The school secretary job requires a broad base of knowledge and experience. Interviewers for this job ask varied questions based on the employer and responsibilities related to the job. However, there are questions that are frequently asked during the recruitment of a school secretary. Here are the top 20 school secretary job interview questions along with answers.
1. Tell Me About Yourself
The interviewer wants to know who they are interviewing. Therefore, offer any necessary and relevant information regarding your identity. Mention your qualifications, traits, education, and, if possible, one relevant life experience.
Tip #1: Mention your education attainment, experience, and traits that are relevant to this job
Tip #2: Be eloquent and confident right from the start
I am a professional secretary with over five years of experience. I have a Diploma in secretarial studies from Queen’s College. I have worked in different office settings over the years, as a secretary and at one point an office manager. Additionally, I am a highly organized individual, an attribute that has helped me thrive in this career. I also have a deep appreciation for collaborative work and don’t mind teaming up with others in the workplace.
I have several hobbies and interests outside work. I am involved with my local food bank and several orphanages in my locality. I love reading, learning about new things, playing soccer, spending time with my family, and reading poetry.
2. Why Will You Make a Good Secretary?
By asking this question, the interview manager wants to know qualities that will enable you to execute this role perfectly.
Tip #1: State qualities that make you a good secretary
Tip #2: Be honest and give a direct answer
I’m capable of accomplishing tasks quickly. I have strong values and work ethics that enable me to uphold professionalism in my work. Moreover, I have strong written and oral communication skills that help me to deliver information in a manner that every recipient will understand.
3. What Qualities Does a Secretary Need to Excel
Here, the interviewer wants to assess your familiarity with the qualities that can enable secretaries to excel in their work.
Tip #1: Mention several qualities that are essential to a secretary
Tip #2: Prove your knowledge about what can make you successful
To excel, a school secretary should be reliable and organized in every work. He or she should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Moreover, a good secretary should be attentive to detail, honest, loyal, and can multitask.
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4. As a School Secretary, What Motivates You at Work?
This question is aimed at assessing your source of motivation.
Tip #1: State what inspires you to work
Tip #2: Be honest and give a convincing answer
At times, my work can be very demanding especially when there are strict deadlines to be met. Besides, repetitive work and uncooperative teachers can be demotivating. But having a great passion for what I do is a great motivator. Besides, I always get encouraged when I achieve my goals. Besides, it is always inspiring to offer services that fulfill the needs of others.
5. If You Found Two Teachers Quarreling, What Would You Do?
The interviewer wants to assess your conflict resolution abilities.
Tip #1: State how you would resolve the conflict
Tip #2: Provide a systematic method of conflict resolution
Resolving any conflict begins with understanding its cause. So I would seek to understand the root cause of their conflict from each person. Then, I’ll look for facts to determine who is right. Next, I’ll meet with both of them and show them who’s right and who is wrong. I would use facts to justify my opinion.
6. Can You Work Effectively With MS Office?
This question is intended to assess whether you are competent in using the MS Office applications that are commonly used by administrative workers.
Tip #1: Mention that you have good knowledge of MS Office
Tip #2: State how long you have used the software
Yes. I am well versed in using MS Office applications. I frequently use MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint to prepare reports, record meetings, make presentations, and more. I have used the software for the past five years I’ve worked as a school secretary.
7. Would You Accompany the School Manager on a Business Trip?
You are likely to be asked this question during your school secretary job interview. The aim is to test your flexibility.
Tip #1: Don’t get very excited about traveling as that might suggest you won’t be happy with your daily work in the office
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you are flexible
I wouldn’t mind accompanying the school manager on a business trip if it is part of my job. I am flexible such that I can adjust based on the demands of my work. I can work excellently from the office and while away from school.
8. As a Secretary, What Are Your Strengths?
The interviewer wants to know the strengths that relate to this position.
Tip #1: State at least two strengths that are relevant to this job
Tip #2: Prove that you have what it takes to perform this job effectively
I have several strengths that enable me to work effectively. I am very organized in all my work. I make good follow up of information and other matters related to my work or as directed by my boss. Also, I offer good customer service and have strong problem solving skills.
9. What Do You Like About Being a Secretary?
The interview manager wants to evaluate how fit you are for the school secretary job.
Tip #1: State what you enjoy about this job
Tip #2: Give a direct and relevant answer
This role offers me an opportunity to deal with diverse people as well as learn new skills. Besides, the position enables me to meet new challenges that help me to improve my skills and knowledge in the profession.
10. How Does a Typical Day of a School Secretary Look Like?
This question is asked to assess your familiarity with the duties performed by a school secretary.
Tip #1: Mention several duties performed by school secretaries daily
Tip #2: Prove that you are familiar with your responsibilities
School secretaries perform various duties based on the size and type of school. Their daily duties typically include answering and transferring calls, welcoming visitors and directing them around the school, and offering administrative support to the school manager or principal. They also take minutes in meetings, contact parents when necessary, distribute mails, maintain students’ files and records, manage and update school calendars, and distribute paychecks to staff.
11. What is Your Main Weakness?
There is no single right or wrong answer to this question. The interviewer wants to know whether there is anything that might hinder you from working effectively.
Tip #1: Mention something that will not reduce your chances of winning the job
Tip #2: State how you overcome your weakness
When working with others, I used to become upset when my teammates perform slower than I do. But, I have learned to understand that different people have different working levels and standards of productivity. I exercise patience and also help others instead of getting frustrated.
12. Have You Ever Managed Calendars of Multiple People Using Scheduling Software?
The interviewer aims to know whether you can use software to manage people’s calendars.
Tip #1: Describe your experience in managing calendars
Tip #2: Prove that you can use technology to manage multiple calendars
In my previous work, I have managed calendars of up to 10 people simultaneously. I have set up meetings effectively including arranging trips for other people with minimal errors. To date, I ensure to stay current about the latest calendar technology.
13. How Would You Rate Your Written and Verbal Communication Skills?
The interview manager aims to know if you can communicate effectively, whether in person, over the phone, or by email.
Tip #1: Describe your communication abilities
Tip #2: Prove that you are fluent in both written and oral communication
Over the years I’ve worked as a school secretary, I have developed and polished my communication abilities. I consider myself very fluent in both spoken and written English. I always strive to be professional in interactions at school. Moreover, I proofread my communications to ensure they are complete and error-free.
14. Describe Your Experience in Filing and Maintaining School Records.
Using this question, the interviewer wants to assess your records management skills.
Tip #1: Prove that you are knowledgeable about filing systems
Tip #2: Give the impression that you can manage school records effectively
In the past, I have been involved in managing both paper and electronic records. I am experienced in filing paperwork. I am very organized when it comes to managing school records. I know how to use the alpha-numeric filing system. I can ensure effective record keeping of both student and administrative records.
15. Have You Used a Multi-Line Phone System Previously, and Can You Manage Calls When it Becomes Busy?
Here, the interviewer wants to test your knowledge regarding prioritizing and transferring calls.
Tip #1: Mention that you can handle multiple calls effectively
Tip #2: Demonstrate you can stay professional and calm when you have multiple callers
During my last role, I learned to operate a switchboard effectively to answer and transfer multiple calls from parents, administrators, and suppliers. I would prioritize urgent and important calls and transfer them appropriately. Besides, I remain calm and uphold professionalism when the workplace becomes very busy.
16. Can You Be Trusted With Confidential Information?
The interview manager wants to know whether you can effectively manage confidential information.
Tip #1: State how you manage confidential information
Tip #2: Show that you can be trusted with secretive information
I can handle and manage confidential information appropriately. I make sure to keep such information in locked drawers and cabinets. Moreover, I make sure to lock my computer every time I’m not using it or away from the office. In doing so, I ensure that any confidential information is not accessed by unauthorized persons.
17. Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?
The interviewer seeks to know why you are unsatisfied with your current job to determine whether this job offers what you are looking for.
Tip #1: State why you want to leave your current position
Tip #2: Be honest and don’t badmouth your employer
While I’ve gained significant experience through my current position, I have researched about this job and discovered it is a better fit for my future career ambitions. It offers a better opportunity for career growth and development. Besides, I can now handle more complex and difficult challenges.
18. How Do You Deal With Stress?
The interviewer is looking for an individual who can handle stress effectively.
Tip #1: State how you handle stress
Tip #2: Prove that you know how to deal with work pressure
I am used to handling stress appropriately and executing high-stress jobs. If a stressful situation arises, I remain calm and assess the situation to determine how to handle it without allowing issues to escalate. Moreover, I come up with a detailed to-do list that helps me to focus on my work rather than stressing matters.
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19. What is Your Experience in Planning Meetings?
The employer is looking for an individual who is experienced in planning meetings.
Tip #1: Mention the actions involved in planning meetings
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you can ensure meetings run as planned
In the past, I have successfully planned school meetings. I can organize meeting times and venues, inform participants in advance, and ensure every participant receives the agenda for every meeting. I leverage my planning and organizational skills to ensure meetings run as planned.
20. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
The interviewer wants to hear whether you share the values and goals of the employer.
Tip #1: State what you want to achieve in five years
Tip #2: Show that you will be a valuable asset in future
I intend to grow professionally and learn as much as I can through this position. I hope to gain more knowledge and experience in the profession. I aim to become an excellent school secretary who can be trusted with more responsibilities.
Consider in detail these interview questions and answers and practice them before your school secretary job interview. Customize the academic attainment, experience, skills, and other applicable aspects to suit your context. In doing so, you will be adequately prepared to give a great impression and ace your interview.