School Secretary Interview Questions & Answers Ice Breaker Day-To-Day Duties Motivation Part Behavioral Interview Questions for School Secretary Conclusion
School Secretary Interview Questions & Answers Ice Breaker Day-To-Day Duties Motivation Part Behavioral Interview Questions for School Secretary Conclusion
Updated 03/01/2021

Top 30 School‌ ‌Secretary‌ Interview‌ ‌Questions‌ ‌&‌ ‌Answers‌

Still worried about the upcoming school secretary interview? We know how to prepare for it! See the top questions for your role along with successful answers.

Still worried about the upcoming school secretary interview? We know how to prepare for it! See the top questions for your role along with successful answers.

During a job interview you need to sound convincing and demonstrate your skills in one sitting. Contemplating the questions you may be asked beforehand is a great way to prepare yourself to quickly come up with thoughtful answers.


School Secretary Interview Questions & Answers

The pressure of being interviewed for a desirable position can be unbearable. You do your best to get prepared, but if you are not offered a job, you can never be sure if it was because they did not like your answers, your vision of the position was totally off, your competitor had better credentials, or something else.

However, doing your best to prepare for an interview will boost your confidence and put more spring in your step. You can start by researching the school and getting an idea of what kind of demands and requirements that organization may have. Once you have a preliminary understanding of the company, it will be easier to imagine what kind of school secretary interview questions they may ask.

Interviews often go in several stages:

  • At the first stage, the interviewer needs to make sure that a candidate has the required qualification and experience. It is more of a technical interview directed at aligning your skills and abilities with the school’s expectation.
  • At the second stage, the interviewer needs to see a candidate’s compatibility with the staff and the company’s vision. Candidates often answer behavioral questions and demonstrate their critical thinking and creativity.

The following is a shortlist of sample questions divided into topics. The explanation will guide you on how to best answer the question.

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Ice Breaker

To warm up a little bit, the interviewer will start with easy, general questions you typically get asked at any interview. When you answer them, think about the audience, that is, think who is asking it and why. Calibrate your answer accordingly.

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: “I have extensive experience in working as an assistant. Prior to working as a school secretary, I worked as a personal assistant and then as a fitness club administrator for two years. Although the colleagues and work were great, I always wanted to get closer to education.”

This is one of the variants of how you can answer. You can choose other words and answer according to your experience. The main thing to remember is that the question is not asked to get to know you better as a person. So you don’t need to talk about your personality, character and positive and negative traits. Rather, it is an invitation to talk about your experience in the sphere, how you came to this line of work, and how your career is evolving. Be ready to talk about your career for at least a minute. 2-3 minutes would be even better. Practice it in front of the mirror to convey confidentiality. That way you will sound confident and will not stumble looking for the right words.

Q: What was your last position?

A: “In my last position of a school secretary I kept the headmaster’s schedule, handled payroll, and prepared paperwork for the staff and management.”

Tell about specific duties you had. Keep in mind the audience and why this question is asked. The interviewer wants to know how good you were in your last position so mention that you were praised by the management and the colleagues. Add details that can portray you as a treasured employee.

Q: What makes you qualified for this position?

A: “I am an experienced secretary who is skilled at working with electronic devices and handling heavy workloads with ease.”

This question is asked to let you praise yourself. First, talk about your accomplishments keeping in mind the job description. Second, give specific examples to prove your qualifications and skills.

Q: Why did you leave your last job?

A: “I moved and now I need to find a new job.”

The main principle when answering this question is to never talk bad about your previous employers. You can give a neutral reason such as moving to a new area or getting laid off due to recession. If you decide to name a job-related reason, formulate it in a careful way, for example, by saying that your boss and you had different views on your work. Best be prepared for this question and have a ready-made answer.

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Day-To-Day Duties

The next round of questions will cover your duties and responsibilities. To get ready for these, you can look through the list of the jobs on your resume and categorize them. You will probably talk about your skills in handling paperwork, editing and proofreading skills, typing speed, cash handling, and even coordination. We have put together a summary of the most typical questions at this stage of a job interview.

Q: Can you submit an unedited document?

A: “Never. It is a personal point of pride that even under pressure I always proofread my work before sending. For one, I hate spelling and grammar errors. And in my line of work, I am a school representative. I cannot let any misspelling or omissions ruin the positive image we want to create.”

Proofreading is part of your duties as you are often the last person who sees documents before they are sent to correspondents.

Q: Tell me about your experience in organizing events.

A: “In my previous roles, I helped to organize a couple of events for 20-50 people. I was commended on my organization skills.”

If you are asked a question like this, give details about the best event you organized. Tell why it was you who organized it and what exactly you did to make it successful. Mention that the guests were pleased with your organization skills and commended you on it.

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Q: Did you have experience in handling cash?

A: “I have handled cash in my current employment as an administrator for over five years now. I have never had a discrepancy and I always count and balance my cash before storing it in the safe.”

As a school secretary, you may be required to handle cash. Your task here is to convey an idea that you are diligent with money and tell about your experience, if any.

Q: Do you use scheduling software when you are in charge of calendars and schedules?

A: “In my previous roles, I have had extensive experience in handling multiple people’s schedules. I have managed schedules for up to 5 people at a time. Usually, I use AppointmentPlus for scheduling appointments and Calendly for shared calendars.”

In your answer, be sure to show that you have experience using calendar software and previous practice managing multiple schedules. Mention that your knowledge of calendar management software helped you set up meetings and appointments without a glitch.

Q: How do you file large amounts of paperwork?

A: “As a well-organized individual, I keep my files in order on the computer as much as in the file case. I use alphabetic and numeric filing systems. In digital systems, I use search engines and can find a necessary file very quickly.”

In your answer, emphasize that you are good at filing and storing information in paper formats as well as in digital media. Your answer should demonstrate a high level of knowledge of filing systems in analogue and digital media as well as superb organization skills.

Q: Do you have experience working with a multi-line phone system and switch boards?

A: “At my previous jobs, I made it my priority to find out the names of top management staff and heads of departments to know which calls to put through first and which calls could wait.”

By highlighting how many years you have worked in the industry, you demonstrate that you have enough experience with multi-phone phone systems and that you will have no problem with prioritizing calls. Hence you know how to operate the switchboard and transfer calls. You can also mention that you know how to remain calm and unstressed even under a heavy workload.

Q: What about your verbal communication skills? Are they good for this job?

A: “I have a Bachelor’s in English and I took a public speaking course to be confident when I speak. I do my best to sound professional in my interactions at work.”

Overall your speaking abilities become obvious as soon as you open your mouth and say something other than your name. So by that point in the interview the recruiter has probably already forged an opinion on your verbal communication abilities. However, in addition to your calm and professional tone and error-free speech, you can add that you are polite with clients on the phone and colleagues in the waiting room. Give specific examples, for instance, you held a seminar for teachers and was commended on a good presentation.


Motivation Part

Interviewers like to ask motivation-related questions. In your case, it is possible that you will not get asked any questions from this section. Feel lucky. In other cases, recruiters may ask all the questions on the list. To be safe, brace yourself and get prepared.

Q: What motivates you most in your work?

A: “A secretarial role is mostly about administering and scheduling. I am good at it due to my superb administrative and organizing skills. I can organize an office to run like clockwork. At the same time, my experience in the academic environment makes me very effective in a school secretary job. Feeling in my place and effective brings me a sense of motivation.”

When answering this question, you can simply state what you like about this job. By putting an emphasis on communication with people and keeping things in order, you demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a secretary?

A: “A school depends on secretaries to keep many work processes organized. As an extravert, I enjoy being helpful and in the middle of events. A headmaster's office is usually bustling with life and people. I find it rewarding to be able to help and do my day-to-day work well.”

This question seems identical to the previous one but it is somewhat different to the interviewer. If you are successful in showing that you thrive in the work environment, you will show you are a great fit for the job. Mention that you like to help students and teachers alike. The interviewer is more interested in hiring an enthusiastic person than an indifferent one. Think beforehand about one aspect you find most rewarding about this position.

Q: What do you find least rewarding about your previous job?

A: “I hate when something gets broken and I cannot fix it on my own and need to wait for a technician while the work is left unfinished.”

Don’t dwell on negative aspects too much and don’t pick something really awful that is closely linked to your responsibilities. Walk this line carefully.

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Behavioral Interview Questions for School Secretary

Q: What challenges do academic environments pose for you when you work as a school secretary?

A: “I have worked as a first contact person for elementary and high school. I did everything on the list from greeting people to taking attendance. There are days when the workload can be overwhelming but overall my multitasking skills help me stay organized and composed.”

Q: How do you solve conflicts? For example, with a colleague? Give an example.

To answer this question, tell about your rational approach in handling personal conflict at work and your ability not to turn a blind eye to a situation of conflict. There is no need to choose a complicated conflict. Better tell about what you do when someone openly defies your opinion or something not that significant.

Q: What about a conflict with a parent? What did you do?

When answering this question, focus on your ability to calm the parents down and make appointments with corresponding employees.

Q: Why should we hire you?

A: “My skills range from effective scheduling and handling paperwork to school event management and exam paper preparation skills. I am good with technology and old school paper-based methods.”

Mention as many useful skills as possible to demonstrate that you are good for this position.



Remember that each interviewer may develop their own system of interviewing for a school secretary position. Your job is to get ready for all imaginary questions. Try to think in categories and prepare generic answers for Conflict Management, Human Relations, Hard Skills, and Soft Skills. Besides, some interviewers like to ask philosophical questions about where you envision yourself in five years. We did not answer that question because the answer can be anything. So it is up to you.

Overall, don’t be too stressed and don’t try too hard to make an impression. Be relaxed and try not to take it too seriously.

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