Top Questions to Ask Administrative Candidates

Every business owner knows that the overall success in any company is only as good as its administrative professionals. They keep the staff motivated and on task, help collaborative projects run smoothly and keep the day-to-day details organized. They are the first responders when a crisis breaks out, and the gatekeeper of mission-critical details about clients and employees alike.


The role of an administrative assistant has evolved over time. That’s why it’s essential that hiring teams screen these candidates thoroughly. Administrative professionals, whether contingent workers or permanent hires, need to harness a mix of technological skills and interpersonal skills, and in many cases must be firm yet friendly with co-workers of all levels. Here are five interview questions that will reveal if this candidate is your ideal administrative employee.

5 Interview Questions that Reveal Everything

Can you tell me about a time you helped with crisis management?

Getting an understanding of the candidate’s ability to think and act in crisis situations will give you insight into their ability to keep the workplace running smoothly. This answer will also give an idea of their work experience and level of commitment, which is especially important to know when working with contingent laborers. You need to probe enough so you get a specific example, one that shows you the types of skills the candidate used to help put out the fire.

What is your greatest achievement at work?

This will give you a little more detail about the work history of the candidate, as well as insight about their potential. Listen carefully to what the applicant considers an achievement. This will show you what they consider important. Administrative professionals often have to wear many hats; the answer to this question will show you what this candidate views as a priority in their profession.

What interested you most in this position? Why did you apply for this job?

Some applicants are interested in a paycheck and some are looking for a career they can be passionate about. If you want a new hire who will commit to your company’s success, then you definitely want the second. The answer to this question will reveal which type of administrative employee this candidate will be.

How do you see your position impacting the overall success of the company?

Answers to this question can show hiring teams how the candidate views themselves in relation to the larger mission of the company, which is especially important in administrative jobs. If the candidates can see how this position fits into the big picture, it shows that they understand how their responsibilities influence the success of their co-workers and the company as a whole.

What kinds of technology have you worked with?

From setting up conference calls to managing complex databases, administrative professionals need a strong technological skill set. These employees are no longer seen as secretaries or typists; they are essential support personnel. Understanding what types of technology they have worked with will give you an idea of how much training and onboarding they will need.

At Malone Staffing Solutions, we understand the high value of a good administrative professional. We have matched talented assistants in both contingent settings and permanent positions. Whether you’re looking for a new hire or someone to take the reins temporarily, we can help you find the best administrative professionals in your area. Give us a call today!


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