6 Executive Assistant Interview Questions to Ask the Employer

By Robert Half May 2, 2017 at 8:00am

You've made it to the job interview, and it’s going well. Thanks to some practice beforehand, you're answering questions confidently and maintaining your poise. You're starting to feel like you've knocked this one out of the park. And you have — at least until you realize you need a few executive assistant interview questions to ask the employer.

After all, this is an inevitable inquiry: "Do you have any questions for me?"

All too often, candidates make the mistake of underestimating the importance of this part of the interview process. But the way you respond to this question gives you an opportunity to show a hiring manager you have a genuine interest in the executive assistant position. A lack of input on your part — or worse, asking something obvious that shows you didn't do any company research — can taint an otherwise spot-on interview.

6 executive assistant interview questions to ask

Even an experienced executive assistant should have questions about working for a particular employer. Before your next interview, think carefully about some things you'd like to discuss regarding the executive assistant position.

Here are six questions you can ask when interviewing for an executive assistant position that will impress an employer:

1. What qualities would a person in this position need to be successful?

​A question like this shows you're interested in learning what it takes to perform well. It will also give you a clearer indication of what the company is looking for in an executive assistant and why you sparked their interest.

Typically, an executive assistant needs good communication, problem-solving and  leadership skills to keep an executive's life running smoothly. Since the assistant is sometimes privy to sensitive information, it's essential that this administrative professional can be relied upon to maintain strict confidentiality. 

Consider working with Robert Half, a proven leader in helping candidates like you.

2. What is the biggest challenge you are facing?

This demonstrates that you are proactive, which is a sought-after quality in an executive assistant. It also gives you a chance to discuss how your skills can benefit the company. Are some duties falling through the cracks, such as coordinating vacation schedules or offering training in technology and software to support staff? Show your versatility in your response to this question.

3. Do you offer any career development opportunities?

Expressing a desire to seek additional training signals that you're ambitious and want to enhance your contributions to the company. Questions about career advancement opportunities also indicate you're willing to make a long-term commitment to the organization. After all, working as an executive assistant can help you make connections, build skills and gain exposure to an industry that will help throughout your career.

4. Can you provide more information about something you mentioned earlier?

Hiring managers have a set amount of time to conduct interviews, so there may be some things they can touch on only briefly. Seize the opportunity to clarify anything that seems vague or confusing — or especially intriguing — to you by asking the interviewer to revisit one or more of those topics when it's your turn to ask questions.

5. Do you have any concerns about my skills or me that I can further address?

Although it puts your interviewer on the spot, it gives you a chance to address any hesitations the employer may have the skills you've included in your executive assistant resume. This could help you secure the position.

6. What are the next steps?

This shows you're interested in continuing to move the process forward, and it gives the interviewer a chance to share a bit more about the process and/or how many others are in the running for the executive assistant position.

One last thing: The expression, "There are no stupid questions," does not apply to job interviews. Inquiring about things like vacation time or salary before an offer has been made won't cast you in a favorable light. Stick to questions that reflect your interest in being the best candidate for the job, and it won't be long before it will be appropriate fo you to ask about those topics.

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