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Answering Secretarial Interview Questions Well

Are you looking for a secretarial position in a good company?

A secretary is generally the person responsible for ensuring that the manager or executive is organised and on schedule. As a secretary, you will be responsible for creating documents, managing schedules, managing outgoing and incoming post, files and documents, taking minutes and taking messages for your boss. In short, a secretarial job comprises a wide spectrum of responsibilities and duties.

While preparing for your job interview for a secretarial position, you should expect to answer secretarial interview questions on various administrative and secretarial skills. The interviewer is looking for a person who is confident, independent, loyal and organised. You will not only have to do what your boss asks you to do, but also take quick and sharp decisions. So make sure that you exhibit all these qualities in your job interview answers.

Example Secretarial Interview Questions

Normally, the interviewer/s will ask you secretarial interview questions similar to the ones below:

  • What is your experience?
    Most people answer this question by talking about the number of years they have been working as a secretary. But the interviewer expects you to elaborate on your experience and tell them about the type of company where you worked, the kind of secretarial work you did there and the skills you acquired.
  • How does your experience relate to our company?
    To answer this question, you must have some knowledge about the company and the job you are interviewing for. That way, you will be able to find the parallels between your previous job and the new one and talk about them.
  • What kind of documents were you responsible for?
    Give them a detailed description of all the documents you have been responsible for in your previous jobs. But make sure you focus on the documents which are also relevant for the company you are interviewing for. As with all answers to secretarial interview questions, always have the job description in mind - it will help focus your answer.
  • Were you responsible for making schedules? How did you manage that? 
    Describe the type of schedule your previous manager required. This is a good opportunity to elaborate on the problems you faced in his scheduling and how you managed to solve them.
  • What computer skills do you have? 
    These days, almost all administrative work is done on computer so the interviewer will be interested in knowing your computer skills. Name the common applications you use and explain your level of skill in each. Mentioning training or computer qualifications will be useful too.
  • How will you plan a meeting? 
    Provide a brief outline of every aspect of the meeting, like fixing up the appointments, ensuring a conference room, getting the distributable material ready, creating an agenda, arranging snacks and beverages etc. Don’t be in a hurry to end your answer because it gives the impression that you don't have much experience of it. Using an example of how you planned an actual meeting might help you remember all the steps.
  • Were you responsible for cash handling? 
    Depending on the company you work/worked for, the answer may be 'no', but this question is often asked to determine the level of trust your previous employers had in you. If you did handle cash, mention the kinds of cash transactions that you were responsible for in the past.
  • Hypothetical Secretarial Interview Questions
    Some interviewers may also give you a hypothetical situation and ask you to come up with the perfect solution for it. In this scenario, you will have to think on your feet. If you are experienced, then it can be easy. But if you are new to this job, then think about your limits and duties as a secretary and come up with a solution that solves the problem without overstepping your authority as a secretary.

While there are many questions you may be asked, we advise you to be prepared for at least the most common secretarial interview questions before your job interview.

What About General Interview Questions?

Your interviewers are likely to ask some general job interview questions in between specific secretarial interview questions, so we'd encourage you to take a quick look at these 38 sample interview questions before leaving.

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