We live in 21st century. Each and every secretary needs to work with computer, on a daily basis. You, as a good applicant for this job, should have a pretty good knowledge of MS Office, including MS Outlook. So, you should rate yourself 10 out of 10. It is simple, isn’t it?
In fact, it is not as simple as it seems. First of all, your answer should be more complex. You should backup your knowledge with some experience, saying where and when you have worked with MS Word or Excel. You should also elaborate on it with your efforts to improve.
I can work with both Word and Excel, and also with MS PowerPoint. Actually, I have been working with these programs on a daily basis for the past five years. In MS Excel, I can create charts and work with simple functions. In MS Word, I can do pretty much everything. I would give myself 8 of 10 in Excel and 10 in Word.
My skills with MS Office are pretty good. When preparing reports in my last job, I worked with it on a daily basis. On the top of that, I am very skilled with MS Outlook and with the internet. I would give myself 9 out of 10 from both Word and Excel.
Practical tests in an interview
Many companies use a simple trick to reveal your real skills and your trustworthiness in an interview. After inquiring about your skills with software, they sit you at a computer and give you simple tasks to accomplish. For example, there is a specially formatted text you should rewrite from paper to computer, or there is a line of numbers you need to rewrite to MS Excel, use some formatting and count it together using simple functions.
Having this option in mind, you should be extremely careful when speaking about your knowledge of MS Excel and MS Word. Just think about it… If you say 10 out of 10 and then are unable to complete the tasks given to you, it will create a very bad reputation. It would be a major blow for your chances of getting a job.
Sometimes less is more. Tell them that you would rate yourself 7 out of 10 and then surprise them, if a practical test comes. Be humble, but when there is a chance, demonstrate your strong skills.
I suggest you to practice with MS Office prior to the interview. It can only help you to get rid of stress.