Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

10 Executive Assistant Interview Questions: [With Sample Answers]

image of a three bar image for the table of contents on www.myjobsearch.com posts

Table of Contents

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

Applying and interviewing for a new Executive Assistant job comes with many emotions.

However, everyone can agree that proper preparation makes the process much less nerve-wracking and helps you, as the candidate, appear more confident and professional.

To help you prepare, we’ve established a list of 10 Executive Assistant interview questions.

We have also taken steps to provide sample answers for you to use in your upcoming interview.

10 Common Executive Assistant Interview Questions

There are many questions that interviewers can lob your way when you’re applying for an Executive Assistant position.

However, there are several that come up more frequently than others.

  1. Tell us about a time that you served in an Executive Assistant role. What were your responsibilities?
  2. How well do you do with multitasking?
  3. Do you prefer to work independently or with others?
  4. What is your experience with a fast-paced environment? Give us an example.
  5. Are you proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or those similar to it in style?
  6. Do you have experience with confidential information and data?
  7. What qualities do you think are important for an Executive Assistant?
  8. If we called your last employer and asked about you, what would they say?
  9. What does teamwork mean to you?
  10. Thinking about the best boss you had, what did you like about them? What about the worst boss, what did you not like about them?

Many questions can come your way during an interview.

Check out some top attention-to-detail interview questions in your preparation.

Another great resource is to review Office Manager interview questions due to the similarities between the two positions.

What Should I Say in an Executive Assistant Interview?

An Executive Assistant typically provides full support to high-level staff.

The position is very different than a digital marketing executive or an executive search consultant.

It’s crucial to portray yourself as experienced, professional, and detail-oriented.

You can do this through the attributes you highlight in your interview.

What Skills Are Executive Assistant Interviewers Looking For in a Candidate?

Taking the time to highlight your positive traits is critical to landing a job.

Below are a few qualities you need to include in your interview answers:

  • Service Oriented: Customer service is the name of the game when occupying an Executive Assistant role. Whether you’re interacting with outside sources or internal staff, you always have to be cordial and helpful.
  • Calm: With the vast array of tasks that comes with being an Executive Assistant, you need to be able to present with patience and calmness. Show the interviewers that you can manage a high workload with ease.
  • Dedication: Employers want to know that their staff commits to getting the job done. Emphasize how you are timely and have a keen eye for detail.
  • Reliable: When the individual you’re supporting has a significant workload and corresponding obligations, their support must be reliable. Be sure to portray that you view your job in high regard and will do what it takes to get it done.
  • Organized: Executive Assistants have a lot of moving pieces in their tasks. This maneuverability requires a great deal of organization.

What Traits Are Executive Assistant Interviewers Looking To Avoid in a Candidate?

Just as there are items employers seek in an Executive Assistant candidate, they also have traits they avoid, such as the following:

  • Absenteeism: Employers want staff there day in and day out, without fail. Supporting a high-level executive requires precise attendance.
  • Unfocused: While having superior customer service skills is vital to your employment as an Executive Assistant, you need to keep socialization to a minimum in the office. If your supervisor has to look for you because you are chatting with coworkers, it can lead them to think of you as unfocused on the job.
  • Sloppy: Employers actively look to see if you can walk the talk. If you say you are highly organized, but you’re late quite frequently, they may get the impression that your organizational skills aren’t as profound as you made them out to be.

Sample Executive Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Below we give you sample answers to help you direct your responses to common interview questions.

1. Tell Us About a Time That You Served in an Executive Assistant Role. What Were Your Responsibilities?

Why This Question Is Asked

Employers want to get a sense of your experience in your own words, not just what you list on your resume.

They also want to gauge your confidence when speaking about your responsibilities.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

When answering this question, include complex issues you would fulfill continually.

The more complicated the responsibility is, the more valuable they consider your skills and attributes.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

When answering this question, don’t detail the process behind every responsibility.

Lay out a task you fulfilled and then give a general overview of what that entailed before moving on to the next element.

Example Answer

I’ve served in many Executive Assistant roles, with my most recent being the position I held at Company Inc. There, I worked directly with the CEO to manage a multitude of tasks.

Some of my ongoing responsibilities were verifying account balances by checking the incoming and outgoing expenses for errors.

I also managed a multi-line phone system where I monitored all calls for the CEO and general inquiries from internal staff.

2. How Well Do You Do With Multitasking?

Why This Question Is Asked

Many moving pieces are part of an Executive Assistant’s role.

Many will overlap and require multitasking skills to complete everything on time.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

When answering this question, highlight that you have had to utilize multitasking quite frequently and that it has become second nature.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

When you get this question, don’t act as though multitasking is something you don’t typically do or that multitasking comes from poor organization.

This answer isn’t relatable to a fast-paced workplace, and they may deem you a poor fit.

Example Answer

Throughout my years of experience, I have refined my multitasking skills through trial and error.

I have a great routine that I turn to in times of multiple projects with upcoming deadlines.

I have found that the key is to remain as organized as possible.

3. Do You Prefer To Work Independently or With Others?

Why This Question Is Asked

The lay of the land in many companies is to work as a team.

While this question is posed to understand a person’s work style, it can also be a bait tactic to find out if you are a team player or not.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

You want to paint a picture that benefits both ways of working.

While there are perks to working as a team, there are also tasks that are better done independently.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

When answering this question during an interview, be sure your response doesn’t come across as though you’re opposed to one work method.

While you may prefer working alone, you shouldn’t make it sound like it’s the only way to accomplish tasks.

Example Answer

I think there are arguments to be made for both ways of working.

There are times that I have found working with a team to be highly valuable, and I have gained insight from colleagues, efficiency in projects, and a new perspective on the issue.

Many times, a deadline is approaching, and a choice needs to happen.

Taking the initiative to focus on the task at hand on my own has been the most efficient and effective way to get the project to completion at times.

In the end, I think it depends on the task at hand and what the path to fulfillment entails.

4. What Is Your Experience With a Fast-paced Environment? Give Us an Example.

Why This Question Is Asked

As an Executive Assistant, you’re typically in the middle of all the fast-paced projects and deadlines.

Therefore, during your interview, the team will want to know that you have the pre-requisite experience associated with that workflow.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

It’s critical to make it clear to the interview panel that your experience primarily focuses on fast-paced environments.

You should feel free to reiterate what techniques you have pulled in during these times to make the experience go smoother.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid making it seem as though you haven’t often found yourself in this type of situation.

As you think about your work experience, you have likely had a few moments that would qualify as fast-paced, and it’s essential to put yourself back into those moments for the interview.

Example Answer

I have worked in several fast-paced environments and credit them with helping me formulate my exceptional multitasking skills.

One of my most memorable experiences includes when a hard deadline was looming, and we were coming up against many technological issues.

At the same time, one of the key players in the project fell ill, and we all had to pull together and put in overtime hours to get the job done.

5. Are You Proficient With Microsoft Office Suite or Those Similar to It in Style?

Why This Question Is Asked

Nearly every work environment utilizes Microsoft Office in some form.

Whether it’s for email, calendaring, or document creation, it’s common across many offices and companies.

Because of this, employers want to know that you won’t require extensive training to get up to par.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

Ensure you reference the parts of Microsoft Office Suite that you have routinely used and what version.

If you have experience across several different versions, state that in your interview.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Even if you hate using Microsoft Office Suite or any of its included elements, don’t tell your interviewer!

It’s important to relay that you are familiar with the software and understand its value to the workplace.

Example Answer

All of my prior positions have revolved around using Microsoft Office Suite.

I have routinely used PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. I have also utilized Outlook daily.

Since I have used it for many years, I am familiar with the current version and the past three.

6. Do You Have Experience With Confidential Information and Data?

Why This Question Is Asked

As an Executive Assistant, you get trusted with many confidential documents and information.

For instance, you may come in contact with Social Security numbers.

You must safeguard all of this at all times for the security of the individual.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

During your interview, it’s necessary to express how critical it is to protect confidential information.

Those on the team need to know that you understand the ramifications of not ensuring data security.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

If you’re asked this during an interview, you don’t want to deliver your answer in a brief and concise statement.

You need to devote adequate attention to this subject as it is vital to the role of an Executive Assistant.

Example Answer

With the various executives I have supported, I have always been responsible for safeguarding confidential information of varying types.

Regardless of the material, I always treat it in the same regard.

This process includes storing it in areas that require multiple keys or passcodes to access and being discrete when retrieving the information.

7. What Qualities Do You Think Are Important for an Executive Assistant?

Why This Question Is Asked

Those interviewing you will want to know what elements of being an Executive Assistant you feel are most important.

If you see them as valuable skills and traits, you will likely possess those attributes.

Additionally, if you leave out items that the company deems critical, they will probably see you as an unfit candidate.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

You don’t want to leave anything out when listing the different traits that you feel are valuable to the Executive Assistant role.

While you don’t want to drone on endlessly, you want to include as many positive attributes as possible, ensuring you don’t leave anything out that the team determines to be imperative.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t mindlessly throw out just a few vital skills but explain your answer.

For example, if you want to tell them that focus, attention to detail, and dedication are vital to success, explain why you feel that way and what it lends to the role.

Example Answer

The role of an Executive Assistant is vital to the success of the individual they are supporting.

Therefore, there are many critical traits and skills that are valuable in the position.

In my experience, I have seen the best outcomes when I was able to remain organized in all instances.

I also must maintain my composure during fast-paced moments, be diligent in my attention to detail, be cordial to all around me, and focus on the task at hand.

8. If We Called Your Last Employer and Asked About You, What Would They Say?

Why This Question Is Asked

Those interviewing you want to see your reaction when this question comes up.

Your response, even the non-verbals you portray, can tell the interviewers a lot about your relationship with your previous company.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

When answering this question, it’s vital to remain confident and not waver in your response.

Don’t let the inquiry take you by surprise because those in the room may take it as anxiety regarding the truth of the answer.

Instead, be bold in your response.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t indicate that the question gives you anxiety or that you and a previous employer parted on bad terms.

Example Answer

I know that if you were to call up my last manager at Company, Inc., they would tell you that I rose to the occasion routinely and performed efficiently while constantly working to meet all goals and expectations.

9. What Does Teamwork Mean to You?

Why This Question Is Asked

Those interviewing you want to know that you clearly understand what teamwork is and how it plays out during the workday.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

When this question comes your way, be sure to encompass all aspects of teamwork, not just the bare minimum.

You want to express the different traits associated with partnership so that you don’t leave out anything valuable that the interviewers could hold against you.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You don’t want to provide a generic answer to this question, nor do you want to give a long-winded response.

It’s critical to find a place in the middle that offers ample information and insight but doesn’t lose the attention of those performing the interview.

Example Answer

There are many vital components of teamwork.

Overall, the premise of teamwork is coming together with colleagues and peers to work together towards a common outcome.

To do this, you must have open communication, patience, willingness to learn, humility to accept when you’re wrong, and the ability to listen.

In the end, you’re utilizing the collective intelligence of those around you, which requires give and take.

10. Thinking About the Best Boss You Had, What Did You Like About Them? What About the Worst Boss, What Did You Not Like About Them?

Why This Question Is Asked

Unfortunately, this question can present a trap if not answered carefully.

However, interviewers use it as a chance to gain insight into your past relationships with employers and whether you will speak ill of their company if you were to part ways in the future.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

When answering this question, you must focus on positive traits as much as possible.

Do your best to create positivity out of negative experiences.

Under no circumstances do you want to give the impression that you think poorly of your past bosses.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You want to avoid providing an extensive response to this question.

It’s best to leave your answer brief but poignant so those in the interview don’t think you are withholding information.

Example Answer

I previously had a boss that would check in at the same time every day, and I felt a sense of comfort in that.

However, another boss would ask for updates on work several times throughout the day.

While I didn’t enjoy it at the start, I later realized that there was a lot on her shoulders, which allowed me to put myself in her shoes and realize that I would do the same thing if I were in her situation.

Other Common Interview Questions You Could Be Asked

In addition to the above, other interview questions are routinely asked during an Executive Assistant interview.

1. How Do You Prioritize Your Work?

Why This Question Is Asked

Employers want to know that you have a process for prioritizing certain aspects of your workload.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

In your response, be sure to focus on the process you enter into when determining which items to prioritize and why, as well as how you stack the other projects to receive the necessary attention they need.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

When answering this question, don’t provide a vague response, as it will make it seem like you don’t give any thought to prioritizing.

This approach can hurt you during the interview process.

Example Answer

When looking at my workload, I have a process that I turn to that helps me organize my work so that each gets the attention it deserves and deadlines are adhered to appropriately.

I always start by writing down all relevant deadlines.

I then draft a rough outline of the necessary steps to completion.

Finally, I schedule out blocks of time so that I stay on top of everything and nothing falls through the cracks.

2. What Motivates You To Do a Good Job?

Why This Question Is Asked

Those interviewing you will want to know what drives you to show up to work every day and what compels you to put in a solid day’s work.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

It’s essential to emphasize internal strength.

Many people turn to the approval of others or to make others proud.

However, the ultimate display of confidence is within yourself.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

As referenced above, be sure to avoid the approval of others when answering this question.

Many insert their desire to create a better future for their children or to make their parents proud.

Employers often view these as throw-away answers because they are commonly used responses that don’t require much thought.

Example Answer

I am motivated to do an excellent job because I want to have the feeling of a job well done when I walk out of those doors every day.

I pride myself on putting my best foot forward and performing in a high-quality way that speaks volumes to my morals and skillset.

At all costs, I want to avoid feeling like I didn’t put in 100% effort when I leave my desk at the end of the day.

3. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

Why This Question Is Asked

Those interviewing you want to see if you will disclose any shortcomings to them through this question.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

While you want to provide them with a legitimate weakness, you also want to present it in a way that makes you appear as a dedicated employee through this declared weakness.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You don’t want to completely drag yourself down in this answer.

In fact, you want to avoid giving any actual weaknesses in your reply.

All in all, you want to remove all opportunities that paint you in a negative light.

Example Answer

I find it difficult to delegate tasks to others at times.

While I understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration, I am also hyperaware of the busy schedules others hold.

I feel like I am bothering them by asking for assistance.

4. What Is Your Greatest Strength?

Why This Question Is Asked

Prospective employers want to gather insight into what you think you will do best in the position.

They are given a new perspective on your skills by asking about your greatest strength.

What To Focus On When Answering This Question

Be honest in your response to this question but humble in your answer.

You don’t want to come across as cocky and overinflate your skillet, but you want to appear confident and secure.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

It’s essential to be concise and confident but not long-winded.

Example Answer

I feel that my greatest strength is that I never back down from a challenge.

While something may feel out of my comfort zone, I am always up for learning new things and thrive in an environment where I am afforded opportunities to do so.

5. How Do You Handle Stress?

Why This Question is Asked

Stress is an inevitable component of any job.

While it may not be an everyday occurrence, it will pop up frequently, and your employer wants to know how you will handle those moments.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

You want to portray the image that you are at ease when it comes to stressful situations and that you keep a sense of calm when tensions are high.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Refrain from stating that you do anything violent in response to stress or get angry in those situations.

Employers want to view you as calm and collected.

Example Answer

I have had my fair share of stressful moments in my career.

Thankfully I can see them as temporary, and with a few deep breaths, I can get myself back on track and push through without interruption.

Additional Tips for Executive Assistant Interviews

Understanding the questions that employers can ask is one thing, but other elements of an Executive Assistant interview are equally as important.

How Do You Prepare for an Executive Assistant Interview?

In preparation for an Executive Assistant interview, it’s critical to read through all the common questions and pre-formulate responses.

It would help if you practiced saying these out loud multiple times before your scheduled appointment, even doing so in front of a mirror to see how you present to others in a room.

What Should You Wear to an Executive Assistant Interview?

When interviewing for an Executive Assistant interview, it’s crucial to dress in business apparel.

Dark colors and a suit if possible. A skirt and neutral blouse are acceptable as well.

How Should You Introduce Yourself In an Executive Assistant Interview?

Before you enter an interview, you should practice correctly introducing yourself to each individual with your full name and a firm handshake.

Keep eye contact and focus on each person as you greet them.

What Questions Should You Ask at the End of an Executive Assistant Interview?

In any interview, you shouldn’t leave all the question-asking to the interview panel.

The panel will best see your interest in the position by the questions you ask them.

Some options are listed below:

  • What does a typical day look like in this position?
  • What qualities do you like to see in an Executive Assistant?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

Frequently Asked Questions

Interviewing for a new job can come with a lot of unknowns.

Here are some of the top inquiries about Executive Assistant interview questions.

What are hard skills for an Executive Assistant?

At a minimum, an Executive Assistant needs to have the ability to utilize technology, multitask, and have excellent attention to detail.

The challenge is that every executive wants things completed in a specific way.

Therefore, you are continually adapting to new standards with every new position.

How do Executive Assistants prioritize tasks?

When prioritizing tasks, it’s critical to consider the corresponding deadlines and who else needs to be involved in the process.

You will also need to review additional responsibilities taking place at the exact times and allocate appropriate work time to complete everything at the appointed time and date.

Wrapping Up

Interviewing for a new position comes with a wide array of emotions.

Preparing for an interview and whatever Executive Assistant interview questions come your way is time-consuming but necessary.

Going into your interview confident and prepped is worth its weight in gold.

To help you get to the best place possible, we’ve compiled the most common questions asked during an Executive Assistant interview and sample responses for you to base your answers on in the interview.

Leave a Comment

Back to all Posts

Explore More within MyJobSearch

My Job Search
Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.
post explore
post explore

Explore Resumes

Browse our templates to find one that matches your personality.