Essential Personal Assistant Interview Questions to Ask

Published on September 25, 2017

Deciding to hire a personal assistant is a big step. And when you’ve found the right person it can make an enormous difference to your work and personal life. The sole purpose of a PA is to alleviate pressures and unneeded tasks. So you can focus on more important things at hand, either at work or in your personal life or both! Finding the perfect match is crucial. The right personal assistant is like a butler – they would need very little guidance, will sense what you need before you might have even thought of it, and will make sure everything is running smoothly. The PA needs to be completely in sync with your work or personal life habits and preferences. We know from experience how difficult it can be to find the right person who not only has the suited qualifications, but also the skills to fulfil the role. To help you find the perfect PA, we have listed these key personal assistant interview questions to ask new candidates during the recruitment process.

Can you elaborate on previous relevant experience?

Although you will have read and reviewed the CV, it is always worthwhile to have the candidate explain and highlight parts of previous roles that might not have initially seemed relevant to you. There might have been a job on the CV that wasn’t directly a PA role, but there could have been lots of crossovers in the duties that can be highly relevant for the role you have in mind.

Why have you applied for this role?

Again, this is a great question to get to know the candidate a little better. Remember that with a PA, it is vital that their personality suits yours. This does not mean one needs to become friends with their PA, but personalities should match in order for them to understand your habits and preferences and be able to act upon them.

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Let them explain their motivations for why they applied for the role, and what made them interested in the role in the first place. If they really want the job, they should be able to convince you of that.

What was your reason for leaving and how were your relationships with previous employers?

Are they currently in a job and looking to leave for this position? If so, ask them why, and do the same for previous roles. Have they mostly been in short-term employment, or stayed in the same position for several years? Are they still in touch with previous employers, and if not, is there a specific reason why? It could be absolutely plausible that a candidate is no longer speaking to a previous employer, but this can be a great opening conversation to find out their work ethic and behaviour in the professional environment.

What are your weaknesses?

It’s great being able to recognise your strengths, but an excellent employee will also be mature and experienced enough to know their weaknesses, and how to benefit on both. You will probably have all candidates list their strengths, and how this will be useful for you and the role, but a truly rounded and mature candidate knows that no person is perfect and should be honest enough to tell potential weaknesses, and then explain how those can be improved.

What are your goals for the future?

You want to understand where they see themselves in your company in the near and further future. Are they looking to grow within the role and move up the ranks? Would they prefer to stick with the exact role they have applied for? Or is this role and company not their end goal, instead only working to pay for bills whilst still deciding what their dream job could be?

This can lead to a broader question of where they see themselves outside of work. Are they happy where they are living? Are they looking to travel? Do they have dreams of becoming a professional singer? All scenarios are possible, so try to have an open conversation about their hobbies and passions to get an understanding of the candidate outside of the workplace.

What do you expect from the role?

It is important to remember that interviewing is a two-way stream. Of course, you are in the driving seat and you must establish for yourself, and potentially your team, if the fit would be right. But asking them their expectations of the role is equally important.

Are they looking for a full-time role? Can they be available at the times you need them? What do they expect in terms of salary, hours and package? You might already have a set package ready to offer but it is good to know what the candidate is expecting to avoid conflict and misunderstandings later down the line.

Are you confident to start recruiting with these essential interview questions to ask a personal assistant? If you are struggling to find the right candidates, we can help! Polo & Tweed will give you all the guidance in the recruitment process. We will do the full vetting and pre-selection for you too. At Polo & Tweed we have vetted, interviewed and placed numerous PA’s for all different types of roles. And we have all the personal assistant interview questions to ask! So please contact us to have a chat about anything we could help you with in making this process as easy and smooth sailing as possible.

2 comments

  1. Ann-Lou says:

    Hello Polo & Tweed

    Your website is interesting and good to find out the right information. Your website and articles are useful because the interview questions can be useful as well. Thank you.

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