Personal assistants operate in a wide range of fields and may support people with busy schedules, disabilities, or high-level executives and managers at major organizations. A personal assistant needs to have a lot of organization, patience, communication, and multitasking skills. Preparing for your interviews will help you respond more persuasively if you’re interested in becoming a personal assistant or are seeking your next employment as one. Have you been applying for a personal assistant job? This post is for you as we will be unraveling some common interview questions and answers for a personal assistant job.
Common Interview Questions And Answers For A Personal Assistant Job
Have you worked as a personal assistant before?
Employers inquire about your experience in your position by asking this question. The type of personal assistant you are and the position you’re interviewing for will determine whether a position is entry-level or requires experience. If you have prior experience working as a personal assistant, please talk about it in your response. If you have never held a position of this nature, you should clarify in your response that while you lack direct experience, you have experience carrying out similar activities.
Suitable answer: I haven’t worked as a personal assistant before, however, I have worked as an administrative assistant for a small company where I was responsible for many of the same tasks. I managed the owner’s calendar, assisted her with correspondence, arranged her transportation, and performed other tasks for her while also performing tasks related to the overall business such as invoicing and answering phones.
What caliber of people have you supported as a personal assistant?
Because there are several definitions of a personal assistant—including working for CEOs, helping busy people in their personal life, and helping persons with disabilities—potential employers ask this question. Employers are interested in knowing if you have experience performing the type of work they are offering, even though all of these definitions share some tasks. If you realize your experience is different from the role you’re applying for, be sure to relate your talents to what they need while answering questions about your experience.
Suitable answer: In my last personal assistant position, I worked for an elderly woman with disabilities in her home. I would run errands for her, manage her schedule including scheduling doctor’s appointments, provide her transportation for her, assist her with correspondence, and communicate with her care team and family as needed. While I know that’s slightly different from working for a busy family, I think many of the tasks are similar.
What types of tasks have you handled as a personal assistant in the past?
Given that not every personal assistant has the same duties, this is another way prospective employers try to determine if you have performed the duties of their position in the past. You should provide the most thorough response you can, and it can be useful to check the job description before your interview to make note of the duties of the position and compare them to your own experiences.
Suitable answer: At my last position, I managed the CEO’s calendar including scheduling meetings for her, making appointments, and reminding her of scheduled tasks. I also would answer the phone for her and screen the calls, as well as answer some of her more basic emails and clean her inbox. I assisted her with technology as needed, whether it was setting up a video call or troubleshooting a new piece of technology she just got. I also scheduled her travel when she needed to take a business or a personal trip, including booking flights, hotels, and transportation.
How have you handled alterations to your employer’s schedule in the past?
Although it is a more specialized question about personal assistant duties, it can help employers understand how you handle change and manage fluctuating expectations. Furthermore, since these modifications might be urgent, it demonstrates how you respond to pressure in a fast-paced atmosphere. For questions like this, you should be prepared with an answer that follows the STAR method, which stands for situation, task, action, and result.
Suitable answer: My previous manager, the CCO, often had changes to their schedule. Once, they were traveling for a series of business meetings and I received a call from a company they were meeting with the next day informing me that they needed to reschedule. The only time they were available was in an hour, and this was an extremely important meeting for the CCO. I knew my manager would be able to make it, so I scheduled it and informed my manager. My manager was happy because we retained an important business relationship.
What duties as a personal assistant do you believe you excel at?
This is a similar question to employers asking what your strengths are, but more focused on this position specifically. Employers want to know what kind of job you enjoy, but they also want to know if there might be a problem with what you say about their expectations. Although it can be advantageous to say that you are skilled in all duties associated with a personal assistant, you should answer honestly.
Suitable answer: I am particularly good at managing correspondence and my client or manager’s calendar. These are tasks that require organization, good communication skills, and an understanding of technology to manage effectively. These are all things I excel at and so this aspect of the job is really enjoyable to me, although I like all parts of being a personal assistant.
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