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Interview Questions to Hire Personal Assistant

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A personal assistant is someone who does administrative work and supports their senior managers with their daily tasks. Their main responsibilities include answering phone calls and emails, setting up meetings, as well as arranging business travels. 

Hence, candidates for this position need to have a better understanding of the business. Also, because they are representing the senior member of the company, they need to know who they are working for. Therefore, a personal assistant should possess good interpersonal skills and a presentable and professional appearance.

When interviewing candidates for the role, here are some of the skills that you want them to have. The list below is not exhaustive, of course. We’re highlighting some essential and coveted skills for a personal assistant.

Time and organization

Since a personal assistant needs to schedule meetings and make travel arrangements, they must be someone who is organized. 

Written and oral communication

When a personal assistant receives instructions, they need to be able to understand and follow them. At the same time, they need to be able to convey them clearly. 

Attention to detail

When completing tasks, candidates pay close attention to details to avoid mistakes and miscommunication. It is also necessary for them to have so they can stay organized and communicate effectively.

Knowledge of relevant software

Perhaps the most common software knowledge that the candidates should possess is word processing, spreadsheet, database, calendar, and other relevant software.

Tact and discretion

Most of the time, a personal assistant will be given confidential information. Hence, they must be able to keep them confidential. 

Now that you know the skill sets candidates must have, below are the interview questions you can use to evaluate candidates.

Skill Related Questions

  • Can you demonstrate how you usually answer phone calls?
  • How do you react when someone is asking to speak to the manager but is in a meeting?
  • When arranging a business trip, what information do you need to have?
  • Walk me through how you set up management meetings for the manager.
  • How do you ensure that your written works are free from typographical errors?
  • How do you maintain confidentiality when another top-level executive asks for a confidential report?

Behavioral and Situational Questions

  • What was the most difficult task that you’ve done before?
  • What do you usually do when you’re feeling stressed?
  • What was your professional achievement as a personal assistant?
  • How do you handle a situation where you’re overwhelmed with other tasks?
  • Tell me about a time when you rescheduled a meeting due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Was there a time when you had to say no on behalf of your boss? Describe the situation.

General Questions

  • What was the reason you applied for this position?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Are you able to work beyond office hours?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you know about our company?

Related article: Personal Assistant job description

Conclusion

Personal assistants can work with senior executives and managers at large organizations and are employed in various industries. A personal assistant must have a lot of organization, patience, communication, and multitasking skills. 

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