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Secretary interview questions

Wondering how to become a Secretary? HR GO Recruitment can you give you the insider knowledge to get you on your way!

If the prospect of undertaking a secretarial job interview leaves you feeling daunted, the below common secretary interview questions should help to put your mind at ease. Having a good idea on what your prospective employer for an office job might ask you can give you a head start over other potential candidates.

By practising these top five most common secretary interview questions and answers, you are guaranteed to turn up to your next interview feeling calm, collected and confident, the perfect recipe for success when learning how to become a secretary.

Common Secretary Interview Questions

"Why did you apply for this secretarial/administrative position?"

This is an incredibly popular interview question, so you need to be prepared with a strong and original answer. 

You need to be able to speak confidently about the company in question and show that you have done your research prior to the interview - including as much personalised information about the specific company will mean they look upon you more favourably.

A good tip is to look at the company mission statement to see what is at the core of their business and then link this to you, your career goals and previous experiences. 

Sample answer:

I am aware that you are passionate about sustainability as a business and this was one of the first aspects that attracted me to your company. In my previous position as an administrative assistant for a healthcare brand, I took an active role in the company’s corporate responsibility, sourcing recyclable office materials and encouraging employees to be more environmentally friendly. 

"What do you think are the most important skills a secretary should have?"

This is a crucial question, as it not only shows that you know about being a secretary but also offers you a chance to showcase your own skills.

It is a good idea to mention any skills or abilities that were referenced in the original job posting, with common sought-after skills for a secretary including:

  • Organisation
  • Reliability 
  • Punctuality
  • Accuracy 

Sample answer:

I believe that the role of a secretary is an integral part of any office environment and that you need to be an all-rounder with the ability to multitask and adapt where necessary.

I have a proven track record of planning and organisational skills and pride myself on my reliability and dedication to the job at hand.

"What are your main motivations to succeed at work?"

Showing that you take pride in your work is a vital attribute that employers will want from a secretary, as accuracy is key in this line of work. 

Some of the most common motivators that you may want to mention are:

  • Increased responsibility 
  • Learning opportunities
  • Interpersonal interaction 

Sample answer: 

I believe self-motivation is the key to being a good secretary and, as a self-disciplined individual, I am able to successfully inspire myself. That being said, I am also driven and want to be able to progress within a company, and I find that demonstrating high-quality work is the best way to achieve this. 

"What are your main strengths and weaknesses?"

This is often the question that jobseekers fear the most, but it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. However, there are a few key strengths that are worth mentioning at a secretary job interview. 

Sample answer: 

I believe my main strengths lie in my ability to adapt to changing situations. I am aware that the role of a secretary is a varied one and I pride myself on being flexible, a fast learner and having the ability to prioritise my own workload. 

In regard to your weaknesses, it is a good idea to mention one or two, but always follow this up with details of how you overcame them.

Sample answer: 

I can become frustrated when other employees perform at a slower pace than I do, but I have learned to recognise that other people have different work standards and levels of productivity and aim to help rather than hinder my colleagues. 

"Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?"

Another interview question that people often find tricky, the key is in striking a balance between your commitment to the current position whilst still showing ambition and career drive for the future. 

You need to be able to express your excitement for the job you are applying for rather than coming across as someone that sees it just as a stepping-stone to a higher position. However, it is perfectly acceptable to talk about wanting to move up the career ladder, as long as this is within their company. 

Sample answer: 

My goal right now is to find a position where I can utilise my skills and grow as an employee by taking on new and exciting challenges. Ultimately, I want to work for an organisation that encourages career progression as I assume more responsibilities and prove my worth over time. 

Preparing for these interview questions along with a great secretary CV template, you’re geared up for success when it comes to your next interview. Secretarial jobs are well sought after so it's best to be prepared!

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