Every single job at a company is important, especially those in the administrative sector. These positions help keep the office running smoothly on a daily basis. They also help executives and other management professionals with their schedules, with welcoming potential clients to the campus and helping with the onboarding of new employees.

The next time you interview an administrative candidate, make sure you ask the following questions to weed out candidates who don’t have what it takes.

How do you effectively handle a large volume of calls over multiple lines?

This is a very important question for companies of all sizes because having a competent administrator as the front line of your business can mean the difference between making an impression on clients and struggling to keep them under contract. Many administrative positions will include answering hundreds of calls per day on multiple phone lines. The candidate you choose must be able to work under pressure.

What computer programs are you most comfortable using?

Administrative employees must know how to use computers if they want to be successful. Working on computers likely take up 90 percent of their day at work, which is why they must be proficient in all of what Microsoft has to offer as well as other software programs. Make sure you also ask the candidate what computer skills they have so you can gauge their experience level with computers.

What have been some of your responsibilities as an administrative professional?

This is a must-ask question when looking to hire new administrative professionals at your company. You need to know what it is they have been responsible for completing at their prior jobs to determine if they will be able to handle what you need done if hired by your company. As a follow-up question, ask the candidate how they handled the responsibilities in a timely manner.

What was the reporting structure at your last administrative support job?

Companies differ on how they make their employees report to superiors, which is why this is an excellent question to ask of an administrative support candidate during a job interview. You need to ask this question in order to determine how many different people the candidate reported to and if reporting to more than one at your company will be difficult for them to get used to if hired.

Did you interact with departments other than your own?

When interviewing a candidate for an open administrative support job, you must ask this question because it can help you understand how involved the candidate was in their previous job. It will also help you get a feel for how well they interacted with other departments.

How much interaction have you had with the public?

Some administrative support jobs are performed entirely behind the scenes, while others are public facing. If the position you are hiring for requires interaction with the public, this is a must-ask question during the job interview.

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