Following on from Monday’s blog here are another five interview question and answers specifically for assistants.

1. How do you work within a team?

A lot of assistants work with just their manager so it is important to stress that you consider this to be a partnership and in effect you are working together as a team. If the new role requires you to work in a department supporting a number of people the answers should detail the excellent skills you have that will help the team succeed

“I work well in a team and like to support others. I consider the work I do with my director to be a team effort and I get a lot of satisfaction seeing them succeed in their role. I do work well on my own  but I also like to get involved in projects and feel that I can contribute to any group work either using my creative or organisational skills. I am easy going and generally quite cheerful so I also think that approach to my work helps with the team dynamic.”

2. Tell me about one thing you have implemented at work for the better?

Time to dig out an example of something that you have done that makes you look amazing! Think about a project you have worked on that made a difference or an organisational trick you implemented for your manager that saved them plenty of time. If you haven’t really had the opportunity to change the working practices in your office I would suggest you embellish what you have done slightly… I wouldn’t say make something up but you do need to answer the question and how will the new employer know the details?

3. Can you tell me about one person you’ve liked working with and why and the same for one person you’ve disliked?

In no why shape or form speak badly about one of your colleagues and how you couldn’t stand them (even if it is true!) This question is more about you than it is about the person you are discussing. Also try and say more about the good person you worked with rather than the bad. I would say something like this.

“I’ve worked with some great people over the years that have really helped me develop my career and my personal work style. A director that I worked for a few years ago was the only female on the Board and was very inspirational for me. She was good at delegating work and gave me lots of interesting projects to work on and trusted me to make decisions on her behalf. She also injected a lot of fun in the team and encouraged us to socialise together outside of work. I did work with a manager a few years ago that I struggled to get on with. I think at the time his position in the company was under threat and to compensate he would try to exert power over me by giving me very menial tasks and could be quite disrespectful. I put up with his behaviour for a while because I wanted to understand why he was acting in that way. I did have to push back and in the end I think he respected me because I stuck up for myself.” 

4. How to you work with two or more directors? 

If you are applying for a role that requires you to work with two or more directors then you will need to demonstrate that you can do this without a hitch. Use specific examples of how you have juggled both work loads and that you are happy to continue this. If this is the first time you have worked with more than one boss stress that you are a good organiser and can prioritise your work well.

“I like the challenge that working for two directors can bring and it does help keep me motivated as the work can be quite varied. To make sure that I am working effectively for both directors I ensure that my work is well organised, that I understand and am aware of any deadlines and understand each of their priorities. I also stress to the directors that I need to stay in touch with them throughout the day in case their work becomes more urgent than the others and I also make sure we have regular catch ups so that I am fully informed of their schedule. It can be a juggling act but one that I enjoy.” 

5. What are you looking for in terms of salary?

Eeek! This is my least favourite question! I really struggle to talk about money or salary with anyone even if I’m not really happy with how much I’m being paid. I’ve read somewhere that is quite typical of women compared to men… but no excuses in a job interview you have to sell yourself and you have to really believe that you are worth the money that you think you are. Ideally you should have a rough idea of what the salary is going into the interview but if they try to offer a lot less do remember to stick to the amount you know you are worth. It will be awkward at the time but you will regret it later when you don’t think you get paid enough. Remember that you can always say during the interview that you will go away and think about their offer and then negotiate over the phone or by email.

Good luck to anyone out there that is going for an interview soon, I hope the Q&A’s have helped.

Click here for Interview Questions and Answers for PAs, EAs and Administrators Part 1

Click here for Interview Questions and Answers for PAs, EAs and Administrators Part 2

Click here for Interview Questions and Answers for PAs, EAs and Administrators Part 3

You may also like

26 comments

  • Viviana April 24, 2013   Reply →

    I love your blog, please don’t stop it. I will follow you every where 🙂
    Kindest Regards.

    from Italy 😉

  • Esther May 14, 2013   Reply →

    Thanks Nicky, i found your site very helpful.

  • Kate June 7, 2013   Reply →

    This is so helpful, thank you!

  • Edmund McTetteh August 6, 2013   Reply →

    Your outlines will really help me in all my interviews.
    Thanks

  • Muthu October 25, 2013   Reply →

    Hi Nicky,

    Thank you very much for outline , it will be very helpful for me

  • Kirane October 31, 2013   Reply →

    Very interesting!!! Thank you Nicky!

  • Mary November 5, 2013   Reply →

    Very helpful information. I feel more confident now going on an interview. I would like to read you thoughts on self appraisals?

  • Judy January 16, 2014   Reply →

    Thank you so much for the step by step interview guide. I have been for many interviews and always found myself struggling, trying to impress the interviewee and at the same time think of what it is I want to say. Your blog is really helpful. This is all I need to help me nail an interview.

    Thank you.

  • Farida March 2, 2014   Reply →

    Thank you for the very helpful information , i have learnt a lot ……..

    Warm regards,

  • Nicole Agha April 6, 2014   Reply →

    Thank you so much for posting these helpful step by step interview questions and answers. I’m going for an interview tomorrow for a PA position and believe i’ll nail it thanks to your posts. Plz, keep them coming 🙂

  • kim May 12, 2014   Reply →

    So helpful. I have been looking for good responses to interviewing questions. Please keep it coming. Also, I am new to the business and would love best practice advise for organizing, prioritizing for 2 bosses, on the job type questions. Many thanks.

  • Sandra May 16, 2014   Reply →

    Soooo helpful, I am going to an interview later today and have only had 24 hours notice of the interview and who the company are. After quite a long stint away from having to do interviews I have found the advice and examples excellent. Going into the interview this afternoon a lot more confident than I was an hour or so ago!!!! Thank you.

  • Zama June 20, 2014   Reply →

    Wow. So spot on responses to relevant questions. I have an Executive Assistant interview next week and will surely use your advises. Well structured answered and on point. Will surely nail this interview. Thanks a lot Nicky. You are a star*

  • Sharon July 27, 2014   Reply →

    I am to be made redundant in the near future and will be starting to go for interviews, I have found your blog to be great a tool for preparation.

    Thank you

  • Sharon August 8, 2014   Reply →

    Hi just wanted to let you know that I had an interview and got the job and they asked me practically everyone of your questions!

    Thank you so much it is an excellent site.

  • leabelle November 26, 2014   Reply →

    This totally helps! It gives me confidence. i’ll be having my interview on friday and i’ll let you know what will happen 🙂 much thankies 🙂 muaaaah!

  • Adom December 14, 2014   Reply →

    Thank you so much. This is the best piece ever.

  • swapna January 8, 2015   Reply →

    “was this post helpful” is this what you have asked us ….your posts are awesome and could help all of our EA’s on honing our skills at our job,though being an EA is one the challenging task ,people donot acknowledge it as it needs to be so we need to make them understand by honing our skills as we make the difference for them…

    keep posting…i would follow..

    Swapna

  • Jackie January 16, 2015   Reply →

    OMG this helps a lot. Thank you so much. I was feeling nervous a minute ago and already I’m calm. I’m definitely going to use this on my interview Monday!! Thanks a million! 🙂
    Swaziland

  • Rachel February 21, 2015   Reply →

    Excellent advice. However, I would like some advice on how to answer questions such as: tell me about a time you went the extra mile for your boss? What did you do? And Tell me about a time you changed your approach to a situation? I was asked these questions at an interview recently, and I was really stumped. I answered them as best I could, but the feedback I got was negative, and they said that my answers were “weak”. Would appreciate advice on this. Thanks

  • Linda April 20, 2015   Reply →

    This is great material – I’m prepping for an interview on Friday and found your sample Q&As really useful. Thanks so much.

  • audrey July 9, 2015   Reply →

    thank you for the good advices, I feel now better prepared for my interview. all the best!

  • janine July 11, 2015   Reply →

    Wow this is awesome. I’m going for an interview first time as PA. The advise and answers you gave was just amazing. Thanks

  • Pauline Wright July 22, 2015   Reply →

    I came across your blogs by accident whilst trying to prepare for a PA interview (returning to a PA career after 10 years). I found them really helpful and was able to prepare the scenarios and competencies I needed for my interview. Guess what I got the job, couldn’t have done it with you!
    Thank you so much.

Leave a comment

Download our free eBook: Preparing for the Perfect PA job
Never display this again
Sign up to Practically Perfect PA

Enter your email and stay on top of things



Sign up to Practically Perfect PA

Enter your email and stay on top of things