Executive Assistants assist top officials of the organizations in their tasks. In this respect, Executive Assistants play an important role in organizations. Their duties include answering telephone calls, finalizing meetings, guiding visitors, replying to emails, and so on.
If you are proactive, efficient, interactive, and courteous, you qualify for this position. For Executive Assistant jobs, employers seek candidates with good interpersonal skills. For other job positions, hiring managers evaluate candidates’ educational background and professional experience, but the selection criteria have another layer. Interviewers assess detailed competency and check whether the candidate can maintain confidentiality.
Executive Assistants work alongside executives, which means they may have to deal with confidential information.
Typical Introductory Questions
Generally, the interviews begin with general questions. The purpose of preliminary questions is to get the basic information about you, such as your qualification, experience, and interests. Experience in working with executives will give you an edge.
Sometimes, you may have to work in a busy working environment. Hiring managers would ask questions that help them to evaluate your stress handling abilities. You may have to complete your work within tight deadlines and that too, without any mistake.
Executive Assistant job involves certain responsibilities; as a result, it requires you to maintain confidentiality. The Executive Assistants may have to use credit cards for making travel arrangements for executives. Similarly, they may have access to executives’ emails to convey executives’ messages to the concerned parties promptly.
The interviewers tend to ask the questions that help them to evaluate how responsible you are.
The following are the commonly asked questions to assess your responsibility level.
- In your view, what type of data/information is highly confidential or sensitive?
- How do you manage computer data, files, emails, or documents that contain confidential information?
- If your co-worker asks you about any information related to your boss, what would be your response?
Excellent Communication Skills
Companies expect Executive Assistants to possess high-level communication skills because they are representatives of Executives. As an Executive Assistant, you have to communicate both internally and externally. For this position, you need to be well-versed in both verbal and written communication.
You are the company’s face, so you need to use formal and appropriate language in your internal and external communication. To evaluate your communication skills, hiring managers generally ask the following questions.
- Tell us about the occasion when you dealt with an angry or inconsiderate client who was unwilling to hear “No” as a response.
- Describe how you decline a meeting request on behalf of your company’s executive?
- What is your action when your boss asks you to get an appointment from someone who is not easily accessible?
Multi-tasking and Prioritizing
An Executive Assistant job requires you to perform various tasks. Also, you need to prioritize these tasks. Today’s work environment is quite busy, and that is why you should prioritize the tasks at hand.
The following are the questions that evaluate candidates’ multi-tasking abilities.
· A board meeting does not end at its scheduled time. Your boss is running late for another appointment, which would start shortly, how would you convey this message to your boss?
·If your executive has to attend two-high level meetings, but the meetings’ timings overlap, how would you handle this situation?
·How would you prioritize the order if you have ten calls to return?
In a fast-paced environment, you need to have strong organizational skills to work as an Executive Assistant. Stress handling capabilities are of fundamental importance for a candidate. The following questions aim to assess your organizational skills and your abilities to handle stress.
- Tell us about the occasion when you felt exhausted at the workplace and how you handled this situation.
- Describe how you deal with tight deadlines or your action when you have to handle an emergency project?
- Explain how you organize yourself at your workplace and how you set your priorities.
In several organizations, executives work 8-hour during the working days. So, the executives may require their assistants to work outside their hours to prepare reports for them for the next day’s presentation. The hiring managers prefer candidates who show flexibility in the interviews. For this purpose, they ask you the following questions.
- Are you available to work outside your normal duty hours?
- Can you ensure your availability on weekends occasionally?
- Have you ever felt that your employer asked you to work more than your scheduled work?
Situational and Operational Questions
- Describe your work experience, which is relevant for this position.
- Explain you’re normal routine as an Executive Assistant. What are your expectations?
- Have you been an assistant of one or more than one individual? If so, how did you prioritize your duties?
- What would be your line of action if two people you support give you conflicting instructions?
- What type of reports and documents did you handle in your previous organization?
- If you are an Assistant of two people and give you conflicting directions, what would be your response, and how would you prioritize your tasks.
- Give us an example of the time when you worked on a challenging project involving different people. How you completed the project? Did you manage to achieve your objective as an Assistant?
- Your executive provides you with confidential information regarding the company’s possible merger with another organization. If your co-workers ask you what you know about the plans, then how would you handle this situation?
- What is the importance of maintaining confidentiality in an office environment?
- Highlight your experience of making national or international travel arrangements for your executive.
- How would you rate your skills in traveling with your seniors?
- Express your knowledge about this organization and industry in particular?
Executive Assistant is a multi-tasking job as you have to support Executives. Duties include booking national or international flights, preparing reports, handling emails, answering phone calls, and others. Importantly, you have to maintain confidentiality because you deal with sensitive information at your workplace. Stress-handling skill is also important for this job.
Executive Assistant Interview Questions
Executive Assistant Interview Questions. The article discusses questions that employers ask candidates in job interviews.