Executive Assistant Interview Answers
An executive assistant has a numerous amount of tasks he or she is responsible for. He or she does everything including helping the executive with everyday activities, scheduling meetings, managing contacts, tracking budget, assisting in writing proposals and conducting presentations, and handling travel arrangements and e-mailings. The interviewer is seeking someone who is able to do all of the above. Listed below are five questions typically asked during interviews for an executive assistant position. Each question is followed by guidelines you must adhere to in order to respond to the question successfully.
1) What are your writing skills like?
Because you are going to be an assistant to someone in an executive position, you must be able to write well, as many of the duties require it. You should respond with:
-“I have developed very strong writing skills through my (relevant class, relevant internship) in which I wrote (type of paper, article, novel, essay).”
-“I normally go through a process which consists of creating an outline, identifying the main purpose, and structuring it so that is understandable to read.”
“I like to be concise and direct to get to the main point. I am also very cautious of grammatical errors.”
2) Has your ability to keep things confidential ever been questioned?
You must answer “no” to this question. Responding in the affirmative will make them hesitant to hire you, as keeping one’s trust is key in being one’s assistant. You must:
-Answer in the negative and give examples of how you demonstrated your trustworthiness (be sure not to reveal anyone’s private matters in doing so!)
-You can explain how much you value confidentiality, especially in a position like this
3) Are you comfortable working closely with the CEO and being the go-to person for the projects?
You must answer “yes” to this question. Responding in the negative will make them hesitant to hire you, as working closely with the executive is required as his assistant. You must:
-Answer in the affirmative and give examples of how you have worked closely with other people of authority in your past experiences
-Explain how working closely with them has allowed you to build a professional relationship and learn a lot from them from the constant communication
4) How well do you deal with pressure and deadlines?
Express to them that both of these do not shake you, as you do well either way. You should say that you:
-Thrive under pressure
-Are trained to working in a fast-paced environment
-Can give an instance of when you were able to meet a quick deadline
-Can describe what the results were from the projects
5) What computer skills do you have?
In today’s world, an executive assistant’s computer skills are essential. You must then list programs that you are proficient in or are familiar with. Keep in mind that you should not only name the programs, but also mention what exactly you can do with them:
-Say that you are proficient with MS Excel and can create spreadsheets for data entry, can create pivot tables, and look up functions
-Say that you are proficient with MS Word and can not only write word documents but also use images on it and create tables and charts
-Say that you are proficient with MS Powerpoint and can create presentations using flash, import images from external areas, and make presentations more appealing to the eye by designing creative schemes
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