Why this matters:

Administrative assistants must be detail-oriented and organized. Because they are primarily responsible for scheduling meetings and keeping track of important deadlines, they must be able to manage and prioritize tasks in order for supervisors and other employees to successfully complete their projects.

What to listen for:

  • A proactive approach to establishing hard deadlines with their supervisor
  • A clear understanding of expectations for every assigned project
  • An ability to create an effective roadmap of tasks according to their deadlines

Why this matters:

In order to monitor various projects and meetings, administrative assistants should have experience with different types of project management software. Whether they’re creating an internal budget or report or overseeing a virtual webinar, their familiarity with technological tools will allow them to complete their tasks more efficiently.

What to listen for:

  • Past experience using different software for project or office management
  • A willingness to learn and master new programs to improve workflow
  • An ability to use a variety of digital tools according to the needs of a task

Why this matters:

Administrative assistants must pay keen attention to detail, especially when they are tasked with reviewing important company documents or time-sensitive data. They should be able to proofread quickly and efficiently, identifying and resolving any potential spelling, grammar, or  stylistic errors.

What to listen for:

  • Proven experience in proofreading and reviewing various types of documents
  • An ability to quickly edit and submit consistent data reports on a regular basis
  • Attention to detail that allows the candidate to closely identify errors

Why this matters:

Although the goal is to be aligned on all projects, there may come a time when opinions differ. It’s important for administrative assistants to communicate clearly and problem-solve with supervisors when disagreements arise. To complete projects successfully, administrative assistants must demonstrate flexibility and be able to work toward an action plan that works for both parties.

What to listen for:

  • An ability to explain their rationale behind a decision
  • A willingness to collaborate with supervisor and brainstorm effective solutions
  • Flexibility with certain expectations as long as they guarantee successful project completion

Why this matters:

At times, supervisors and employees may assign responsibilities for tasks that are not clear. There are multiple approaches that administrative assistants can take to fully understand  expectations. They can conduct independent research or request clarification. Regardless of their approach, a proactive administrative assistant will ensure that they know all the details of an assignment to complete it successfully.

What to listen for:

  • Strong verbal communication skills that allow the assistant to facilitate productive conversations
  • An ability to research and identify clarifying information independently
  • A willingness to collaborate with others when a task is unclear

Why this matters:

While it is normal to make the occasional mistake, strong administrative assistants strive to minimize future occurrences by acknowledging their shortcomings and identifying solutions. They are intentional in partnering with their supervisor to ensure that their next action steps help mitigate the consequences of their error.

What to listen for:

  • Proven experience in identifying and executing solutions for a previous error
  • Transparency when acknowledging one’s mistakes
  • An ability to reflect on previous shortcomings while action planning to minimize potential mistakes in the future

Why this matters:

Because administrative assistants have access to many confidential documents and are present at meetings that discuss sensitive topics, they must know how to exercise caution during all of their interactions. Especially when they are aware of certain business decisions that can impact employee morale, they must be able to have professional discussions that omit revealing details.

What to listen for:

  • Professionalism when it comes to handling highly confidential information
  • An ability to be selective with details during interactions with other employees
  • An ability to accurately identify sensitive information

 

Why this matters:

There will be times when administrative assistants need to help supervisors or other employees complete certain tasks that come with tight deadlines. They may be asked to step in as additional support and help fulfill time-sensitive assignments by conducting effective research and collecting information.

 

What to listen for:

  • An ability to facilitate effective research and collect necessary data for an assignment
  • Clear verbal and written communication skills that allow the candidate to explain their thinking 
  • A clear demonstration of how the candidate contributes to a positive, collaborative environment

Why this matters:

Administrative assistants may have to quickly familiarize themselves with updated or new procedures in order to maximize their efficiency and demonstrate flexibility. When it comes to supporting different employees with a variety of tasks, the assistant’s familiarity with certain processes can help streamline project completion.

What to listen for:

  • A willingness to quickly learn new business procedures
  • An ability to adjust to sudden changes while ensuring that workflow is not disrupted
  • An openness to accepting new responsibilities that maximize company efficiency
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