Often overlooked by the public, administrative assistants play an indispensable role in each organization. Someone has to take care of the agenda and bureaucracy, answer phone calls and emails, and take care of routine administrative tasks in the office. It’s not the most fascinating job though, and that’s exactly why they will often ask you about the reasons of your job choice, while you are interviewing for this job. But what do they expect to hear from you?

Before anything else, they expect to hear at least some enthusiasm in your voice. It’s crucial not to sound like someone who’s in the room just because they need any job to earn money, pay bills, and basically to survive. Enthusiasm aside, you can refer to a variety of things in your answer. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers right now. Below the answers you will find some additional explanation and hints. The answers will work also for the executive assistant job. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to work as an administrative assistant?” interview question

  1. I’ve always excelled in an office work. I can type quickly, have a lot of experience with common word processors, and I enjoy to work in a nice and organized office. On the other hand, I do not excel in leading teams, and am not really someone who can work as a manager. Hence I find the job of an administrative assistant an ideal choice, at least at this stage of my professional career.
  2. I’ve been working in the field for years. Office assistant, secretary, accounting assistant–you name it. With all the experience I’ve acquired over the years, I still find this work interesting, and do not see a reason why I’d start in a new field from scratch. I like your job description, and also the values you promote in this organization, the goals you try to achieve here. I’d love to participate on your efforts, from a position of an administrative assistant.
  3. I have just graduated from high school. And though I have my aspirations, and would love to have a managerial role one day, I understand that I have to start from the bottom, and learn the ins and outs of the work in a functioning office or team. With everything I learned at school and with the part time jobs I had while still studying, I feel ready to do a great job as an administrative assistant, and hope to get a chance to prove my skills in your company.
  4. I feel like a fish in a water in a busy office. Phone keeps ringing, emails keep arriving, and everyone seems to be in a rush. I love the adrenaline of such places, and that’s the sort of an environment where I thrive. And I know that it’s exactly the case in your business, because you have tens of thousands of customers and someone is always calling. I believe that one should do a job they enjoy doing, work in a place they feel good at. Your place seems to me like the right place for me.
  5. To be honest, I have been unemployed for more than a year. I know that I may look overqualified for this job, but I definitely do not feel like it. In my age and my position I am grateful for every opportunity, every invitation for an interview. I feel that sometimes our resume does not tell the entire story, if you know what I mean… What I try to convey here is that I will be grateful to get any decent job, and the position of an executive assistant in your corporation definitely is a decent one.
  6. I want to work as an administrative assistant because this is the job I am good at. I have thought about my strengths for a long time–what I can do and what I cannot, considering everything I’ve been through in my life. And I want to be realistic. It makes no sense to dream about running my own business or having some engineering role, when I just do not have the resources or intelligence to pursue such goals. But I have great attention to detail, can respond promptly to questions, understand what it means to deliver an excellent customer service, and can handle the typical work you do in an office. That’s why I decided to apply for a job of an administrative assistant.
  7. It’s just on my career plan, something I want to do right now, to gain experience and improve on certain skills. I hope to apply for an office manager job later one, in two years from now, and than perhaps, if I prove my abilities, progress to a managerial positions. I know that such path is possible in your company, and that’s the reason why I applied for a job with you, for exactly this one.


Connect your strengths with the job

Do not talk only about things you want to gain while working as an administrative assistant–a decent salary, nice office job, new skills you will learn. Talk also about things you want to bring onboard–ability to type quickly, to deliver an excellent customer service, long years of working with MS Office, and so on.

At the end of the day, it’s a question of attitude, and it interests your interviewers more than anything else: Do you think only about the benefits you will get with the job, or do you think also about the benefits your employer will gain?


It’s fine talking about roles you want to have in the future

Nobody dreams of working as an administrative assistant for their entire life. It’s a sort of a start, often the first job you can get in some corporation, but you should move up from there.

Try to think about your career in their company. Are there any positions that interest you but you cannot get them at the moment? Refer to them in your answer. Connect your future with their business. Companies love to hire job applicants who dream of staying long with them, climbing the career ladder step by step…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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