CT Staffing and Recruiting News

The latest advice and best practices in hiring and careers.

Interviewing Administrative Assistants? Ask these questions

It’s one thing to know what qualities you want in an employee.  It’s quite another to know how to identify them.

Today, we’d like to offer you a little help!  As we mentioned in an earlier post on staffing agency lead-time, a great administrative assistant should have: strong computer/technical skills; proven organizational and project management skills; the ability to prioritize; and excellent written and oral communication skills.

But just how, exactly, do you identify those qualities?

It starts with asking the right administrative assistant interview questions.  Here is a list of our recruiters’ favorite questions for identifying exceptional support staff:

Computer/Technical Skills.

Ask targeted questions that reveal an understanding of/proficiency levels in software programs, operating systems, social media and other technology you use:

  • What are the two types of technology that are indispensable in your job? Why?
  • We use [insert software program] at our company. What do you know about this program, and how have you used it?
  • Note: Always back up the interviewee’s claims with valid skills assessments.

Organizational Skills.

Determine whether or not the interviewee can independently organize and prioritize work.

  • How do you plan your time each day? Each week?
  • How do you prioritize multiple tasks when you have little time left in your afternoon to complete them?
  • Alternate: Create a scenario-based question, specific to your available position, that requires the candidate to explain how he would approach/organize/tackle a complex project.

Communication Skills.

Identify individuals who are both articulate and good listeners.

  • How do you handle challenging clients or internal customers?
  • Explain a complex project you participated in. What was your role?  (Look for logical thinking and a clear explanation.)
  • In what areas are you truly an expert?  (This has less to do with experience, and more with the candidate’s ability to clearly explain how and why they’re an expert at something.)


Look for evidence that a candidate is enthusiastic about supporting others within an organization.

  • How do you stay motivated when you’re assigned mundane or repetitive work?
  • What do you enjoy most about working in a support role?
  • What attracted you to the administrative field?

As you know, the right administrative assistant can be an invaluable asset to your busy team.  So take care when hiring!  Use these questions to identify superstars who can keep your company running smoothly, every day.

A.R. Mazzotta has the resources, experience and processes, including skills assessments to verify candidates’ abilities, to help you hire the best administrative professionals in Connecticut. Contact us today to learn more about our direct hire services for administrative staff.

Looking for more interviewing questions? Read this earlier post on questions you should ask CT customer service representatives.