Executive assistants provide administrative support to executives and executive teams. The main duty of executive assistants is to manage the administrative and support tasks of executives, so that executives can focus on more important and impactful deliverables.
Let's take a brief look at the key job duties, success traits, and job skills of executive assistants - which will help you to prepare for and answer your executive assistant interview questions in a more impactful way.
Executive Assistant Job Duties - Executive assistants schedule appointments and manage calendars; make travel arrangements; greet, screen, route incoming visitors and calls; prepare documents such as presentations and analytical reports; draft emails and letters; order and manage office supplies and equipment etc.
Executive Assistant Success Traits - Executive Assistants require good interpersonal and communication skills, organization skills, time management skills, multi-tasking abilities, positive and pleasing attitude, patience, customer management skills, etc.
Executive Assistant Job skills - Executive Assistants require experience with handling computers, using software such as Microsoft office suite - office, excel, power point, outlook, handling communication and office equipment such as multi-line phone system, printer, scanner, fax. etc.
By asking this question, the interviewer wants to see if you have the passion, skill set and experience required to be a successful Executive Assistant.
Best way to answer this question is to briefly talk about yourself and highlight the following four points in sequence.
1. Your education
2. Your previous experience - Highlight the job duties from your previous jobs that match the requirements for this job.
3. Your strengths and passions - Highlight the success traits required for a executive assistant - communication skills, scheduling skills, organizational skills, multi-tasking abilities, and customer management skills etc.
4. Your job specific skills - Highlight your experience with relavant software, hardware, systems etc. required for the executive assistant job.
Important - Do not specify your hobbies, personal details, or family details unless specifically asked for.
Sample answer - 'I have a bachelor's degree in arts from XYZ university (shows that you have relevant qualification). I have seven years of experience as a executive assistant, including last two years for company XYZ where I was responsible for overseeing the administrative tasks of the CEO (shows that you have relevant experience). I'm extremely well organized and efficient, love administrative tasks - such as scheduling meetings, managing email, communicating with visitors in-person as well as on phone. I am passionate with other aspects of my job as well - especially I'm very creative with drafting documents such as proposals, creating presentations, analyzing reports etc. (Shows that you are passionate about being an executive assistant). I have excellent computer skills, and am proficient in the Microsoft suite of products - office, excel, power point and outlook. I'm technically savvy and can handle communications equipment such as multi-line phones, print, scan, fax etc. (shows that you have the right job related skills.).'