If you are sitting for an executive assistant interview, you should be prepared to be asked certain questions to prove to the interviewers that you are the right person for the job.
This post provides exhaustive samples of common executive assistant interview questions you can use in your preparation for the interview so that you can go there with confidence and give a superlative performance.
What do Interviewers look for in an Executive Assistant?
Interviewers typically look for several qualities in the executive assistant they want to hire. They are interested in someone that is highly organized and detail-oriented, an excellent communicator with strong work ethic; a self-starter and confident individual.
10 Most Common Executive Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
Here are common interview questions (with suggested answers) that you can expect to be asked for an executive assistant position:
- What are your strengths?
A lot of things! I’m very organized, I take pride in my work, I enjoy working with others, and I am confident.
2. Tell me about a project you excelled at.
A great example of a project where I excelled is when I took initiative to take on some responsibility at work.
A high-volume customer service team had just joined the company, and they were receiving tons of inquiries that required immediate responses.
I suggested that we put together a more streamlined process for handling the same inquiries more quickly by streamlining e-mail replies.
This would help us train new members of the team quicker, as well as respond to customers quicker.
After implementing my strategy, we saw that our response time improved by 64%.
3. What does an executive assistant do?
An executive assistant is responsible for providing administrative support to an executive, typically the CEO.
The assistant will take care of things like scheduling meetings, answering phones, booking travel, managing expense reports, and coordinating with other executives.
4. What skills should I have to be an executive assistant?
You should have excellent communication skills as an executive assistant and should be able to convey information to different levels of personnel in a company.
You should also have strong interpersonal skills to maintain relationships with co-workers and work well under pressure.
Being an organized individual will enable you to be able to manage your boss’s schedule efficiently.
Finally, you should constantly strive to improve yourself, whether it is taking online courses or continuing education programs in order to expand your knowledge base.
5. What is the difference between executive and personal assistant?
Typically an executive assistant works for top-level individuals in a company, such as the CEO or a high-level manager.
A personal assistant generally works for a private individual and will handle things like scheduling activities, answering phones/e-mails, purchasing gifts or items they need, etc.
A personal assistant might handle their boss’s schedule in addition to handling other tasks. A top-level executive assistant typically has several executive assistants who they manage in the same way that a high-level manager would manage their own staff.
6. How do you prioritize multiple projects?
I will look at all of my current projects and determine which one will yield the best results. I will put all of my effort into completing that project before turning to other projects.
7. How many years of experience do you have under your belt in this field?
I worked for over five years as an executive assistant, managing several different executives’ schedules, answering phones/e-mails, and organizing travel plans. This gave me a great deal of experience in projecting the work of management.
8. What has been the biggest accomplishment you’ve had to date?
The most significant accomplishment I have made was when I streamlined my boss’s e-mail process and saw an improvement in response time by 64%.
This shows that I am great at multitasking and seeing projects through until completion.
9. Why do you choose to work at our Company?
I am very interested in your company because it is one of the leading businesses in our industry. I will be able to learn new skills while working in the exciting corporate environment.
10. How does our company compare to Company Y?
Our company is very similar to Company Y in that they are both successful, growing industries with large budgets.
I have experience working for an organization similar to your own so I can easily fit into the existing culture and workflow at this Company.
More Sample Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
Here are additional executive assistant interview questions to boost your preparation for the interview:
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- How do you handle challenges on the job?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Are you good at time management and prioritizing tasks?
- Give me an example of a decision where you had to prioritize conflicting needs.
- Can you describe for me some of the projects that you have managed before, what was this project about?
Sample Case Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- What is your greatest strength?
- What are some things you would like to work on in the next year?
- How do you feel about having a boss who doesn’t make mistakes?
- Who are you? Tell me about yourself.
- Did you read my bio on LinkedIn, what else should it include?
Sample Competency Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
1. Can you provide examples of your experience providing administrative support for an executive?
2. How quickly do you think you could handle requests for assistance with project-related tasks, scheduling, and travel arrangements?
3. What are your thoughts on taking on added responsibilities when needed to meet deadlines?
4. Would you say that you are self-driven to take on new tasks in order to learn more about the position or company?
5. What qualities would you say make a great EA?
Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- What would you do if an emergency came up and the executive assistant was not available to handle it?
- Are you a team player? Give us an example of your teamwork skills.
- How well do you know Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook email program, Outlook calendar and Windows software? Can you show us your skill set by doing this task quickly (within 60 seconds)? Afterward, take five minutes to solve this computer problem.
- Tell me about what motivates you in life; your professional and personal goals; why should you be interviewing for this position with another candidate today instead of tomorrow; what makes someone like yourself an asset to our organization right now?
- Tell me about how you manage your boss’s schedule.
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- How long have you worked as an executive assistant?
- What is your favorite part of being an EA?
- In what situation would you expect to be contacted by a client?
- What would you do if your boss had a meeting scheduled with an important client and they were running late?
- What would you do if the printer is broken at work, what’s your plan of action?
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- What is the best way to manage an administrative position with constant interruptions coming from co-workers, executives, and external people like customers or vendors?
- Do you think that it’s fair for CEOs to sometimes expect their assistants (or team members) to work late hours – either early mornings or late evenings without extra compensation?
- How many pens do you keep on hand at all times?
- Would you rather be an assistant to a CEO who is consistently unorganized and some days can’t even remember his or her own schedule, or one that works as efficiently as possible every day without fail?
- If a co-worker was being rude to you, how would you handle it as executive assistant?
Sample Interpersonal Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- What is your greatest strength in working with people?
- When dealing with difficult situations, how do you respond best? (i.e. calmly, bluntly.)
- Describe what it was like meeting your current boss.
- Where were you born and raised?
- When have you had to convince someone of something in the past year?
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Executive Assistants
- What is our company’s core value?
- How do you define success at the company?
- What part do you like the most about working here?
- Do people work in teams or individually, and why do you think that works well for our organization?
- Do employees get compensated based on performance or seniority, and what does compensation generally look like (hourly rate, salary, commission)?
Sample Technical Questions for Executive Assistants
- Describe a difficult situation at work.
- How do you stay organized as an executive assistant?
- What is your favorite task to do as an assistant?
- How would you handle a situation where the boss wants something and there’s no time for that project and you can’t even get on their calendar because they’re so busy?
- List three traits that describe the perfect executive assistant.
Executive Assistant Interview Success Tips
You’re interviewing for an executive assistant position and you want to give a great performance, here are some tips you can apply to make a success outing:
1. Use a mirror or video camera to practice your answers to the questions.
2. Take time to prepare for the questions that will be asked at the interview with the sample executive assistant interview questions provided on this page.
3. Read the questions from a piece of paper, which will allow you to avoid sounding rehearsed.
4. You want to answer the questions as fully as possible. You want a complete answer rather than a quick one-word response.
5. Always try your best at all times and be honest in your answers.
6. Do some background research on the company before the interview and learn something about the industry in which it operates. This will help you to impress your interviewer with insightful questions.
7. Be enthusiastic about your answers when responding to tough questions. Your enthusiasm will make a positive impression on your interviewer.
If you’re interviewing for a position as an executive assistant, it’s important that you prepare beforehand to correctly answer the questions that will be thrown at you and come into the interview with confidence.
It will make all the difference in your success rate!
The more research you do on company culture and how they operate from day to time, the better prepared you’ll be to answer questions about their core values or what makes them successful overall.
In order to show enthusiasm when answering tough questions, take some deep breaths before responding so that your voice doesn’t sound shaky or nervous.
And finally, practice with someone who is playing the role of the interviewer so that everything goes smoothly during your big moment.