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How to Get a Job as an Administrative Assistant

Aspiring assistants may jump through different hoops to get hired. Some job offers may come after a brief interview, while others may require tests to demonstrate ability. Sonya Ford, office and special manager at the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, says when considering new administrative assistants to hire she looks for someone who's reliable, a self-starter and "can anticipate things before they happen." In addition to good communication skills, she says computer knowledge is a bonus. Romero’s path to her job began with a typing test, a background check, a psychological test followed by the interview. "It was 150 applicants, so I was happy to be selected as the chosen one," she says. Romero recommends that aspiring assistants stay ahead of the technology curve, be self-motivated, take initiative and be willing to bend, but not break.

Interview Questions Submitted by Real Administrative Assistants

"What are your two most played songs on your iPod?" - Clear Channel Outdoor Administrative Assistant Candidate (Philadelphia, PA)

"What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?" - Wilmington University Administrative Assistant Candidate (Location Unknown)

"What do you know about our company?" - Qbit Administrative Assistant Candidate (Location Unknown)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good Above Average
Stress Level fair Average
Flexibility fair Average

What is the Job Like?

Everyday tasks can be done on-site in an office, school or hospital but may also be remote. Your day can start before arriving at work and last long after leaving. Both Romero and Ford say the day may not go as planned, but starts with planned goals and tasks. "Always be prepared to accept new responsibilities because the tasks are not the same anymore," Ford says. "You're no longer sitting at a desk being an assistant anymore, you're in charge of projects, finances and other things."

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Last updated by Evan Taylor.

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