Executive Assistant Jobs: Questions an Applicant Should Ask

A female applicant is being interviewed for an executive assistant job

You're interviewing for a job as an executive assistant, and it's going well. Although you're nervous, you've maintained your poise and, thanks to some practice beforehand, you're answering questions confidently. As the interview progresses, you're starting to feel like you've knocked this one out of the park. And you have until the interviewer asks the one question you didn't anticipate: "Do you have any questions for me?" Continue reading for tips about the best questions to ask an employer as you evaluate available executive assistant jobs. 

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.

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 position.

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

1. 'What characteristics or 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.

2. 'What is the biggest challenge you are facing?' 

This demonstrates that you're 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.

3. 'As I evaluate available executive assistant jobs, I'd like to ask, do you offer any training incentives or 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.

4. 'Can you give me more information about (blank) that you mentioned earlier?' 

A hiring manager has a set amount of time to conduct an interview, so there may be some things he or she only briefly touches upon. Seize the opportunity to clarify anything that seems vague or confusing 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 about hiring you as an executive assistant. 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 the ones you should ask an interviewer. Inquiring about things like vacation time or salary before you've been made an offer won't cast you in a favorable light. Stick to questions that reflect your interest in being the best candidate for the job.