If your well-written admin resume and cover letter have gotten you through to the next stage, preparing for your admin job interview is the next challenge.

Aside from general job interview advice, it's important to really focus on the type of administration, job like an administrative assistant, you are applying for so you're fully prepared to sell yourself on the day.

Think of the interview as your opportunity to demonstrate that you have an excellent grasp of administration skills, experience and strengths. That you are perfect for the administrative assistant role with great organizational skills, computer skills, time management deal with multiple tasks and that you can out compete any other administrative assistants that the hiring manager is meeting with.

So, where should you begin? Start with these five essential admin job interview tips.

1. Refamiliarise yourself with the job description

It could be weeks since you last looked at the job description, so now is the time to revisit it and make sure you understand the role inside and out.

Read through the JD several times to identify what key core skills they are looking for, and then do the reverse – take a step back and try to picture what kind of employee they want overall.

For example, you may deduce they want someone who is very hands-on and can handle several duties at a time, or perhaps the role requires someone who is more analytical and can suggest solutions to create more office and business efficiencies.

RELATED: How to tailor your resume to a job description

2. Research the company

Next, do some in-depth research on the company to find out other important factors such as: business mission, culture, CEO and executive team members, company divisions and areas of operation. This information should feed into your initial interpretation of the role and company that you gained from reading the job description.

Remember, if you're using a recruiter, reach out to them to find out more about how you can do well in the job interview – that's what they are there for

3. Prepare specific answers to interview questions

Imagine yourself in the role as defined in the job description and try to think of real-world situations that can form the basis of your answers during the interview such as administrative assistant interview questions.

Going to this level of thought and detail will reflect well with your interviewer, as you're demonstrating the additional time you've given to this administration job compared to the other candidates.

It also means your answer will link back to the role more naturally if you can already see yourself carrying out what will be expected of you.

Based on the question “Why did you apply for this role?”, here's an example of a generic answer versus a well thought-out, specific answer:

Generic: I've applied for this job because I'm ready for my next career move and saw it as a great opportunity.

Specific: I've had X years as an administration professional – during which time I have honed my skills in strategic planning and verbal and written communication skills. I have a proven track record of [mention positive results/outcomes] with my company stakeholders, so I feel I'm ready to bring this into your company, which I know values innovation, proactiveness and finding efficiencies.

Run through this list of 6 common questions in a job interview and link it back to your administration experience. Administration professionals are also relied upon for their excellent soft skills, so be sure to highlight them in the job interview.

4. Prepare your own interview questions

Just like you've prepared administration-specific responses for the recruiter's questions, it can't hurt to prepare some of your own. The more specific questions you ask, the clearer the answers will be from the interviewer regarding the job at hand. Perhaps you've thought out a specific scenario during your day-to-day, such as stakeholder and management support:

  • How closely will you be working alongside them and how much support do they actually need?

  • And how do they each define “support” exactly?

  • How often are last minute high-priority tasks coming through and is this a result of the business operations or is there anything you can put in place to make this more efficient and streamlined?

  • Were any procedures put in place previously but were not followed through? Why?

  • Remember that you are just as responsible to ask questions of your interviewer as they are of you. This gives you the best opportunity to determine if they are the right company fit and if the administration role is what you want for your career.

    RELATED: 7 questions to ask at your second interview

    5. Plan your interview attire

    First impressions count, so remember to plan ahead and get your interview outfit sorted before the day.

    If the company is an organisation in a corporate white-collar industry, you should dress and look the part. The same applies if you are applying for a blue- or pink-collar job. The rule here is simple: strongly reflect the workplace you are hoping to work at.

    RELATED: What to wear to a job interview (and other considerations)

    Don't forget about personal grooming. Looking untidy or dressing inappropriately for your administration job interview will hurt your chances, so ensure this factor isn't overlooked. It's about demonstrating to your potential future employer that you are a professional and ready to represent their company, image and reputation to the highest standard.

    In your next administrative assistant interview, it's important to showcase your skills and attention to detail, as these are qualities highly valued by hiring managers. Demonstrating your ability to handle multiple tasks efficiently will make a strong impression on the hiring managers during the interview.

    Searching for an admin job? Explore our open roles or talk to our specialist recruitment consultants today.


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