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5 Office Administrator Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

Can you give me an example of a way that you improved efficiency in a past workplace?

A:

An office administrator plays an important role in making sure everyday operations run smoothly so that the people they support can get their jobs done well. Asking this question lets you find out if the applicant is the type of person to pay attention to how a workplace runs. It also shows you if they take action to make things better for everyone in the company. What to look for in an answer:

  • Attention to small details
  • Excitement about improving efficiency
  • Precise descriptions of past successes

Example:

"I moved the coffee machine to a more central location, so employees spent less time chatting in the kitchen on unscheduled breaks."

Q:

What software programs do you use to stay organized, manage schedules and ensure the office runs smoothly?

A:

Asking this question allows you to learn about the candidate's technical skills. Those who use software that your company utilizes are likely to be a good fit, but even people who use unfamiliar applications can demonstrate that they are quick learners who are comfortable with technology. The candidate's response also tells you a bit about how they plan to complete their daily tasks at work. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience using a variety of software
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Examples of improving office efficiency with technology

Example:

"I got everyone to use an office inventory program that let us easily keep track of supplies throughout multiple departments. This prevented us from ordering too much or running out unexpectedly."

Q:

If multiple supervisors give you projects to complete, how do you prioritize which gets done first?

A:

Bringing up this interview question helps you to learn a bit about how the candidate handles office politics. A good administrator should be able to navigate situations with multiple departments without upsetting or inconveniencing any of them. It also lets you see what sort of multitasking skills they have, so you can see how well they deal with time management. What to look for in an answer:

  • Sensitivity and diplomacy when dealing with co-workers
  • The ability to multitask and manage time well
  • Good judgment in busy situations

Example:

"I'd usually start on ones with the shortest deadline, but I'd also consider the project's importance and the position of the person who needs it."

Q:

Can you tell me about the role you think an office administrator should play in an office?

A:

Asking the candidate to tell you about their expectations for the position lets you figure out how they would behave if hired. This question will let you know about the sort of duties the administrator would focus on and the type of interactions they would prefer to have with their co-workers. What to look for in an answer:

  • A focus on improving office efficiency
  • A "no-job-is-too-small" attitude
  • An interest in responsibilities they would have

Example:

"I think office administrators have the very important role of making everything run smoothly. They should focus on things like managing schedules and ordering supplies."

Q:

Can you give me some examples of skills you have that would help you interact with clients who contact our office?

A:

In many offices, an administrator may also have some duties similar to receptionists and front desk assistants, so you need to use this question to see how comfortable the candidate is with these tasks. Their answer can let you find out about their customer service skills. You can tell if they think they would be too busy to greet people, or if they have an interest in acting as the front line of the office. What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to provide customer support
  • Professional and friendly customer service skills
  • Confidence in their ability to interact with clients

Example:

"I provide a friendly and welcoming presence for clients. With my in-depth knowledge of the office, I can easily direct them to the right employee for their needs."

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