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Administrative Officer Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated November 27th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Do you have experience handling financial records and expenses?
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How to Answer
A part of your role as an Administrative Officer could include taking on financial and budgetary responsibilities. The interviewer wants to know that you can pay attention to critical financial details and keep records up to date. Walk the interviewer through your experience in maintaining financial records and handling company expenses. If you do not have experience with these types of tasks, that's okay! Express a desire to learn. Help the interviewer to feel confident in your ability to take on crucial financial management tasks.
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Top 30 Administrative Officer Interview Questions with Full Content
Do you have experience handling financial records and expenses?
A part of your role as an Administrative Officer could include taking on financial and budgetary responsibilities. The interviewer wants to know that you can pay attention to critical financial details and keep records up to date. Walk the interviewer through your experience in maintaining financial records and handling company expenses. If you do not have experience with these types of tasks, that's okay! Express a desire to learn. Help the interviewer to feel confident in your ability to take on crucial financial management tasks.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"For the past ten years I have taken great care of my company by preparing timely and accurate reports on expenses, office budgets, and other expenditures. I am also well versed in preparing travel arrangements for the managers and the executive team. I spend time preparing travel budgets and expense reports related to business travel. I am proud to say there has never been a discrepancy in my work. I am eager to bring this keen attention to detail to your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"While obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, I took some coursework on business financials. In these classes, I learned about expense reporting and balancing budgets. I am confident that I can quickly learn your processes and systems, delivering reliable and accurate financial reports for your business."
As an Administrative Officer, what do you believe is your best skill or asset?
This question is another way of asking, 'Why should we hire you?' or 'What are your greatest strengths?' Bragging about yourself in an interview can be tough to do, but this is your time to shine! Which skills and assets make you a stand-out candidate? Perhaps you have received some academic awards or have been given individual accolades in your most recent position. There is nobody like you, and now you need to express that to the hiring authority.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The best skill that I bring to this Administrative Officer position is my ability to look ahead and see needs into the near and longer-term future. For example, I have led many budget-saving initiatives in my current position by looking at the data and utilizing this data to show future trends. This skill positions me to help your company continue to break into new markets and exceed financial metrics."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My greatest asset, which will make me a stellar Administrative Officer, is the unwavering dedication I possess, which is uncommon in the workplace. As a student, my professors were always very responsive to my dedicated approach when it came to attending classes and being an active participant. You will not be disappointed in my performance if you choose to hire me."
What three words would you use to describe your approach to work?
The hiring authority would like to know how you describe your work ethic and the way that you approach your everyday workload. Perhaps you have had a boss, coworker, or professor talk about your work ethic or approach to work. You will want to ensure that your answer aligns well with the values of the company itself.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would describe my approach to work as focused, responsible, and organized. Once given a project or task, I like to figure out what the workflow will look like and decide which tools or resources I will need to engage in reaching my goals. My current boss has commented many times that she appreciates how I can keep myself and others focused on the task at hand."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am deadline-oriented; I like to follow processes, and I am highly collaborative. These strengths became evident during my post-secondary career, where I created and utilized helpful study guides. I never missed a school deadline and was able to manage my time very well, even during group projects."
By providing examples, tell me how you adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.
As an Administrative Officer, you will be required to work alongside a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds. One minute you may be booking travel for your CEO and the next, placing an order supply with a key vendor. Discuss a time when you have worked in a diverse environment and be sure to express to the interviewer that you embrace the experiences that their place of work will bring.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked in a variety of industries such as supply chain, logistics, and medical - all which attract a wide range of personalities and backgrounds. Currently, I work alongside our polished c-suite team and also spend time inside of our warehouse. This workload means one day I am in a board meeting taking notes, and the next, I am training our labor teams on new safety policies. I am often changing my approach and lingo to best suit those whom I am addressing. Rest assured, I am confident in my ability to approach and relate to a wide range of individuals within your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"While attending university, I had a variety of group projects where my teammates were pre-picked. I often needed to pivot my approach depending on the personality of those on my team. Sometimes I needed to be the leader, and other times, I needed to take a step back. I can tweak my approach based on who I am collaborating with, or assisting."
Have you ever created or updated office policies, manuals, or SOP's?
The interviewer is looking for specifics on your experience when it comes to creating or updating office policies and procedures. SOP's are Standard Operating Procedures which often need tweaking and updating as new situations arise or as regulations change. There are some fundamentals to creating documents that everyone can benefit from and fully get behind. These fundamentals include understanding the tone for each document, having a template that you use every time, and having a formal review or editing process in place.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current role I spend at least one day per week reviewing the SOP's that need updating. Last year, in collaboration with my executive team, I created a list of processes that I believed needed anything from small updates to complete overhauls. I continue to work my way through this list. Once I have completed a project, I will send it to the appropriate stakeholders for editing and final approval."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I experienced a small amount of this during my internship. I helped the senior Administrative Officer to spellcheck and edit about 50 different documents ranging from office memos, policies, training manuals, and safety manuals. I am confident that these are tasks I could handle on my own in the near future."
What do you believe are the top responsibilities of an Administrative Officer?
If you have worked as an Administrative Officer in the past, you will know that your duties could include:

- Maintaining inventory, supply inventory, and placing orders
- Maintaining and troubleshooting office equipment
- Keeping company databases maintained
- Updating office policies and procedures
- Scheduling meetings, events, and functions
- Preparing reports related to budgets and expenses
- Supporting associates, managers, staff, and your executive team
- Preparing travel arrangements for your team
- Organizing special events and company functions
- Creating presentation materials and meeting outlines

Using the responsibilities outlined in the company's job description, take your time expressing to the interviewer what you believe to be the primary functions of this role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that first and foremost, I am to be a reliable support to the executive team, department managers, and a variety of associates. In this role, it will be up to me to maintain budget reports and schedule travel arrangements for the executive team. I must also ensure that company records and policies are up to date and well-organized. There are many facets to this role; however, I believe that these are the primary responsibilities I will be facing."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my research, I believe that I will be scheduling meetings, taking inventory, and helping with everyday office functions such as troubleshooting office equipment and ordering supplies. I look forward to working my way into further responsibilities, such as making travel arrangements and planning corporate functions."
Would your former or current boss describe you as someone who gladly goes the extra mile to complete their tasks?
You can say that you will go the extra mile, but it's best to give a real-life example to the interviewer about a time when you did just that. Offer up your references, and discuss with the interviewer what you feel your most recent employer would say about you. Give examples of how you go the extra mile in the workplace. Some ways that employees will go the extra mile include:

- Starting on an upcoming project ahead of time, without being asked
- Taking action on any feedback that they receive from their manager
- Attending a class to improve a skill
- Reading a self-development book to help with communication at work
- Coming to meetings ready to brainstorm or, better yet, with ideas already jotted down
- Creating new ways for themselves or their team to maximize efficiency
- Going out of their way to make their customers happy

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As the lead Administration Officer, I am always creating new ways for myself and my team to maximize efficiency in our day. I often like to try out a new process to ensure that the owner of the company is getting his money's worth from our work. He will be a great reference for me when we get to that stage."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I sure think so! I have always put my best foot forward, and I very much dislike being bored. I go the extra mile whenever possible because that's what great employees do! I received very positive feedback from both of my internship experiences."
Describe a change you recently made that improved the performance of your work.
It's essential to always be in pursuit of excellence in the workplace. Improving your performance shows the interviewer that you are self-driven, a go-getter, and that you have a desire to enhance your skills. Give an example of a time when you chose to change a habit or process to improve your performance. This change could be something small, like cutting out one scheduled coffee break. Maybe you decided to organize your desk better, set a boundary with a chatty colleague, or cleaned up your computer's desktop.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I recently created a more thorough training manual for the new employees that we onboard. The information this new manual contains is detailed, and I find that I am answering fewer questions with new hires. The average learning curve has also improved. This change has allowed me to spend my time on other important matters."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I took a few hours last week to reorganize the file room. As an intern, that wasn't what my manager expected of me; however, she appreciated the added effort. Things were pretty messy in there, and I was finding myself losing time throughout the week, just searching for things. This week, I have noticed a major improvement in my time spent."
Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism? How did you make improvements based on the feedback?
This question is another way for an interviewer to ask you what your weaknesses are. Show that you want to grow as an Administrative Officer and that you can handle constructive criticism. As a professional, you know that feedback helps you learn and improve the quality of your work. Give examples that would not make you exempt from the role. For instance, one of the primary responsibilities of this role is calendar management; you would not want to discuss how disorganized you are.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Recently, I was instructed to create a PowerPoint presentation to promote one of our company's internal client appreciation events. After my manager reviewed my work, some of the slides required different wording, and he had different design concepts in mind. He had an overall look and design in mind, and since I did not, I listened to his ideas and incorporated them. I had the changes to him within four hours, and he was very pleased with how quickly I incorporated his feedback."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A couple of weeks ago, one of my professors suggested to me that I work to increase my typing speed. I did not think it was slow at all...about 60 words per minute, but he wanted me to speed up anyways. I have been taking typing tests at night to work on this skill. So far, I am at 72 words per minute, and I can already see how this pick up in speed will impact my productivity."
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
Solid communication skills are vital as an Administrative Officer since you are often the point of reference for many procedural and financial happenings within the business. In this role, you must be reliable both as a written and a verbal communicator. Your core talents may lean one way or another, and that is okay, but it's essential to show a desire to have skills in each communication method. Discuss with the interviewer in which manner you prefer to communicate, and then be sure to discuss how you are improving in the other.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am comfortable with both so it would depend on the message, I suppose. Big news needs to be communicated verbally and followed up in the written form. However, quick messages or simple changes can be communicated effectively through email without the hassle of breaking away from work for a call or meeting."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, wires can be crossed, due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression, and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
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