Administrative/Clerical: Improve Your Admin Applications and Interviews

The goal of any hiring manager is to find the best candidate for the job. Your goal as an applicant is to clearly demonstrate through your admin applications and interviews why employers should bring you on board. Whether you’re hoping to become a receptionist or head administrator, your chances of receiving a serious offer hinge on your resume and interview. Fine-tune both by improving your writing and verbal skills.

Submitting a job application is the first step toward getting noticed by prospective employers. It’s also a critical factor in securing the all-important interview, which, depending on its outcome, can lead to a job offer. Because admin applications usually consist of written forms such as a resume and a cover letter, it’s essential to proofread your writing for clarity, grammatical correctness, and accuracy of content. For popular job postings that elicit hundreds and even thousands of applications, the hiring manager will be quick to weed out candidates. If your application is riddled with spelling mistakes, excessive punctuation, and other glaring errors, it will never see the light of day aside from the initial glance over. Bad writing is a surprisingly common mistake among applicants. Make sure there’s nothing to critique, and you’ll set yourself apart from other administrative job seekers.

When your job search involves multiple companies, it’s tempting to save yourself time and effort by creating a generalized admin application. While working off a basic template is helpful, submitting the same application over and over is usually counterproductive. Administrative positions may share similar qualities, but a closer look at a job posting will reveal a unique set of requirements that the business is looking to fulfill. For example, a doctor’s office may seek candidates with prior experience in preparing insurance paperwork and bookkeeping, while a tech company may focus more on office management and familiarity with computer software. To get as far as an interview, tips usually state to heed every detail, from job duties to minimum qualifications, and address them somewhere in your admin application. This may require reworking your cover letter, rewriting your personal statement, and supplementing your resume.

Your tailored admin application has caught the attention of the hiring manager, and now it’s time to play up your skills and strengths in an interview. Ensure the best performance possible by brushing up on your communication skills with some helpful interview tips. First, you can research potential questions an interviewer may ask someone in your field, then conduct mock interviews with the help of friends and mentors. By knowing what to expect before you pick up the phone or walk into the room, you’ll improve your odds of staying composed and confident during the interview.

First impressions can make or break an interview. If you wear inappropriate garb, give a timid greeting, or slouch in your chair, you’ll effectively end your chances of getting the job right from the start. In answering interview questions, convey confidence and aptitude as well as excellent communication skills, and always remain calm and professional even when you’re feeling flustered. Administrative and clerical positions often require excellent communication skills, so it’s important that you demonstrate these qualities to your interviewer as well as on your admin application.

Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for  Nancy has 10 years’ experience in the online job search business with Beyond.  Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites.  Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on


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