Hiring administrative assistants: real-world examples

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We analyzed all the different ways our clients go about hiring administrative assistants so that we could recommend the best ways to test for administrative assistant roles.

In most cases, recruiters choose a test that falls into one of two categories.

The first is a simple skills test, which is quick, and fairly easy, test suited to roles with a high volume of candidates. These types of tests are almost always used immediately after candidates apply for the role. In other words, they are best used at the top of the hiring funnel.

The second is a tasked-based test, which is suited to roles that require a higher degree of technical skill, for example strong good Excel skills. These types of tests can be used either at the top of the hiring funnel or for a shortlist of candidates towards the end of the funnel.

We have chosen some of the most commonly used questions from each category so that you can visualize what a test for a role in your organization might look like.

Simple skills tests for hiring administrative assistants

Simple logic questions
Jo is older than Daniel.
Damon is older than Jo.
Daniel is older than Damon.
If the first two statements are true, the third statement is
A. true
B. false
C. uncertain

Pattern questions
What is the next pattern in this sequence?

Attention to detail
Count the number of differences between two images

Spreadsheet actions
Create a monthly calendar starting from January and ending in December
Under January enter the number 2, then every month the number must be double the previous month
In the 13th column enter the sum of all the previous twelve months

Document questions
Examples include inserting images, renaming files or basic formatting

Task-based tests for hiring administrative assistants

Writing skills
Multiple choice questions that test grammar

Document questions
Correct the formatting of this document to conform with US English and look professional

Spreadsheet actions
Sort this list alphabetically by column A then descending numerically by column B

Spreadsheet actions
Create a pie chart from the following table
Seperate the biggest segment of the pie and add percentages

Spreadsheet actions
Add up all numbers in column A, B and C
Add another row which displays each column as a percentage of the SUM of column D

Job-specific prioritization questions
Watch this video of a manger instructing you to complete several tasks
Which task do you complete first?

Email skills
Rewrite the following email to make it sound more professional and formal

Presentation skills
The following presentation has handwritten comments from your manager
Make the changes your manager has requested; you have 10 minutes

How to use Vervoe for hiring administrative assistants

Now that you have a sense of the types of questions you can ask, there are a few things to consider when building a tailored test for the role you’re filling.

The first is when to use open-ended questions and when to use questions that have pre-defined answers. The former will give you more insight, while the latter makes it easier to objectively grade. Most tests we see combine the two.

The second thing to consider is the use of time limits. In some cases it makes sense to add time limits to questions, or even putting a time limit on the entire test, to create a sense of urgency to see how staff perform under pressure. But don’t put candidates under unnecessary pressure, use time limits wisely.

Rest assured that Vervoe’s machine learning capabilities will automatically rank responses to any tests you use, regardless of the question format.

Finally, in addition to creating your own tests, or choosing pre-prepared tests from our library, Vervoe’s team of I/O psychologists can also partner with you to design tests that are customized to suit your unique requirements.

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