What is a Personal Assistant?
Personal Assistants handle a wide range of tasks for a high-level individual or executive of an organization. The primary role of a Personal Assistant is to allow the individual they’re supporting to focus on more high-level strategic tasks by handling things such as organizing, scheduling and communication.A personal assistant acts often as the first point of contact between an individual and their clients or partners. They manage files, organize meetings, and often act as a gatekeeper for meeting requests. The assistant will usually handle travel plans, including booking transportation and accommodations, coordinating schedules, and organizing events. They also keep track of appointments, tasks, and deadlines.
Personal Assistant Qualifications
While there are no formal academic standards for this role, most employers prefer candidates with experience in Communications, Information Technology, Business or another related field. Individuals with previous experience as a personal assistant or office administrator have a higher chance of landing the job.The personal assistant should be discrete and trustworthy, organized, flexible, an effective communicator, and work proactively. They must also have sound technical knowledge and exceptional people skills.
Duties of a Personal Assistant
- Act as the first point of contact between the individual you’re supporting and their clients
- Manage deadlines and schedule appointments
- Arrange travel itineraries, event bookings, and accommodations
- Take detailed notes during meetings and provide reports
- Provide additional support as needed, depending on the role and individual you’re assisting
Interview Questions to Ask
Asking the right interview questions when hiring a personal assistant is key. When interviewing, we recommend engaging in thoughtful conversations and purposeful relationship building. Here are some starter questions to consider when hiring a personal assistant:
- What do you view as the most important qualities of a personal assistant?
- Have you ever reported to multiple supervisors at once? How did you manage each person’s priorities?
- Can you describe a project you were assigned in one of your previous roles and how you approached it?
- What made you interested in working with our company?
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