Secretarial Job Interview Tips

Secretarial job is one of the most crucial and pivotal job in any business organization today. Behind every successful business man/woman, there will be an efficient secretary working for smooth running of the organization and other connected business activities. Today with competition fiercer than ever, it is crucial to prepare well for the secretarial job interview.

Interview Parameters

Secretarial jobs need a wide array of skills and abilities. Interview questions vary depending on the level of job, your experience and the employer needs. The main aim of the interview will be to assess vital secretarial skills and abilities like oral and written communication skills, adaptability, reliability and confidentiality, integrity, organizing ability, client relations, accuracy and attention to details, ability to work under pressure, advanced computer knowledge and ability to multi-task. Success depends on preparing well and practicing adequately.

Following are some secretarial job interview tips:

  1. Know all you can about the company. Know their business and industry, their success stories, mission and vision, and the current events in the industry.

  2. You should prepare good answers to probable interview questions using the skills relevant to the position as keywords. Focus on 3-4 skills linked directly to the secretarial positions - like organizing, communication and interpersonal skills, making travel arrangements etc.  Be ready to support your claim with specific examples.

  3. Your interview attire should be business-like and conservative. Light or neutral shade and elegant clothes create the best first impression. Pay attention to hair, nails and shoes.  All should be clean and well-cared for. Look professional and well-dressed.

  4. Arrive at least 5-10 minutes early. You can use the rest room to present a well-groomed look and you can feel relaxed prior to facing the interview.

  5. Keep ready your career portfolio (nice-looking and neat) and some spare resumes. Also keep a pad and pen ready for taking down any notes/details.

  6. Walk in with confidence and a smile on your face. Offer a firm handshake and a greeting to the recruiter. Make eye contact with the interviewer and stay focused on the interview. Try to be natural, poised and be yourself.

  7. You should exhibit good communication skills - listening attentively and responding intelligently; hear the questions fully without interrupting and reply clearly and concisely. In case you need any clarifications, ask without feeling nervous or sounding diffident.

  8. Avoid negative mannerisms, negative body language or using negative or vague language. Leaning slightly forward towards the interviewer gives the message of being interested and involved.

  9. If you are feeling nervous or flustered before answering a question, count for three beats in your mind before starting to answer and again between your sentences. That way you may not sound rushed or incoherent.

  10. When asked to list about your career accomplishments, try to focus on those relating to the key tasks of the position you have applied for. Do not exaggerate and stick to facts.

  11. When and if asked about reasons for quitting the previous job, keep it general. Do not complain about office environment, pay or criticizing your manager colleagues etc. That shows you to be unprofessional and petty.

  12. Have your own questions ready to ask about the job - like what are the priorities involved, any biggest challenge facing the company, the management style to be adopted etc.

  13. Thank the interviewer by name and send a written thank-you note by post/email as well.

  14. You have to intimate to your references that they are likely to be contacted and give them some details so they can give relevant references for you.

  15. You should ask politely for an update about the outcome of the interview.


The way to come out successful is to give the interview like a professional backed by excellent preparation with a conviction that you are the best possible candidate for the job.