40 Typist Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 26 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A typist typically performs administrative and clerical duties, such as preparing business correspondence and procuring office supplies. The duties may vary depending on the industry, but some of the key skills for this position include organisation, time management and computer literacy. Learning about the potential questions you may get asked in an interview can help you be better prepared and excel at the interview. In this article, we discuss 40 general, background-related and in-depth typist interview questions and provide sample answers to a few of them.

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12 general typist interview questions

The interviewer may start the session with some general typist interview questions to get to know you better:

  1. Tell me about yourself.

  2. Why do you want to work here?

  3. What are your strengths?

  4. What are your weaknesses?

  5. What did you like and dislike about your previous role?

  6. How would your previous colleagues describe you?

  7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

  8. What's your expected salary?

  9. What expectations do you have for this role of a typist?

  10. How many words per minute can you type?

  11. What's your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

  12. How comfortable are you with working independently?

Related: What Does an Administrative Clerk Do? Job Scope and Skills

12 questions about background and experience

The interviewer may ask background-related questions to evaluate if you have relevant experience for this role. Here are 12 such questions you may encounter in an interview:

  1. How many years of experience do you have as a typist?

  2. Which industries do you have experience working in?

  3. How has your post-secondary education prepared you for this role?

  4. What administrative and typing duties did you perform in your previous role?

  5. What types of word processing software do you have experience with?

  6. How familiar are you with using spreadsheets?

  7. Which other languages are you fluent in?

  8. Have you ever performed bookkeeping duties? What did these duties entail?

  9. Describe a time when you responded calmly and effectively to a stressful situation.

  10. Share about an experience that demonstrates your time management skills.

  11. Describe a time when you made a mistake at work. How did you resolve the issue and what did you learn from that experience?

  12. Share an effective method you've used to schedule and confirm appointments for clients and supervisors.

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12 in-depth questions

You may also encounter in-depth questions such as the following:

  1. What skills do you think are essential for a typist?

  2. How do you maintain a filing system?

  3. What were some of the most challenging aspects of your previous role?

  4. How do you ensure that your writing is free of spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes?

  5. Share an effective approach you've used to handle a large amount of information.

  6. You're taking minutes in an executive meeting and need to seek clarification regarding something that was discussed. How would you go about it?

  7. How do you ensure the confidentiality of company data?

  8. How do you stay motivated when you have many repetitive tasks to complete?

  9. Describe a time when you went above and beyond your expected duties.

  10. Share about a time when you displayed patience at work.

  11. Describe a time when you had to collate information from different sources. How did you do it?

  12. Do you have experience in training other typists?

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4 typist questions with sample answers

Here are four questions with sample answers to help you craft your own responses:

1. Why are you interested in this typing position?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your personal characteristics and career goals. They may also want to know if your skills and experience make you a suitable candidate for this role. In your answer, persuade the interviewer that you're a good fit by discussing which duties of a typist you enjoy the most and mention some of your top skills. You can also include some information about the company as this demonstrates that you did your research and are highly interested in the company.

Example: 'I'm really keen on working as a typist as I enjoy organising. I find great satisfaction in introducing systems and establishing a sense of orderliness in my place of work. I believe I can excel in tasks such as taking minutes, scheduling appointments and updating the filing system. I also expect to propose organisational solutions to improve the efficiency of the processes and productivity of the staff.

I also like how the company's mission is to improve the health and wellness of its clients. I find it very meaningful to contribute to the well-being of clients through my work.'

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2. Describe your experience in operating office equipment.

The position of a typist entails working with various office equipment such as computers, photocopiers, printers, fax machines and scanners. The hiring manager may ask this question to ascertain if you have the capabilities to efficiently operate office equipment as soon as you begin work. In your answer, name the different types of equipment you're familiar with and share the functions you're well-versed in to highlight your expertise.

Example: 'I have extensive experience with various equipment such as photocopiers, fax machines, labelling machines and scanners. In my previous role at an education centre, I was in charge of printing the worksheets for students. The office had a multi-function photocopy machine which had features such as double-sided printing, stapling, hole-punching and binding. I adhered to the instructions given by the tutors and printed the worksheets accordingly before the beginning of each class. I also learnt how to identify the different error messages and replaced the toner when necessary and fixed any paper jams.'

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3. How do you prioritise tasks when you receive several requests from different staff members?

It's often necessary for typists to multitask and manage many requests from different staff members and supervisors at the same time. Therefore, it's vital for typists to know which tasks to prioritise and be able to keep track of all the tasks assigned to them. The employer may ask this question to evaluate your organisational and logical-thinking skills and assess if you can work in high-pressure situations. In your answer, you can share that you prioritise tasks in terms of urgency and importance to demonstrate that you're deadline-oriented.

Example: 'Whenever I receive a task, I always ask the person when they need it completed by and how urgent it is. I write down the tasks along with their deadlines and highlight it in a bright colour if it's an urgent task. I also consider how much time that task will take to complete. If it's a large task, I would start working on it gradually to ensure that I can finish it before the deadline. I also look for any similarities between the tasks so that I can group them together and do them at the same time.

For example, if a few colleagues ask me to print documents, I usually do them together to save trips to the printer.'

4. Have you been in charge of any office correspondence?

One of the duties of a typist is to compose letters and other documents for both internal and external communication. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your writing skills. In your answer, emphasise your experience in creating original documents and share how you ensure that the letters or emails are free of grammatical, spelling and punctuation mistakes.

Example: 'In my previous role, I was in charge of preparing drafts, correcting any mistakes in copies and composing original letters. As I have a background in English Literature, I possess strong writing skills. I'm also highly meticulous and thoroughly proofread the documents. I correct every grammar, spelling and punctuation mistake and rectify any formatting issues. I also use an online spellchecker tool to make sure that I don't miss any errors.'

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