This is something that might be very difficult to answer. Whatever you choose to talk about, important to remember is to say what the outcome was and state what you learned from this experience. Don't say that you were fired!
Multitasking is a necessary part of an administration job, so say that you enjoy multitasking and the challenge of ensuring that multiple functions and jobs are completed accurately and on time is part of what motivates you in your work.
Meeting people and speaking to customers is often a vital part of being an administrator. Say that you enjoy talking to people and that interaction with other people is often what makes the work most interesting.
This is similar to "what can you bring to this organisation?"
Answer that by staying organised and keeping a strict diary you find that stress does not become a real issue. As soon as you identify a possible delay due to high work volumes you raise this with your manager to see if the work can either be reallocated or given priority.
Ideally, you will be able to touch type well, so say yes to this. Shorthand is a dying art and fewer people are learning how to do this well. If you have the opportunity to learn it, then do so, because some managers like their administrators to be able to take down shorthand.
Say that you deal with authority as you deal with customers - with integrity, professionalism and politeness.
This could be through study, training or experience. It all depends on the type of person you are and the type of skills you have.
Translates to: Is this what I want to be doing? You don't want to accept a job where you don't really know the sort of things you'll be doing, especially if you find that your daily tasks are too easy.
Provide some examples of occasions where you were under pressure and you succeeded.
Translates to: Is this the sort of company I want to work for, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? If you're a very laid back person, a very strict work place might not be for you (and vice versa).
If you have experience, mention the packages you have used. If not, get some training in the most important packages before your interview. Ask your recruitment consultant what are the best packages to learn.
Do your values align with mine? If you are working for a company that values the same things as you (for example, greener technology, pro bono work) then you may enjoy working for a place like that better.
Not all administrators need to be excellent problem solvers so if you are not the best, be honest and say so. You could say that you are not good at solving problems but you understand the skills of your colleagues well and will always be able to persuade somebody to assist.
This question allows you to brag on yourself, but keep in mind that the interviewer wants strengths relative to the position. For example, being a problem solver, a motivator, and being able to perform under pressure, positive attitude and loyal. You will also need examples that back your answers up for illustration of the skill.
While gaps have been more common during the recession you need to show doing something of value. It could include improving your skills, certifications or connections. Building relationships as a volunteer is a usual answer, but you need to show how you were productive. Play down the vacation, reflection time, etc. If you did consulting work build up the value of what you got out of it. Don't disclose how little you might have been paid.
Do I fit the bill for the kind of person they are looking for? Maybe you'd know whether you are up to the job better than they.
Everyone should learn from his or her mistakes. I always try to consult my mistakes with my kith and kin especially with those senior to me.
I enrolled myself into a course useful for the next version of our current project. I attended seminars on personal development and managerial skills improvement.
Be honest here but you don't need to lay it all out either, for example if you and your boss didn't get along. Don't bash your former employer. It could be the culture, it could be there was little room for career progression, you didn't agree with the vision of the company say what it is, then move quickly to focusing on what you want instead.
Although this would seem like a simple question, it can easily become tricky. You shouldn't mention salary being a factor at this point. If you're currently employed, your response can focus on developing and expanding your career and even yourself. If you're current employer is downsizing, remain positive and brief. If your employer fired you, prepare a solid reason. Under no circumstance should you discuss any drama or negativity, always remain positive.
You've done some soul searching, weren't completely fulfilled or your talents weren't being utilized enough in the current industry and realized this was the right path for you. I've had clients say that to employers and they were impressed they had taken the time to really find their direction and that they had such focus. Another reason could be they want to add to their skill set.
Say that they are very good and that you can communicate well face-to-face, on the telephone and via the Internet on email. Tell us about a time in your professional career when you went out of your way to complete a task for someone else
Hopefully, you have some real experiences - but you may have forgotten them by now. Think back and try to recall a time that you may have helped somebody when they were under pressure or off sick.
This question needs to be carefully answered as it is your opportunity to stick out from the rest of the applicants. You should focus on skills that you have, including those not yet mentioned. Simply responding “because I'm really good” or “I really need a job” isn't going to work. You shouldn't assume the skills of other applicants or their strengths, focus on yourself. Tell the interviewer why you are a good fit for the position, what makes you a good employee, and what you can provide the company. Keep it brief while highlighting achievements.
Don't be afraid to talk about their reputation “On the Street” and how you are a good fit. If they are viewed as aggressive for example, talk about how that fits with you, or the interest in where this culture can take the business. Avoid sugar coating your comments as the finance industry is too sophisticated to accept simplistic answers that don't represent a deeper understanding.
You should never pretend you don't have any nor come up with a list like “I work too much.” Come up with a real weakness, like prioritization, time management perhaps – something that is real but also wouldn't jeopardized your ability to do the job and focus on what you do about it. I'm working on improving my time management for example, I use an online calendar and schedule my tasks inside that calendar and plan my week each Monday estimating time needed for each task and project.
☛ Have you been involved with the strategic planning of your department in past positions?
☛ In what ways have you worked with the academic side of the house at institutions in the past?
☛ What would you do if a student told you they had thought about killing himself/herself?
☛ Discuss your involvement with campus committees in previous jobs.
☛ What 3 factors are most important for student success?
☛ Have you been involved with retention activities?
☛ Do you have experience with academic advising?
☛ What are some good ways to build a strong campus community?
☛ Have you worked with students who are transitioning (gender)?
☛ Do you subscribe to a particular student development approach?
☛ How do you increase student participation at school events?
☛ How do you maintain a professional boundary with students?
☛ Talk about ways you have collaborated with other departments.
☛ How do you stay current with the issues facing today's college student?
☛ Has there ever been a student with whom you refused to work? Why?
☛ What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in helping a student?
☛ In instances of student discipline, do you share information with the parents of traditional-aged students? If so, at what point?
☛ How would you define the difference between coaching, counseling, and advising?
☛ What technology-based resources have you found most helpful when working with students?
☛ What ideas do you have for reaching out to first-year students?
☛ What is our school mascot?
☛ How do you stay engaged and passionate about your work responsibilities?
☛ What three main attributes or skills do you think are most important for this position?
☛ At this point in the process, how are you feeling about our institution?
☛ If you were offered this position, when would you be able to start?
☛ What expectations do you have of those with which you work? How do they know this?
☛ How do you work to influence student decisions in developmentally appropriate ways, without overriding their valuable input?
☛ womanshake1Please describe your ideal workplace situation.
☛ How do you plan on integrating student development theories into your job duties and performance?
☛ Give me an example of how you have shown initiative in a situation and what resulted?
☛ How long do you anticipate staying in this position if offered a job?
☛ Your supervisor comes to you and expresses that they feel you need to provide more output. You're already over-taxed. How do you respond?
☛ Can you tell us about any of the nationwide trends in student affairs, higher education, or event planning?
☛ Do you have any questions that you would like to ask of us?
☛ Have you ever had an injury at an event with a student, guest, or a fellow staff person? What happened and how did you handle the situation?
☛ What kind of things do you do to motivate the people that you work with?
☛ What kind of hobbies and activities to you enjoy in your spare time?
☛ What have you learned about our institution while investigating this employment opportunity?
☛ What suggestions do you have for improving the overall student experience within student activities at our institution?
☛ What additional information or comments would you like to share?
☛ Describe a satisfying or meaningful experience during your time in student affairs?
☛ Describe a supervisory relationship that has been unsuccessful and why.
☛ How do the needs of graduate students differ from undergrads?
☛ Do you believe leadership can be taught?
☛ What does it mean to be a mentor?
☛ What is the greatest constructive criticism you have ever received from a supervisor?
☛ From your observations of the college union, what changes do you think could be made to make it a better or more effective place for its customers?
☛ Give an example of how you have been rewarded with more responsibility in a previous job.
☛ Tell me about one thing that is unique or remarkable about you.
☛ Why should we select you over someone else?
☛ You have 30 seconds to sell yourself. Go.
☛ What are your career goals?
☛ Which one accomplishment are you the most proud of? Why?
☛ How would you describe this institution to someone who is visiting for the first time?
☛ Using only two words, describe yourself.
☛ What are the top three things that are most important to you when looking for a job?
☛ When you leave here today, what are the most important things you want us to remember about you?
☛ What were you prepared to tell us that we didn't ask?
☛ If we asked your past two supervisors to evaluate your performance, what would they say?
☛ In what type of environment are you most productive?
☛ What traits or characteristics does a person need to be successful in this position? Rate yourself on those traits.
☛ If I ask someone who knows you why I should NOT hire you, what would they say?
☛ Tell me what you are not.
☛ Tell me about a risk you took and what you learned about yourself?
☛ What's your favorite color M&M?
☛ What cereal best describes you as a person?
☛ What was the last book you read, and what impact did it have on you?
☛ Please describe your sense of humor.
☛ If you could be a superhero and have any power, what power would you have, and why?
☛ If you were given a “free pass” to spend your extra work energies in an area of your choosing, what would you choose and what benefit would it bring to the campus?
☛ Describe the difference between advising and supervision.
☛ What strategies do you have for maintaining contact with students?
☛ How do you recruit diverse leaders to organizations?
☛ How do you help others solve problems?
☛ Talk about your facilitation style.
☛ Give an example of a training program you have done. What would you change?
☛ Talk about a time it was difficult for you to remain open-minded.
☛ What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
☛ What have you learned from your participation in extra-curricular activities?
☛ Why are you seeking a position with our institution?
☛ In what type of position are you most interested?
☛ What qualifications do you have that make you feel that you will be successful in your field?
☛ Do you prefer any specific geographic location? Why?
☛ Define cooperation.
☛ What are your own special abilities?
☛ Give me an example of a work situation in which you were not proud of your performance?
☛ What do you do after a stressful day?
☛ How do you feel you will benefit from this position?
☛ What are those things in past jobs or responsibilities that you are intrinsically motivated to do?
☛ What are those things in past jobs or responsibilities that you needed an extrinsic reward to get you motivated?
☛ What work-related values are strongest in this type of work?
☛ What kinds of decisions do you make?
☛ How did you get into this field? What jobs and experiences led you to this job?
☛ Why did you choose this organization to work for?
☛ What do you like most about this organization?
☛ Tell us a little bit about yourself?
☛ What attracted you to the ________________ position at our institution?
☛ Why do you feel qualified for this position?
☛ Tell us how this position fits into your career goals?
☛ What student development theories do you apply in your daily profession?
☛ Describe your supervisory style?
☛ What role do you typically take on a team?
☛ What are the most important qualities of a team?
☛ Have you had previous experience in supervising staff or other individuals?
☛ How do you respond to conflict?
☛ How do you deal with ambiguity?
☛ What computer skills do you possess?
☛ What role (if any) should social media have in higher education?
☛ Do you have any special trainings or certifications? How has that helped your career?
☛ Share a recent project that you are most proud of.
☛ Share a recent decision that was difficult to make.
☛ What are the most pressing issues facing college students today?
☛ What do you feel are the special issues facing underrepresented students?
☛ When choosing a job what aspects are most important?
☛ Do you foresee any transition issues if you are offered and accept this position?
☛ What are your expectations of a supervisor?
☛ What did you enjoy most and least about your most recent position?
☛ What are your strengths?
☛ What areas do you need improvement?
☛ What does it mean to act with integrity?
☛ What is professionalism to you?
☛ How do you react when your opinion is in the minority?
☛ How do you deal with stress?
☛ What do you do for fun?
☛ Why should we hire you?
☛ Do you consider yourself a patient person?
☛ Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you more outgoing or a private person?
☛ How do you describe your personality? Bubbly? Upbeat? Reserved?
☛ Do you speak any other languages?
☛ Are you able to multitask? Provide me with an example of what you might be juggling on an average day.
☛ What office equipment are you able to use?
☛ With your current employer, what has been your attendance record?
☛ How are you with understanding accents and working with individuals who are foreign nationals?
☛ How do you handle stressful situations?
☛ How many phone lines are you comfortable handling?
☛ Are you capable of handling multiple inquiries simultaneously; staff, front door, customers, phone?
☛ What software are you comfortable using?
☛ Are you comfortable placing cold calls to leads and existing clients?
☛ Do you have experience making national and international travel arrangements?
☛ Are you willing/capable of traveling should we require you to accompany a manager or executive on a business trip?
☛ Would you be able to comply with our company's dress code?
☛ How are you at handling as-needed projects? Do you mind unexpected tasks?
☛ Do you consider yourself a brisk worker, or one who is slower paced yet persistent and consistent?
☛ Outline the types of people or teams that you have supported over the years.
☛ Do you have experience managing an executive calendar and scheduling appointments? What software?
☛ Tell me about your customer service experience.
☛ Provide me with an example of a recent challenge you've faced with a visiting sales rep, vendor, customer. What happened and how did you handle?
☛ Tell me about your experiences working with your current manager. What do you find the most challenging?
☛ Provide me with a quick list of the last few projects you've worked on through the last 2-3 years.
☛ Do you like taking on ad-hoc projects? Or are you someone who prefers a set day-to-day schedule?
☛ If asked, what would your current employers say about you?
☛ Have you had any involvement with introducing new systems or technologies to help improve performance within the company?
☛ Any professional involvement with social media and online networking, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn?
☛ Do you help your current manager with maintaining his online presence?
☛ Lastly, do you like working on the front lines of a company? What do you think that is?
☛ Describe your ideal manager. What type of managers would help you deliver your best performance?
☛ Why do you want to work for us?
☛ What do you know about us specifically?
☛ What are your main motivations?
☛ Do you think technology has a role to play in this position?
☛ How will you keep ahead of the curve?
☛ What are your main strengths and weaknesses?
☛ Why are you perfectly suited to this role?
☛ Do you have any questions for us?
☛ Is there a basic philosophy of the organization? If so, what is it?
☛ What can you tell me about the campus culture?
☛ If your job progresses as you like, what would be the next step in your career?
☛ What are the opportunities for advancement, promotion, or mobility?
☛ What changes do you see occurring in this field during the next few years?
☛ Is this field expanding? Taking any new directions?
☛ How is the economy affecting the field?
☛ What are the major qualifications for success in this profession?
☛ What suggestions do you have for an individual wishing to enter this field?
☛ What training would you recommend for someone who wanted to enter this field?
☛ What characteristics are most important in a good supervisor?
☛ What courses have proved to be the most valuable to you in your work?
☛ What do you think is the biggest challenge facing college students today?
☛ How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
☛ Give a specific example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree.
☛ Describe an instance where you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
☛ How do you determine or evaluate success?
☛ What is your vision of diversity on a campus such as this one?
☛ As a higher education professional, have you done any work in the area of diversity in the community?
☛ What is your impression of our institutional mission and values?
☛ How do you plan to stay current in the student activities field?
☛ If you were planning a meeting, how would you arrange the chairs?
☛ What do you think are the key components of building community on campus?
☛ What challenges have you faced when advising students? How did you handle them?
☛ Who has served as your role model throughout your graduate experience?
☛ Tell me about a meeting you have led, and how you organized/conducted it.
☛ Share an example of a successful theory-to-practice experience.
☛ Share an example of an unsuccessful theory-to-practice experience.
☛ Give us your definition of success.
☛ What is your approach toward student discipline?
☛ What is your approach toward programming?
☛ Can you give us some examples of programs you have planned or presented?
☛ What are some of the challenges facing new professionals?
☛ How do you hold staff accountable?
☛ Have you ever terminated an employee? How did you handle that?
☛ How would you respond to a charge that one of your actions was racist, sexist, or homophobic?
☛ How will you help your supervisees pick and choose their battles?
☛ Describe a crisis situation that you've encountered and how you handled it?
☛ How do you manage someone with a confrontational style?
☛ How do you prioritize your time?
☛ Have you ever advised a student organization?
☛ What do you see as the major challenges/issues facing students today?
☛ How would you deal with the transition of a staff that was supervised by your predecessor?
☛ Do you have plans to continue your education?
☛ What characteristics do you work best with?
☛ What characteristics frustrate you when working with another person?
☛ Have you ever resigned from a job? Why?
☛ How did you select your college/university?
☛ Who are your role models?
☛ What would your supervisor/colleagues/staff say are your strengths?
☛ How would you explain a policy to your staff that you may not agree with, yet must enforce?
☛ Tell us about an experience you've had recently which had an impact on you personally or professionally.
☛ Tell us how your previous employment experiences have shaped your current career trajectory.
☛ What do you do to stay motivated? How do you motivate others?
☛ Is there something that is not on your resume that you would like to share?
☛ Do you have anything that you would like to share that we did not ask about?
☛ What will I remember about you after this interview?
☛ How would you supervise someone that you formerly knew as your peer?
This can be a tricky question to respond to, if you suggest you have no weaknesses you're going to appear as a lair or egotistical. You should respond realistically by mentioning small work related weaknesses. Although many try to answer using a positive skill in disguise as a weakness, like “I expect co-workers to have the same commitment” or “I am a perfectionist”. However, it is recommended that there is some honesty and the weaknesses are true, and then emphasize on how you have overcome it or working to improve it. The purpose of this question is to see how you view and evaluate yourself.
Say that an administrator plays an important role in ensuring that diaries are properly managed and that all outgoing correspondence is well written and all incoming correspondence is read and delivered to the relevant managers quickly.
If pushed too far you would consider speaking to your manager about workloads and expectations and try to resolve the situation.
Mention some incidents where you had to work in a team, perhaps a drama performance, or a sporting event where you had to come together with your teammates.
For me, for unsupervised I would probably talk about writing my university dissertation and not really having any contact hours with my tutor for guidance; while for team work I'd mention when I was in year 11 and as part of a group we had to make a scale model of the small estate where our school was located for a local anniversary.
As in any negotiation the person who says the number first is at a disadvantage. You can try and say you are interested in the job and you are sure salary is fair and commensurate with industry levels. If pushed you say you are looking for a “total compensation package in the range of ___to____”. In some companies they will insist on a W2 form so don't lie about current salary.
Here you could pick up on where you left off with "what are your strengths", i.e. relating all your skills and attributes to the responsibilities you would undertake in the role. If you're a clear and confident speaker, for example, and your job will involve answering lots of telephones, then this is the sort of thing you'd need to mention.
Ideally, you have some real work experience that you can talk about. Talk in some detail about what you did and why it was great. If you have no direct work experience then talk about an event where you helped a friend to resolve a problem and that these skills can be used in administration and customer care work.
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.
If you are being asked this question from your employer then you can explain your experience. Tell the employer what responsibilities you were performing during your job. You can tell what programs you developed and what modules you worked on. What were your achievements regarding different programs.
I have been working with computers since 2001. I also have a degree in network support/computer repair. I have built my last 3 computers, have work with Dell as an employee. So I have around 15 years experience working with computers.
This is another question looking towards job commitment. Some people go through jobs like socks because they don't have a life plan, and your answer can show insight into this. It can also be used for finding out if you are the type that sets goals at all in life, because those that make long-term goals are usually more reliable. Also, your goals can provide insight on your personality too.
You should respond with an answer that shows progression in your career is on track with your route in the company. It's important to do your research on company prospects, this way you understand what to expect and if it's in your long-term goal. Interviewers don't want to set you on a path that won't provide the results you want, resulting in you resigning.
This is similar to the tell us about your weaknesses question. You can't say you have none, and you can't say something fake like I work too hard. You need to be honest here with parameters: Prepare your answer so it comes across in a positive, productive way and not as bashing your former employer. Choose things that are about the job itself preferably, not your terrible boss, so you're focusing on things that don't come across as talking badly about people, which isn't necessary or helpful. Things like the lack of structure or process is an example of something you could say. Or the lack of direction for your department.
Translates to: What sort of chance do I have of getting this job? At least knowing it is a highly competitive position will make it less disappointing if you hear nothing back.
Being positive is important because often a person's attitude to their work can come across in their writing and presentation. Administrators sometimes provide the first impression a customer has of a business, so a positive and professional outlook is needed at all times.
The best way to stay organised is to keep a log of every request and each task completed so that nothing is accidentally left to go past a deadline. Mention any software that you use for this purpose.
This question is like a loaded gun, tricky and dangerous if you're not sure what you are doing. It's not uncommon for people to end up talking salary before really selling their skills, but knowledge is power as this is a negotiation after all. Again, this is an area where doing your research will be helpful as you will have an understanding of average salary.
One approach is asking the interviewer about the salary range, but to avoid the question entirely, you can respond that money isn't a key factor and you're goal is to advance in your career. However, if you have a minimum figure in mind and you believe you're able to get it, you may find it worth trying.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.
Mention routine pressure you face, such as dealing with deadlines on a regular basis.
Try not to use an example where you created the pressure yourself, by waiting too long to start something, or by handling a task irresponsibly at the beginning. For example, working under pressure to meet a customer's deadline could be a good example, but not if you had waited too long to start the project.
Pressure is actually a catalyst to my work. When there is an imperative deadline, I refocus my energy into my work which in fact, has helped me to produce some of my best works. (Give examples) I guess you can say I thrive under pressure.
Keep in mind they are not asking about you personally but you as a professional or business person. This is the time to name your strengths in a narrative way. “I am best known for my innovative and strategic approach to complex problems.” Then tell them how you came to this skillset by talking about your work experience and education. Always start with the present and work backwards.
Two minutes into the answer ask “shall I continue?” You do not want to eat up all of your interview time and lose the person's attention with a long-winded answer. Only at the end can you add something personally by saying “in my off hours I enjoy running and I coach a kids' track team.” Makes you human.
Translates to: Why should I work here? It would be nice to know the little perks and bonuses you might be entitled to, to help you make up your mind about whether you'd want to work there.
What happened? What was the outcome? Questions about leadership can be academic or otherwise. Consider any roles you might have had in clubs or societies. Maybe you organised events for your university sports team, or you were head boy/girl at school/college and made some good decisions
This is similar to the strengths/weaknesses questions - what you like least must be turned into a positive trait. Say that you enjoy the challenge of meeting deadlines and of working in a team environment. For what you like least, say that you do not like it when you see disorganised work and a poorly managed diary; you feel the need to help organise and manage the workload.
Here is your chance to run through all of your experience. Be concise and if you have done multiple roles, mention something specific for each one. Show that you have a lot of experience and are flexible.
It is common for this question to to be asked every time, and you should have questions ready. By asking questions you are able to show that you have enough interest to do some research, and that you want to learn all that you can. You should limit the questions to no more than three or four.
You can try asking questions that focus on areas where you can be an asset. Other options include asking about what your position would be, and how fast they expect you to become productive. Also, asking about the next step in the process and when to expect to hear about the position.
You should do your research prior to the interview. Look into background history of the company, this will help you stick out. Learn about main people, have they been in the news lately? The interviewer doesn't expect you to know dates and certain people, but showing that you have enough interest to research the company is a positive impression.