How to Interview for a Secretarial Job

Three Methods:Preparing for the Secretarial InterviewAnswering Questions During a Secretarial InterviewAsking Questions During a Secretarial Interview

Secretarial jobs require applicants to be efficient, professional and well organized. The specific skills and qualifications required will depend on the employer and the competencies of each individual position. However, there are many qualities that every good secretary must possess, and the interview is a great opportunity to demonstrate and discuss your skills and experience. Interview for a secretarial job by researching the company you are applying to, dressing professionally and preparing yourself for the questions you will ask and answer.

Method 1
Preparing for the Secretarial Interview

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    Review the resume and cover letter you sent to the company, or the application you completed. You will probably be asked questions about your background during the interview, and you want to be prepared.
    • Take a copy of your resume with you so you can reference it if necessary.
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    Read the job description. You must be familiar with the duties and responsibilities associated with the secretarial position you are interviewing for.
    • Note any questions you have and bring the job description with you as well for reference.
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    Research the company you are interviewing with. Having a general knowledge of the goods or services that the business provides will keep you well prepared. A simple Internet search can give you the latest information on the company and its interests.
    • Visit the company's website. Referring to information you find on the website during the interview will demonstrate that you are prepared and knowledgeable about the company.
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    Dress professionally. A secretary should look conservative, neat and polished. Consider a business suit in a neutral color such as black, navy, grey or brown.
    • Keep your jewelry understated and your hair, nails and teeth clean and groomed.

Method 2
Answering Questions During a Secretarial Interview

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    Discuss your past roles and employment experience. Never speak badly about a former employer. Stay positive and discuss what you learned in past positions.
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    Answer hypothetical questions. Employers may want an idea of how you will respond to certain situations. When asked a hypothetical, take a moment to think your answer through before you respond.
    • Use past experience to demonstrate how you would act. For example, you could say: "Something similar happened at my last job..." Then, explain why your solution worked.
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    Talk about your skills and strengths as they pertain to your job duties. Your interviewer may ask how you organize yourself, what your Excel proficiency is and how you meet impossible deadlines.
    • Offer specifics. Instead of saying you are good at making travel plans, talk about how you found a low fare on a complicated international flight by shopping around online.
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    Remain poised. Answer questions articulately and completely. Avoid exaggerating or saying misleading things about your experience or your skills.

Method 3
Asking Questions During a Secretarial Interview

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    Ask about performance expectations. Knowing how you will be measured once you are on the job is important information during an interview.
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    Initiate a discussion about the company's growth. Without asking for specifics, you could say something like "where do you see this department in 5 years?"
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    Talk about management style. If your potential supervisor is involved in the interview, it is appropriate to ask about how he or she manages.
    • Explain how you respond to that sort of management. For example, if your interviewer says she is not a micromanager as long as the work gets done, say that you work best independently. If she says she prefers working as a team, tell her you enjoy receiving and offering feedback during the course of a project.
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    Offer any other additional information, references or work samples. Some companies may require a typing or computer test or request a writing sample. Be open and accommodating.


  • Communicate professionally before, during and after the interview. Avoid using slang and negative phrases such as "sort of" or "you know" or "like." Be aware of your body language by sitting up straight and not fidgeting.
  • Send a thank you note after your interview. If you collect business cards from everyone who interviewed you, a brief email is a good idea. Simply thank them for the time they took to meet with you and express your enthusiasm for the secretarial position.


  • Leave salary discussions out of the interview. You can talk money and benefits later, when you progress to another round of interviews or if the company makes you an offer.

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Categories: Interview Skills