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Top 20 Admin Interview Questions

Question 1 of 20
Have you ever been overloaded with work? How did you manage?
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Question 2 of 20
How do you evaluate success in your day-to-day activities?
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"I define a day as successful when I have spent some time working on a project that I am passionate about, I have helped someone else succeed, and I have learned something new. These three factors would equal a very successful day for me."
How you view a victory can be a substantial determining factor on whether or not you will be a good fit for this particular role. Share with the interviewer your thoughts on success, and what a successful day would look like to you.

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Entry Level Example
"I would consider my day successful if I were to complete my tasks on time and deliver more than my employer expected of me. If I were to receive a pat on the back or a verbal accolade, even better."
Experienced Example
"To me, a successful day is one where I was able to learn a new task and apply it to help someone out. I enjoy days where my project deadlines are on time, with little resistance, and where my client recognize the hard work that I put forth for them."
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Question 3 of 20
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face as an administrator? How did you overcome it?
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"The most difficult situation that I had to face, as an administrator, was the time when our entire system went down for three days. Our IT department was fabulous when it came to their dedication to repairing the situation; however, many of our clients were incredibly frustrated and upset. I made individual phone calls to those whom we had contact information on, via paper source, and explained our situation. It was a lot of damage control, but my boss recognized me later for maintaining a calm disposition throughout all of it."
The interviewer would like to know how you react when it comes to workplace challenges, and what you would gauge as a problematic situation. If finding that a colleague has eaten your lunch is your example, chances are, the interviewer will see you as unable to handle substantial challenges. Use a relatable case and be sure to highlight what you did to overcome the situation and make the best of it. This question is not the time to complain about your jobs or co-workers. Keep your response as positive as possible.

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Entry Level Example
"While working as a server, I had a customer have a severe allergic reaction to one of the dishes he ordered. I followed our policy to call 911 and not interfere with any medical assistance unless fully trained, which I was not. It was a terrifying situation to be part of, but I naturally took on the role of calming down the people at surrounding tables and containing the situation on an emotional level. I knew from that situation that I was great under stress and pressure. The customer was okay in the end!"
Experienced Example
"A few years ago, my company went through an acquisition which put nearly all of our administrative team out of work. Being the most senior administrator on the team, I was the last to be let go which meant that nearly every Monday, for a few weeks, someone new was laid off and I would have to take over their responsibilities. It was a very disheartening and upsetting situation; however, I promised myself that I would remain collected and professional through my final moments with the company. They offered me a glowing reference which helped me to secure a good job quite quickly afterward."
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Question 4 of 20
How well do you work in a cross-departmental environment?
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"In my current role, I work closely with the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable departments, primarily when it comes time to close out a project or close a client account. I like these bits of exposure to other departments because it gives me a deeper perspective into how our company operates, making me all that more knowledgeable!"
Working in a cross-departmental environment is one where teams from different groups, or business units, work together to achieve a common goal. This situation could mean that administrators are working with the accounting department, or marketing and sales work together to reach a particular result. A cross-departmental collaboration can often involve working with people in varying seniority offering you a broader range of exposure to the business. Show the interviewer that you are excited about these cross-collaboration opportunities. If you have exposure to this type of working environment, discuss it.

More Answer Examples
Entry Level Example
"I have not had exposure to a cross-departmental environment; however, I do understand the concept. I think it would be great to have that added exposure to professionals in different areas and see that as a valuable learning opportunity."
Experienced Example
"I have worked many years in situations like this, collaborating with everyone from summer interns to the c-suite. I love collaborating with people from all walks of life and levels of experience. In my current role, I cross over most often with the human resources department, especially on matters of terminations, onboarding and benefits claims."
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Question 5 of 20
Are you comfortable handling a very busy, multi-line phone system?
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"In my current role I work with three phone lines, and would estimate that I received about five calls per line, per hour. So, on average, I would say that I answer between 100-125 calls per day. In addition to these calls, I also reply to about 60-80 emails and a handful of walk-ins. I am confident in my ability to handle your multi-line phone system."
The interviewer would like to know more about the volume of calls you are accustomed to taking, on an average day. If you are an experienced administrator, you probably know this answer off the top of your head. Think about how many hours per day you work, how many lines you handle on a daily basis, and how often you find yourself picking up a new call.

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Entry Level Example
"I do not have experience with a multi-line phone system; however, I am very tech savvy and am highly confident in my abilities to learn. I understand that you have a strong training program in place as well. I look forward to showing you what I can do!"
Experienced Example
"I have worked with up to a 10-line switchboard and have also trained other new administrators on the use of multi-line systems. I consider myself an expert with multi-line systems and do not doubt that I could handle the call volume here."
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Question 6 of 20
As an administrator, what do you believe is your best asset?
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Question 7 of 20
Why do you want a career as an administrator?
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Question 8 of 20
What is your secret to a successful career as an administrator?
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Question 9 of 20
What is your proudest achievement in your administrator career?
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Question 10 of 20
What types of projects do you get excited to work on?
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Preview Behavioral Interview Questions with Admin Answer Examples
1. Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. How did you successfully interact with this person?
"I once worked for an executive who was very difficult in meetings and with interacting with groups of others. I took it upon myself to help this person interact better with others. When she would bark orders, I would reiterate what she was trying to say to the group more professionally. It took some time, but she learned to behave in a way that made people want to work with her."
2. Tell me about a time when you were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?
"My team and I were recently under a deadline to complete a global employee satisfaction survey. Our deadline was set to execute the project from start to finish within six weeks. Before beginning, we came across one main roadblock that was going to prevent us from accomplishing this. Global customs would take six weeks to ship the surveys in and out of the facility. We came up with a solution to email the surveys and still include the coding that would catalog the results by location and department. It was our transparency in communications and collaborative work environment that helped us meet the deadline and deliver the results to the leadership team."
3. Tell me about a time when you worked with a person who did things very differently than you. How did you collaborate?
"My coworker in HR had a completely different working style than me, even down to how we organized files. I made a list of the areas in which we conflicted, and sat together to understand each person's thought processes. We divided up tasks that would be better suited for one person to do (instead of both), compromised on some procedures, and powered through the rest by understanding each other."
4. What is your greatest work related accomplishment to date?
"My greatest accomplishment is actually from my time in University. I graduated top of my Business Administration class while also holding down a full-time admin job. It was a true success story, and it encouraged me!"
5. Tell me about a time when you had to learn something new within a short deadline.
"When I first began my administration career, I started as a temp with an agency. Placed in a variety of roles that changed weekly and sometimes even daily, I often jumped into roles where there was a lot to learn in a short time. Deadlines were often due yesterday. I utilized and maximized my resources to the fullest. I learned about plenty of industries and best of all, had fun doing it!"
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Preview Competency Interview Questions with Admin Answer Examples
1. Give me an example of a challenge you overcame in your last position.
"When starting my last role, there were 35 critical leadership openings in the business. It was causing a huge challenge for the businesses to function and meet their key initiatives. I worked closely partnering with talent acquisition to accomplish the successful hiring and training of all roles."
2. How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?
"I have learned over the years that if something makes me uncomfortable, I better dive right into it. Change and growth happen outside of your comfort zone. I embrace this!"
3. Name a few things you were asked to do in your most recent position that you weren't necessarily trained to do. How did you cope?
"I worked for a lean organization that had a lot of crossover between HR, Marketing and IT. Often, I would be asked to perform the functions of a department for which I did not work. We are all on the same team so I would figure out what to do and get it done, then later recommend a process to better handle the type of situation in the future."
4. How has your current job changed over the years?
"Change is a constant in my current role as I work with a rapidly growing organization. In the beginning, I was the one doing the bulk of the administrative work where over the years, I began leading a team to accomplish those same goals. You could say I grew professionally as much as the business did!"
5. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?
"Keep it simple silly! If you cannot explain a concept simply, then you do not understand it well enough. I recently rolled out a complex compensation plan with many anomalies. I took the approach to share a broad overview and provide detail for reference. I often try to make analogies or share complex information in the form of a story."
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Preview Leadership Interview Questions with Admin Answer Examples
1. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
"I possess great leadership qualities that include diligence, tenacity, and open communication. I look forward to taking these skills to work for you!"
2. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?
"Just last week my boss had a personal emergency and could not make it in time for our monthly staff meeting. Everyone gathered, and so he called to ask me to take control of the meeting. I feel that I did a great job relaying the information and my boss was thankful for the way that I was able to step in."
3. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a situation but the outcome was disappointing.
"I took control of our company's most recent hiring fair, in the absence of our HR Manager, as she was on maternity leave. It was not as successful as previous hiring fairs and, despite my best efforts, I didn't see the results that I was hoping. I will continue to learn the recruiting field and won't give up despite this disappointment."
4. Have you ever had to give an employee a poor performance review? How did you feel about that responsibility?
"Yes, I have had to give critical employee reviews to temporary associates before. It is a task that I do no love doing but can do it."
5. Have you ever helped to implement a significant company change in one of your past roles?
"I made a suggestion last year that we install a higher quality coffee machine in our office rather than continue to purchase the disposable coffee pods. We calculated that the savings would be about $12,000 per year plus the positive environmental impact."
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Preview Teamwork Interview Questions with Admin Answer Examples
1. Tell me about the most rewarding experience you have had, working in a team environment. What made it so rewarding?
"One of my most rewarding teamwork experiences was while I was attending University. I learned so much by working with my classmates. I gained new problem-solving skills and learned a lot from their research preferences."
2. If asked, how do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
"I believe my coworkers would describe me as personable, reliable, and easy-going. We all seem to get along great because we work off of each others' strengths."
3. What role do you usually take in team projects?
"When it comes to team projects I do not mind taking a backseat and, rather than being the leader, being more of an administrator. I like to organize data and analyze progress rather than lead others."
4. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
"Yes, I think it is possible! What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree; however, you have to communicate your thoughts professionally."
5. Give an example of when your team motivated you. How did this gesture enhance your performance?
"It can be easy to lose steam on a project when things do not go your way. If anyone on our team loses motivation due to setbacks, we are sure to encourage each other by focusing on what went right. It's a great tactic that works well for all of us!"
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Practice More Interviews

Behavioral
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Question 11 of 20
What are your favorite apps and technical resources?
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Question 12 of 20
How do you keep your digital files organized?
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Question 13 of 20
Walk me through a typical day in your most recent position.
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Question 14 of 20
Being at the front desk, how do you minimize distractions?
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Question 15 of 20
If you could take any admin related coursework, what would you choose?
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Question 16 of 20
What are the latest versions of Microsoft Office you have used? Rate your level of comfort in the suite of programs, from 1-10.
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Question 17 of 20
Describe the office environment in which you best thrive.
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Question 18 of 20
In which ways can an administrator contribute to a company's overall success?
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Question 19 of 20
What technical, and computer skills, do you possess?
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Question 20 of 20
Have you ever trained or coached another administrator?
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About Admin

May 15th, 2018

Administrators will have several duties in an office environment. Some of these functions include; greet clients and vendors, answer telephone calls, direct phone calls to proper personnel, organize office equipment, keep office supplies in inventory, organize events, coordinate meetings, assist other team members, coordinate travel arrangements, and many other functions.

An administrator should have the following characteristics to excel at their career; positive, upbeat attitude, motivated to succeed, capable of multi-tasking. They should have the ability to work under a heavy workload, treasure their organizational skills, excel at communication (both written or oral). Lastly, they should be capable of presenting themselves in a professional manner and have a passion for their work.

Interview questions to prepare yourself for an administrator interview will include teamwork questions, customer service questions, and leadership questions. You should be able to give examples of when you have worked under stress and heavy workloads. Think of a few examples of when you have solved a customer's problem or handled an angry customer. Almost all interviews open with the question, Tell me about yourself. Start the conversation strong by providing your background and why you chose to apply for this company. Describe your passion for the company and how this job would align perfectly with your career goals.

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