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      Part 2: How to interview PA candidates

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      As an employer, if you?ve made the decision to hire a personal assistant – the easy part is over. The hard part comes during the interview process — how do you narrow down your search to find the perfect candidate? As the second part of our PA recruitment double-header, here are eight must-ask interview questions.

      • ?Describe your previous experience as a personal assistant?? – This prompt gives you an inside look into the level of experience the candidate has. It also reveals the types of clients the candidate has worked with, whether celebrity, stay at home parent, entrepreneur or corporate type.
      • ?What were your favourite components of your previous work as a personal assistant?? – People do best what they love, the same is true for assistants. Assistants consider themselves jacks of all trades, so it is important for you to discover what, specifically, makes your potential assistant tick.
      • ?What were your least favourite?? – This will give you an assessment of which areas the candidate may need more support or guidance from you as the client.
      • ?How was the dynamic between you and your former employer?? – Developing a rapport with your assistant is vital to a productive working relationship.  Getting an understanding of the candidate?s former working relationships will help you in developing your own working relationship.
      • ?What specific strengths set you apart from other personal assistants?? – Getting a sense of a candidate?s strengths will help you determine long term goals for your working relationship.
      • ?What is one weakness in your skill set that you have identified, and what have you done to improve it?? – Identifying and expressing one?s own weakness is an essential indicator of work ethic and self-awareness. By hearing about how the candidate is working to improve and overcome this weakness shows the candidate?s level of resourcefulness and self-motivation.
      • ?What do you think makes an exceptional personal assistant?? – Casting a broader question like this will help you to understand the level of expectation the candidate places on him or herself. The candidate should be able to articulate very clearly why he or she is exceptional in the field.
      • ?What are your future goals?? – This question is important because no one wants to take the time to develop a deep working relationship with an assistant who has other aspirations or no intention of being around for a reasonable period of time. Ideally your candidate has interests outside of work he or she is pursuing as a hobby, but is excited about working in a support role as a career choice.

      Read the full article by Jay Sauls at

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      Amelia Walker

      Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Amelia Walker