Job Description of an Office Assistant

Who is an Office Assistant?

An office assistant is someone who handles the  organizational and clerical support tasks. These tasks may include but not limited to organizing files, scheduling appointments, writing copy, proofreading, receiving guests and more, depending on the company and its needs.

What Qualities Should a Good Office Assistant Possess?

As an office assistant, your role in the general growth of the company is as important as that of the other top officials of the company. An office assistant therefore have to be highly skilled and competent enough to be able to handle the myriad of tasks associated with the role.

A good office assistant should possess the following skills in order to be able to discharge the associated responsibilities effectively:

  1. Great communication skills- verbal and written
  2. Ability to work well under pressure and with little or no supervision
  3. Friendly and embracing
  4. Must have a good inter-personal relationship
  5. Ability to operate office equipment such as printers, copy machines, fax machines.
  6. organization and planning skills
  7. work management and prioritizing skills
  8. problem solving ability
  9. meticulous and attention to detail
  10. accuracy
  11. flexibility
  12. reliability
  13. teamwork

What are the Responsibilities of an Office Assistant?

Office assistants have a myriad of responsibilities in the company. Some of the most common responsibilities of an office assistant include the following, together with any other responsibilities that may be assigned by the employer:

  1. responsible for handling clerical tasks in the office
  2. Handling incoming calls and other communications
  3. greeting and receiving visitors and clients
  4. Updating paperwork, maintaining documents and word processing.
  5. Helping organize and maintain office common areas.
  6. Performing general office clerk duties and errands.
  7. Organizing travel by booking accommodations and reservations needs as required.
  8. Coordinating events as necessary.
  9. Maintaining supply inventory.
  10. Maintaining office equipment as needed.
  11. Aiding with client reception as needed.
  12. Experience as a virtual assistant.
  13. Other general office clerk duties and errands

Educational Qualification for an Office Assistant

The basic educational qualification for most office assistant jobs posted is the high school diploma. Other basic qualifications for the position include the following:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • business college training
  • previous office experience (may be requested or can also be entry level position)
  • competent computer skills especially MS Office
  • internet skills including use of e-mails, group messaging and data collection
  • numeracy and literacy skills
  • Experience as an office assistant or in related field.

Some common Interview Questions for Office Assistants

When applying for a job in response to an advertisement for the position of an office assistant, you would most times be called for an interview if your application was considered (depending on the structure of the company). Like every other interview, the aim is often to assess your competency so that the most competent applicant is hired for the job. Below are some of the possible questions the interviewers would ask you, and how you are expected to answer the questions:


1. You are assigned several complex tasks with different deadlines. How do you handle this?

Area of focus: demonstrate time management skills.

2. While managers are in a meeting, an impatient customer comes in and demands to see someone. What do you do?

Area of focus: Demonstrate your ability to handle pressure.


3. How have you used computers in administrative or clerical work?

Area of focus: Show your computer proficiency.

4. Describe how you’ve implemented or refined processes as an office assistant. What was the impact?

Area of focus: Show your problem-solving skills.


5. Tell about a time when you made a mistake. How did you fix the problem?

Area of focus: Show your ability to learn from errors.


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