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Executive Assistant Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Executive Assistant interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Executive Assistant was written by and updated on April 12th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What computer systems do you have experience with?

How to Answer

When asking this question, interviewers evaluate to see if you are skilled with their current software platforms and computer systems. Additionally, they are checking to see how familiar you are with each of these systems. Some standard computer systems that an Executive Assistant uses are:

Microsoft Programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Outlook/Gmail
G-Suit Tools (Sheets, Docs, Forms, Slides)
Slack
Adobe
WordPress

Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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25 Executive Assistant Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. What computer systems do you have experience with?

      How to Answer

      When asking this question, interviewers evaluate to see if you are skilled with their current software platforms and computer systems. Additionally, they are checking to see how familiar you are with each of these systems. Some standard computer systems that an Executive Assistant uses are:

      Microsoft Programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
      Outlook/Gmail
      G-Suit Tools (Sheets, Docs, Forms, Slides)
      Slack
      Adobe
      WordPress

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "My current employer has elected to use G-Suite tools. I use these tools with expert knowledge and have developed training modules to ensure that other employees use them at an expert level. While my employer prefers G-Suite, I have a history of utilizing all Microsoft programs and have taken an Excel masterclass to ensure my skills stay sharp. Additionally, I'm comfortable with Slack, Adobe, and WordPress. Are these common tools for this position? Are there any others I should become familiar with?"

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

  • 2. Can you tell me about some common reports you prepare and their intended purpose?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this for several reasons. They want to validate how you handle data sources, presentation skills, organizational skills, and general business acumen. By answering this question thoughtfully, you can demonstrate your abilities around reporting best practices and how knowledgeable you are around business reports in general.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current role, I'm responsible for all business reports and presentation of the content. These reports range from travel expenses, file expense reports, monthly business reviews, and productivity reporting. I'm very familiar with these reports' general content, which makes errors or failing metrics easy to identify. From there, I partner with executives to build programs to improve those metrics or correct the reporting."

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

  • 3. Why do you want to leave your current employer?

      How to Answer

      There are many reasons an employer may ask this question. They are looking to see if you were let go or if you quit jobs often. The costs and effort of onboarding a new employee are fairly high, so when an interviewer asks this question, they are trying to figure out how long they think you will stay with the company.

      The importance here is to keep it positive. People rarely leave their employers because things are going well. Be honest but never speak poorly of your boss, peers, colleagues, or the company. This is also an opportunity to highlight all of your remarkable achievements.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I've been in my current position for four years now. During this time, I have served over 25 executives, developed processes, and launched Executive Assistant development programs. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with ABC Company, but having achieved all of the major milestones I have set for myself, I am now looking to be challenged and developed in a new venue."

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

  • 4. How do you organize your daily schedule?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers often ask this question because they want to make sure that you can self-manage and operate productively. Most Executives wish to avoid micromanagement and don't want to get too deep in the weeds with your work. They prefer to use high-level and manage overall strategy versus day-to-day operations.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 5. Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult client and how you managed that.

      How to Answer

      As an Executive Assistant, it's not uncommon to deal with difficult clients or coworkers, for that matter. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your maturity level and assess how you behave when others are difficult. They also want to know that you will manage situations like these without reflecting poorly on the company. Especially in the age of social media, navigating difficult clients mitigates public risk for the company.

      When answering this question, be sure to highlight a positive outcome of the situation.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 6. Can you share your approach to record keeping?

      How to Answer

      Record keeping is vital to any career, but especially an Executive Assistant role. Not only are you responsible for accurately keeping track of essential documents, but you are also responsible for strategically storing records in a way that you can easily retrieve them when needed. In many cases, businesses must keep documents for over a decade, creating many files to organize. Demonstrating your ability to design a record-keeping approach is a great way to show you are an asset as an Executive Assistant.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 7. Can you share what qualities you feel are the most valuable as an Executive Assistant?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers often ask questions such as these to ensure that you align with the qualities that they value. Additionally, they validate that you have a strong understanding of the competencies required to succeed in this role. Some of the qualities that are must-haves in this position are excellent communication skills, organizational skills, extreme professionalism, collaborative skills, autonomy, and a willingness to learn.

      As a best practice, select one or two that you have excellent examples for so that you can tie it back to the role.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 8. What approach do you use to stay on top of email management?

      How to Answer

      The Executive Assistant role's critical function is ensuring that the company and executive inboxes are being managed and responded to appropriately. Interviewers want to ensure that you will be able to manage emails promptly, regardless of how many come through. Email management is essential since emailing is generally the central hub for all communications.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 9. Can you share best practices for written work and ensuring accuracy?

      How to Answer

      Executive Assistants (EA) are responsible for writing correspondence and communications on behalf of executives. If an EA has inadequate writing/grammar skills, those reflect poorly on the executive. The interviewer needs to know that they can count on you to compose messages to present them in a favorable light. Additionally, they won't have time to proofread every communication that goes out, so they need to know that you have processes in place to mitigate errors.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 10. What details do you pay attention to when executing administrative tasks?

      How to Answer

      A slip in misinformation can cause many problems. As an Executive Assistant, you manage so many details, and missing any of them can be problematic. These mistakes could be transposing numbers, sending an email to someone on accident, or addressing a client by the wrong name. Interviewers ask this question because they want to understand what parameters you put in place to protect yourself from missing key details.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 11. Tell me about a time you had to provide difficult feedback to a leader.

      How to Answer

      With this question, interviewers are evaluating your managerial courage. Working with high-level executives, interviewers want to ensure you won't to be easily intimidated or shy away from having difficult conversations for the betterment of the business. Additionally, they are evaluating your approach in providing feedback to ensure that you are tactful and diplomatic while delivering a difficult message.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 12. Tell me about a time you experienced a roadblock when booking travel. How did you correct it?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this because mistakes happen. When those mistakes arise, they want to know that you have the problem-solving skills to correct those mistakes if you can. Traveling for work can come with many stress-inducing situations, and errors in travel amplify those stress factors. While we aim to be error-free, especially when booking travel, mistakes happen, and interviewers want to ensure that you can act quickly and strategically when something goes wrong.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 13. What best practices do you use in coordinating travel arrangements?

      How to Answer

      As an Executive Assistant, you are responsible for making travel arrangements. Many complexities come into play when booking travel, such as weather, time zones, varying schedules, budget, etc. The interviewer is looking to see if you can anticipate others' needs and forecast any hiccups that may happen. They want to ensure that you pay attention to detail and do your best to mitigate any annoyances or delays in travel booking. When traveling for business, the company is paying for employees to travel. If you book a flight with too many layovers, the company pays for that time. It's essential to be mindful of the many travel components.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 14. What strategies do you use when managing competing priorities?

      How to Answer

      As an Executive Assistant (EA), your ability to prioritize effectively is a vital component of the EA role. Your interviewer is qualifying your ability to successfully manage competing priorities with a systematic approach. They want to ensure that you can demonstrate the ability to autonomously prioritize your responsibilities and tasks with little to no intervention. They want to validate that you are capable of working independently so that they are free to manage their own high-level tasks. Lastly, they want to be certain that they trust your decision-making skills around prioritization. By providing answers with concrete frameworks, you demonstrate your skills around prioritization and when it's best to leverage each framework.

      Prioritization framework methods:
      Force Ranking
      Hundred Dollar Method
      Moscow Technique
      Numerical Assignment Grouping
      Ivy Lee Method

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 15. Tell me about a time you had to oversee coordination of many moving pieces.

      How to Answer

      This competency is for interviewers because as an Executive Assistant, you maintain ownership of many different responsibilities. They want to ensure that the work is getting done, that time is allocated appropriately, prioritized well, and that information from various projects is not getting mixed up.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 16. What strategies do you use in coordinating a meeting with many stakeholders with varying calendars?

      How to Answer

      A vital responsibility for an Executive Assistant is booking meetings. An interviewer will ask this question to evaluate your knowledge around the complexity of meeting management. When booking meetings for others, you play a large part in their day and essentially plan their day for them. The interviewer wants to make sure that you are methodically booking invites and coordinating multiple employees thoughtfully.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 17. Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision but didn't have all the information you needed. How did you approach that situation?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers need to know that you are resourceful. They want to know that they can hand you two pieces to a puzzle and that you can take the appropriate steps to put the rest of the puzzle together. They want to know you can independently find the information you need and that they won't have to spend time putting all of the pieces together for you.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 18. What approaches do you use to stay motivated and how do you course correct when you get off track?

      How to Answer

      When asking this question, interviewers are quantifying how often they are going to have to coach you. They want someone who can be self-motivated and build an action plan when they get off track. This assessment is also a measure of self-awareness and shows your interviewer that you can work independently with little intervention.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 19. Tell me about a time, you used a creative solution to solve a really difficult problem.

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to know that you are capable of solving unique problems. If you aren't able to solve problems creatively and quickly, the executive staff has to get involved, which takes time away from managing the business at a high level. Knowing you can creatively solve problems gives the interviewer confidence that they won't need to micro-manage or handhold in complex situations.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 20. Can you tell me about a time a peer was failing and how you supported them?

      How to Answer

      Employers are looking for you to be autonomous and independent. They want to know that if you have peer issues, you will manage those with minimal involvement. Additionally, they want to know that you will be a support mechanism for your teammates to move the company forward.

      The main call out here is to keep it positive and focus on the process, not the person. Additionally, any peer conversations should come from a place of support and less about finger-pointing.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 21. Tell me about a time you dealt with constant change.

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this because they want to make sure you aren't heavily impacted when things change, which is always. In a business environment, change is inevitable, and they want to be sure you are flexible and can maintain positivity in the face of transition. More importantly, employers are looking for change-makers who help move the company along when things change, instead of dragging their feet and complaining.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 22. Tell me about a time you received difficult feedback and your action plan in addressing that feedback.

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to know that you are coachable and if they invest in your development, you have a growth mindset and are willing to take that feedback and action it. This question can be tricky because you don't want to provide feedback that could be alarming or cause concern upon your employment. A good piece of feedback to focus on is something that you have already implemented an action plan for and have improved.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 23. What is your approach when you aren't able to share a full story with a colleague?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers need to know if you are capable of being discrete while still completing tasks. There will be times when you will need to have a conversation around a discrete topic and only share the minimum information necessary. Additionally, they need to know that they can trust you to manage sensitive information and only access that information when you absolutely have to.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 24. Tell me about a time you had to manage many different details.

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this because, as an Executive Assitant, you manage a significant amount of data in many forms. This data could be files, emails, reports, etc. They want to ensure that you have a keen attention to detail and successfully keep different data sources segmented.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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  • 25. Tell me about a time you had to deliver communications to multiple people? What methods did you use?

      How to Answer

      When asking this question, interviewers are validating that you are knowledgeable about communication best practices. They want to know that you can effectively communicate to large groups and know when specific populations should be communicated to differently. They may also be looking to confirm that you know who to communicate to and when. Not all messages are intended for all audiences.

      Written by Angela Fontaine on April 12th, 2021

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