview is a great way to find out the information you need to make an educated and informed decision should the job offer be extended.

To your interviewing success!

Julie Perrine CPS/CAP
Qualified Myers-Briggs Administrator

See the original blog article “Questions for Administrative Professionals to Ask the Interviewer.”

Read all of our ‘Resume and Interview’ Articles.


+24
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    heatherlincoln77

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    Great post, very informative.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Tom123456

    almost 4 years ago

    42 comments

    nice
    [url=http://www.ucvhost.com/VPS/EntryLevelVps/EntryLevelVps.aspx]windows vps [/url]

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Tom123456

    almost 4 years ago

    42 comments

    Excellent post.I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.
    cheap vps | windows vps | forex vps | ucvhost

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JoannePatter

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    terrific questions.! I will definitely use some of these on my next interview!

  • Donna_and_patricia_at_melissa_s_wedding_max50

    adminsecret

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Kayla:

    I am looking for a full time job as I was laid off from my position as a legal assistant from the law firm I worked for 12 years! It is a difficult time to find work with so many people unemployed and the job market so slow. I enjoyed reading your list of questions to ask during an interview! I think they were good ones and it shows you put some thought into taking a pro-active role before accepting a position. Thanks for sharing this with me! It is so important to find the right job - not just hurry back to work!

    Donna Thompson

  • Larry1

    OLANREWAJU

    about 5 years ago

    166 comments

    If anyone miss this, it could be dangerous!
    To all those that share this, the power is achieved.
    Great Deal!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    morethantype

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Great questions! Most of the info I've found elsewhere applied to management or sales and had nothing to do with admin positions. Wish I had some of these for past interviews.

  • Cscavatar_max600_max50

    ChurchSecretary

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    That is a fantastic set of questions, thanks for sharing them. It is ALWAYS in your best interest to ask questions (like the ones you posted) at an interview, not only for you to get better insight into the possible employer, but also to show interest in the position.

    Thanks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    akintunde

    over 5 years ago

    14 comments

    This article has really blessed and enriched me . I am in anticipation of another interview where I will make use of those sine-qua-none question and Iam definitely sure I willscale through.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kiyeta

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    BTW, I used these questions 2 months ago, and I got the job I interviewed for! Thank you so much for your assistance.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    armella

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Excellent questions to ask! Thank you.

  • Water_lilies_max50

    paydra2000

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Thanks, these questions are great! I usually ask about the benefit package, and then I'm done. I look forward to asking some of these because they give a peek into the company before getting hired or accepting the job.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ETSmith

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I think this is fabulous advice, because whenever I get to that part of an interview, I draw a blank. I hope this helps me in my upcoming interviews (when I get some scheduled), I appreciate any thing that might give me an advantage in the job search.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    DMV

    almost 6 years ago

    14 comments

    Please use these questions carefully. If the interviewer has covered this info already, and then you ask the question, you will look like you're not paying attention, which of course will turn them off to you. I have asked the question, "What is your management style?" They love that question! and if they say, "I micro manage" or "I'm never around so I won't be able to answer your questions." well, that tells you a lot about the job! Good luck!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    douglas1

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I love it, These questions make me feel powerful. I will never go to another interview without these question with me. I feel like a baby with a new piece off candy. Thank's so much.

Adminsecret School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use AdminSecret's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Photo_user_blank_big
cammonifas1975 submitted the article: "Nba Elite 11 Psp Megaupload", less than a minute ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
adfezambna1980 submitted the article: "Dww Mixed Boxing 264", less than a minute ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
smearconsbesub1980 submitted the article: "Pes06 Jsc Sport Scoreboard", less than a minute ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
cammonifas1975 submitted the article: "Midohits Com Amr Diab Hekayat Mp3", 1 minute ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
adfezambna1980 submitted the article: "Barrons German English Dictionary Worterbuch", 1 minute ago.