Secretary Interview Questions – You’re probably reading this article because you want to stand out from the crowd and make sure that you leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. Well, look no further as we delve deep into what it takes to be a great secretary coupled with interview questions and sample answers. Working in a new environment comes with challenges such as adjusting to the people and culture of the company, arriving to work on time, and making sure you reach the target of what you are requested to do. However, exciting things come with a new job – especially a secretarial job – and that is meeting new people, sharpening your skills, and learning new things.
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It is pivotal that you do some background check on the company you want to work for potentially. You need to do some research to prepare for any questions the interviewer may throw at you. This will be a clear indication that you are interested in working for the company. Showing up with no knowledge of the company may be a poor representation on your side. It displays that you are disinterested in the company and its overall vision and mission. The dress code is of utter importance! You cannot show up in pajamas, revealing clothes, or look untidy. You need to be presentable and smell good. You will potentially be working for a big boss, in some sense, represent your boss and the company, so looking professionally helps.
What is a good secretary without a good mindset?
You need to have an optimistic approach. You also must be well mannered. You need to be polite and respectful to your seniors and team members. This portrays discipline on your side. Something many potential secretaries do not know is that good health and being well-rested is of utmost importance. Being a secretary requires a high amount of energy and concentration. So, you will need to be hydrated, eating healthily, exercising, and resting for at least 5-8 hours a day.
Also, bear in mind that being a secretary comes with many responsibilities, duties, and diligence. You need to be the type of person that pays close attention to detail. Operating as a secretary requires you to be highly organized, flexible, and adapt to the new workload daily. A lot can change in a day, so be wide awake! Who you are (your character) plays a significant role in being a great secretary. You need to be a person who is both loyal and trustworthy. You will be dealing with and managing case-sensitive tasks and duties that require discretion.
Are you someone that can stick to deadlines?
If you answered yes, this position suits you best since it requires you to be reliable and dependable. Your boss and team need to know that they can rely on you to keep things in order and reach the daily goals of the team. Make sure you do something to calm yourself before the interview. Listening to music, chewing gum, going for a walk are a few examples you can use to set those nerves at bay so that once you enter the interview, you are not shaking and all over the place. When you overthink the interview, the tell-tale signs will show all over your face.
Try to recall challenging moments you had at your previous job and how you handled them, as these are good indicators that you are someone who values your work and is willing to try to succeed at what you were tasked to do. Develop a vision in your mind about your potential new position in the company. How do you see yourself growing and developing as both a secretary and an individual? Do you envision growing in the company career-wise? What value do you think you would add to the company? These are essential questions to ask yourself before the interview. Realizing and understanding your strengths and weaknesses are prime factors for any company. You need to know what you are good at and what you are not good at. In terms of your weaknesses, you need to find methods to overcome challenges and handle stress. Having weaknesses does not take away anything from you. It just proves that you are human. Lastly, communication – especially interpersonal communication – is of the essence! As a potential secretary, you need to relay your concerns, ideas, and any other message across clearly and respectfully. Harnessing good communication skills can save you a lot of trouble. Miscommunication should be minor as a secretary’s main duty is to ensure that all tasks assigned are completed within due time.
By going through the below interview questions and answers, you are guaranteed a high chance of blowing away your interviewer and you will leave your interview feeling confident, optimistic, and refreshed.
Secretary Interview Questions
- How did you find out about Rudy’s Luxurious Homes & Co.?
Be careful with this type of question. This shows the interviewer some of your interests regarding homes since you anticipate working for a luxury home company.
While studying architecture in university, I began to fall in love with houses, design them, and decorate them. As part of my final year project, architectural students were assigned various housing and home companies and I was lucky to be given this amazing company.
- Why do you want to work for Rudy’s Luxurious Homes & Co.?
This is one of the most asked questions at interviews – why you would like to work for the company. This is a great opportunity to impress the interviewer with some of your knowledge about the company.
I thoroughly believe in Rudy’s Luxurious Homes & Co’s vision and mission. I foresee greater opportunities for me to grow and develop as an architecture graduate student. Although I studied architecture, my passion for all things homes has always formed a deep stem in my heart – with this company, I believe my creative and decorative style and taste will be unleashed, and I can be an added benefit and value.
- What motivates you or keeps you going?
This will show the interviewer the type of attitude you have, especially for the secretarial position you want to possess. Secretarial jobs may be frustrating at times, so a good attitude is always best.
What motivates me is looking forward to new opportunities to grow and develop. Meeting targets and working cohesively with my team and manager.
- What do you think it takes to be a good secretary?
With this question, be mindful that the interviewer wants to see if you are cut for the position. This is another way of showcasing some of your knowledge of the position.
Great organizational skills are necessary as there may be multiple tasks that need to be completed each day—also, the ability to handle pressure as there are many responsibilities that a secretary needs to fulfill.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a great time to show a bit of who you are. This can also show the interviewer if you can handle the daily pressures that come with being a secretary.
My strengths: I am good at organizing tasks and planning. I know how to pay attention to detail. When I was a junior library supervisor, one of the assigned tasks was to monitor the books coming back to the library. I had to track down the library book bar code and link it to the person who had borrowed the book. This task required much precision and focused as the barcodes were sometimes similar, and it would be easy to charge the wrong person if a book was late.
When I was still in university, I was an intern for an animal magazine. As a junior editor, part of my duties was to make accurate decisions on which content to include in the various animal-based articles and to multi-task by doing follow-up research to see if the writer incorporated accurate advice in the article.
My weaknesses: I tend to feel overwhelmed by the rush of tasks that I need to complete and forget that I have a team for a reason. I tend not to communicate my frustrations, or if I have any questions or if something confuses me, I tend to shut down. What I’ve done to resolve this issue is being more vocal as soon as I feel like I’m overloaded.
- What would you least enjoy about being a secretary?
This question just shows that you are human and that you will have a few things that you will not enjoy about the position.
I really do not appreciate it when people in the team are slow and make no effort to make deadlines. What keeps me optimistic is that everyone is different, and not everyone will think like me. I have also learned to help my colleagues. But I know it should not hinder my work productivity.
- What would you enjoy most about being a secretary?
This question gives the interviewer an idea of the type of personality you have. The interviewer is also trying to see if you are a perfect match for the company.
I seriously enjoy meeting new people and learning new things from them. The diversity that is in this company is amazing. I look forward to learning about new cultures and hearing older colleagues’ experiences within the company.
- What do you think are the top three most important qualities or character traits of a good secretary and why?
- Punctuality – a good secretary needs to be always on time to increase productivity and workflow. This also shows reliability.
- Careful attention to detail – this means there should be little room for mistakes and repetition. Work is readable and easier to manage.
- Great planning and organizational skills – this helps the secretary to do the most important tasks first and then go to the least important. This also shows that the secretary is well-structured. Things will not just happen, but they will be planned.
- What would you do if things did not go according to plan?
This shows the interviewer how well you work under pressure.
I’ll quickly find a way to adjust to the new schedule. I will get with the memo and acquaint myself with what is needed for the day, project, assignment, and other tasks. I would also have to readjust my schedule so that I do not miss any deadlines.
- If you were to make several errors in your tasks, how would you rectify your mistakes?
This is to test you and see what sort of behavior you would display when things are not running smoothly, and there is an overload of tasks. In this question, you must name an instance of where you made a mistake/s and how you overcame the situation. This will prove how well you pay attention to detail and test your accuracy.
There was once a time when I was a junior supervisor at a local library, and I was tasked with following up on payments. I made sure to call each person on the list and ask them if I was speaking to the right person. I would ask for their surname and double-check if their email addresses were correct, and send them an SMS to which they had to respond to verify the reader’s identity.
- When you feel like you are not reaching the target, what do you do?
This shows the interviewer your work ethic – if you are a lazy person or someone that needs to be pushed to get work done. This also proves how much you value yourself and your time. Just share your experience and make sure you are truthful.
I take my work seriously and will make sure that the tasks assigned to me are a priority. I remember a time when I was an intern at an animal-oriented magazine. I was not performing well because I failed to edit all the articles. After all, there were so many deadlines. Instead of editing 5 articles in 3 hours, I managed to get 3 articles done.
I was not happy with this and raised the issue with the senior editor and asked how she handled editing so many articles in such a short space of time. I sought out her advice, wrote it down, and learned that I needed to manage my time more efficiently. I was terribly addicted to social media, and that was the cause of my being unable to complete my editing tasks. I then learned from the senior editor that I should take short breaks intermittently and not long breaks, which will cause me to become too relaxed and lazy. But that I should also refresh my brain by taking short breaks, not just by going on social media but also going for a coffee break or a walk around the office.
- Where do you see yourself a year from now should the position be offered to you?
This can be a stressful question. Not many people can fully answer this question to the extent that will satisfy the interviewer. However, with this question, the interviewer will see how willing you are to be part of the company and if you are career-oriented.
My goal would be to work hard and work overtime to prove that I am a hard worker and that I can sacrifice time to make sure I reach my targets. Because this company has a rewarding system and an opportunity for growth and development, I would utilize my skills and knowledge to be promoted from secretary to head supervisor of the various décor and housing projects. I also want to build my career in this company.
Now that you have read through and thought about these potential secretary interview questions and samples, you should now have the necessary confidence to perform well at your interview. Remember to speak fluently. Do not mumble or speak softly. If you do not understand a question or feel as though the interviewer is speaking too fast, do not hesitate to ask the interviewer to repeat the question and speak slower. You need to make a good first impression, so answering for the sake of answering would be a wrong move on your part.
Due to the accuracy and demand for this position, it is important that you thoroughly prepare a few days before the interview. Remember to do some research on the company you will be interviewed to show interest on your part. Your road to success is in your next interview!