How to Hire the Best Administrative Assistant

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Administrative assistants are an integral part of any organization. And finding the right multitalented individual can be challenging. Therefore, it is essential to invest in the hiring process.

Here are some important items to consider when evaluating potential candidates.

The Right Skill Set

Required skills may vary depending on company size and industry type. Use this list as a starting point.

Technical Skills

  • Microsoft Office
  • Database Management Software
  • Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
  • Event Planning

Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Resilience
  • Problem Solving
  • Diplomacy

How to Evaluate: Use software assessments or/and work sample tests to assess technical skills. To gain insight into soft skills, turn to behavioral questions such as, “Describe a situation where you were not able to meet a deadline. How did you react?”

A Flexible Mindset

Once upon a time, administrative assistants were primarily responsible for basic duties such as answering phone calls and writing memos. But, things have changed. Today’s professional may be asked to complete a variety of tasks ranging from managing social media accounts to budgeting. The best candidates need to be adaptable and quick learners. They must be able to switch between taking orders and initiating projects, assisting others and directing workflow, and mastering existing job requirements and implementing new ideas. In addition, they must have the ability to use good judgement to navigate difficult situations. A can-do spirit and a positive attitude are key.

How to Evaluate: Ask situational interview questions such as “A top client calls. He is angry and wants to cancel his account immediately. Your manager is out of the office for the day. What would you do?”

A Good Culture Fit

Administrative assistants often interact with every person in an organization. So, it is extremely important they “fit in” and get along well with all levels of employees. In addition, they are likely to have frequent contact with the outside world. They need to be professional, reliable and a great ambassador for your company brand. Look for qualified and like-minded candidates who also express a genuine interest and enthusiasm for joining your team.

How to Evaluate: Extend the interview. Set up two or three additional meetings with different groups in different locations. Observe interactions and request feedback from others within the company.


Candidates with previous experience bring background knowledge, tested tactics and an extended network to the position. However, you do not need to limit your choices to only those with administrative assistant or even office experience. Individuals who have held leadership or clerical roles in volunteer groups, professional organizations or other companies may also be great choices.

How to Evaluate: Check application materials, social media and references. Then, outline the advantages each candidate offers.

Are you struggling to find the perfect administrative assistant? Let Aventure Staffing do the work for you. We offer personalized solutions to recruit employees who will make a positive impact on your company. Learn more about our office and professional staffing options today!

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