Five Questions to Ask When Hiring an Administrator

There’s a reason why it’s impossible to imagine an office without an administrator — admins keep the workplace running. Whether it is by organizing, communicating, or providing support, the best administrators can just as easily take charge as they can slip under the radar. This is why filling an admin position can be one of the most challenging roles for a hiring manager. Luckily, we’ve compiled these five questions that will help you determine which are the best candidates from your applicant pool.


How do you prioritize your tasks?

The right answer to this question depends largely on what kind of admin support you need. If you are looking for someone who is a self-starter and independent, their answer should illustrate those qualities. You can also give them a list of several tasks and ask them to prioritize which ones they would complete first.


How do you handle a roadblock?

An admin’s primary job is to provide support, not get support — so how they answer this question can be an indicator of their behavior in the workplace. If they go straight to seeking help from someone else versus attempting to fixing the problem on their own, they may not be the best fit. On the other hand, if your work environment is highly technical or contains sensitive equipment, perhaps you may want to eschew independent troubleshooting.


Tell me about a problem that you solved creatively.

The keyword here is “creatively.” This question requires the admin to truly show off their problem solving abilities. Usually, the bigger the problem, the more creativity is required to solve it. Find out why the problem occurred, what they did to remedy it, and what precautions were taken, if any. What is their approach to problem solving in general?


Can you explain how to do something?

Cut a pineapple? Ride a bike? Solve a Rubik’s cube? It doesn’t matter what they choose to explain, the goal is to see how effectively they communicate. Oftentimes, an admin will be the proxy or liaison for their team, so it’s important that they are able to clearly articulate a message or idea to someone else.


Describe yourself in three words.

There aren’t just three words that make up the right answer, but there are certainly some words that make up the wrong answer. Obviously, if they pick words that have nothing to do with their work ethic or if they all mean the same thing, it could be a red flag. The types of words you should be looking for include: go-getter, self-starter, motivated, curious, detail oriented, and organized.

Once you’ve asked these five questions to your candidates, you should be able to confidently decide who will move on in the hiring process. And, as a final step, invite your top applicants to the office and see who has the best rapport with the team.



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