Your personal assistant is there to make every area of your life easier and more manageable, not the opposite. You may well find that, within a relatively short period of time, your PA will become completely indispensible. It is therefore completely imperative that your interview process is as thorough as possible.
Here are the key ingredients that make for the perfect PA.
This goes without saying. Your Personal Assistant should be the most organised person within your company. Their job is to make your life easier by managing your life, your schedule and all of the daily tasks that you do not have time to undertake. If you are looking to find the best PA London has to offer, then you must start by finding someone who is punctual, organised and meticulous in detail.
Ask the interviewee to describe a time when he or she had to organise someone else’s life, and how they went about achieving this. Ask them what the outcome was: did they succeed or fail? Did their organisational success did they bring success to the other person?
2. Ability to stay calm under pressure.
There are times when the whole world seems to be in a panic. This is part of the day to day of running a business. But no matter how much you are panicking, your personal assistant must remain completely calm and composed.
Ask the interviewee to describe a time when everyone around them seemed to be anxious or loosing their head, but they stayed cool, calm and collected. Were they able to give thought through direction? Did this direction help ease the situation?
Chances are that your personal assistant will spend a lot of time doing admin work. It is imperative that they are able to touch type. This skill really is a prerequisite for any Twenty-First Century PA.
Ask the interviewee to demonstrate their touch-typing skills.
Your PA is often the first person in your business that potential or existing clients will meet. It is incredibly important that they give off not only the right impression, but that they leave a lasting, positive impression. They must be able to charm at networking events, and should be considered as an extension of your sales division.
Ask the interviewee to describe a time when they had to be polite, courteous and charming. Was this to get a sale, or perhaps to land a job or get into a good university?
5. Good references.
The market is saturated with Personal Assistants. This often makes it difficult to see the wood from the trees, clouding the interview process. Remember: someone can interview very well but be completely hopeless when it comes to doing the job.
Getting references from former employers is crucial. Make sure to put in a phone call to that employer and double check their CV.