Administrative Assistant Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?

Administrative assistants work in office environments and provide administrative support to ensure operational efficiency. Typically, administrative assistants handle phones and emails, set up meetings, distribute company correspondence, maintain files, track office inventory, order supplies when needed, and support managers in a variety of administrative duties. Administrative assistants must have strong office skills, such as typing, filing, copying, and more. They must be competent in relevant computer software applications and tools. 

Administrative assistants are required to communicate effectively via phone, email, or in person. They deliver reports and letters in a timely manner and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information. Strong knowledge of office management systems and procedures, exceptional time management skills, and good multitasking skills are also required. Some administrative assistants work with customers or multiple department managers. They may also be involved in assisting customers or consumers as well as providing reports for various department managers and staff. 

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National Average Salary

Administrative assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for an Administrative Assistant is:


Administrative Assistant Job Descriptions

Example 1

Position summary details

The Administrative Assistant will have the ability to work diligently to help maintain smooth office operations. You will undertake a variety of activities in the office ranging from filing and answering the phone to basic bookkeeping. You must be reliable and hardworking with great communication skills. The ideal candidate will be familiar with office equipment and procedures.


  • Maintain files and records so they remain updated and easily accessible
  • Sort and distribute incoming mail and prepare outgoing mail (envelopes, packages, etc.)
  • Answer the phone to take messages or redirect calls to appropriate colleagues
  • Utilize office appliances such as photocopiers, printers, etc., and computers for word processing, spreadsheet creation, etc.
  • Update reports as needed on Excel spreadsheets
  • Monitor stocks of office supplies (paper clips, stationery, etc.) and report when there are shortages
  • Perform other office duties as assigned


  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Proven experience as an office clerk or other clerical position
  • Familiarity with office procedures
  • Working knowledge of office devices and processes
  • Knowledge of MS Office
  • Knowledge of Excel
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Must be Bilingual-English/Spanish
  • Very good organizational and multitasking abilities
  • High school diploma

Example 2

ABC Company is seeking an Administrative Assistant to join our Administrative team.

Position responsibilities

  • Provide administrative support for ABC Company’s sales office
  • Manage the sales team’s emails and phone calls
  • Generate and distribute schedules, presentations, reports, and scorecards
  • Schedule and coordinate meetings, training, and travel arrangements
  • Maintain and update various documentation, meeting minutes, contact lists, training materials, and internal communications platform
  • Coordinate departmental human resource activities and the maintenance of relevant documentation
  • Plan department lunches and events
  • Submit and reconcile expense reports as necessary

Minimum requirements

  • High School diploma or equivalent. Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • 2+ years of administrative experience
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access
  • Ability to write, speak, and interact clearly and professionally
  • Extremely organized. Strong multitasking and time-management skills
  • Can handle sensitive information with the highest degree of integrity and confidentiality

Example 3

General purpose

Responsible for administrative and operational support for the retail store including creating the sales schedule, processing HR paperwork, and miscellaneous duties that support the store and store management. Respond to internal and external customer needs in a timely, accurate, and professional manner.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Create and maintain the monthly sales schedule
  • Complete and submit necessary Human Resources forms for new hires and terminations
  • Submit time sheets to payroll (including any necessary absentee forms) and distribute paychecks
  • Order breakfasts and/or lunches for employee meetings, events, and holidays based on corporate approval
  • Assist the Marketing Department with local events, charities, photoshoots, etc.
  • Reconcile petty cash fund & check requests
  • Assists the sales team in setting out merchandise in display cases
  • Provides backup phone support and transfers calls and assists clients as needed

Job qualifications

  • Ability to plan, organize, and carry out assignments.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to analyze information accesses situations and arrive at decisions
  • Ability to exercise attention to detail


  • High school diploma and some office skills training
  • Microsoft Office Suite


  • Two years of experience in a secretarial or administrative position

How to Hire an Administrative Assistant

When hiring an administrative assistant, first consider the following:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
  • Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
  • Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Hire an experienced freelancer

The freelance, or gig, economy continues to grow, with more talent available daily. Freelancers provide high-quality work without a long-term commitment. They can offer you a fresh perspective, more flexibility, and increase efficiency. While the freelance market isn’t ideal for every position, administrative assistants are often a great fit. 

We recommend this option when:

  • Your need is project-based
  • The work can be performed remotely
  • You do not intend to direct the daily work activity
  • You are hiring for expertise your internal team does not possess
  • You do not require an employee to work onsite or follow a specific schedule

When hiring an administrative assistant, we recommend using Upwork.


Upwork is a freelance talent network that helps individuals connect with experts in a variety of fields to accomplish project-based needs. When you have a specific, well-defined goal in mind, this can be a great path to hiring an experienced administrative assistant. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.

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3. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for an administrative assistant opening:


CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process. 

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4. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What interests you about being an administrative assistant for our industry?
  • Are you comfortable with Microsoft Office?
  • Are you comfortable with planning travel and managing communications for multiple executives?
  • What software tools do you use on a daily basis?
  • Are you a quick learner?
  • Have you received any certifications related to being an administrative assistant?
  • Describe a time you received criticism. How did you handle it?
  • How do you organize your workload?
  • Describe a time you assisted in a task or project. Who else did you work with on this project? What were their roles?
  • How do you handle an upset client or customer?
  • Describe one of your more successful encounters. How do you define success?

Need help hiring an Administrative Assistant?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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