This list of frequently asked personal assistant interview questions and answers will give you the best preparation for your interview. The answers in this post are not to be crammed; study them, understand the intent of the questions, then go ahead and develop your answers.
Personal assistant work can be challenging. As with any interview, you will need to show that you have the skills and talents required for the position by acting as the person you are assisting eyes and ears.
For PAs, this can entail completing a task during the interview or providing proof that you can handle and organize everyday company chores. The ability to multitask is essential for this position, so you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re more than capable of doing it and that you can act fast when circumstances change.
We’ve provided these interview questions from our friends in the sales recruiting agency, marketing and customer services sectors. However, your interviewer may not ask the exact questions provided here. However, the objectives and intent for their questions will always align with the ones in this list.
If you need assistance preparing for your interview, you can contact our interview coach today.
What is a Personal Assistant (PA) Job?
A personal assistant (PA) job is a role that supports a manager or director in the work they carry out. Personal Assistants are usually the central key for the successful running of a department and the support of their manager.
Read Also: Duties and attributes of a personal assistant
Best Skills/Qualities for a Personal Assistant
- Communication Skill
- Working under Pressure
- Flexibility Skills
- Effective Communication
- Time management
Tips for Answering Personal Assistant Interview Questions
Make use of the STAR Techniques when answering questions that relate to how you have performed in your previous role.
Respond positively and calmly to questions and situations. This will highlight your ability to stay calm, composed, and professional. Note, there’s no harm in taking time to think before giving a reply.
Before your interview, refresh your memory on situations where you managed multiple tasks, worked under pressure, and gave support to your previous manager. Every question is an opportunity to sell yourself but don’t oversell yourself.
Listen carefully. Ensure you understand the question and the intent of the interviewer before answering. Don’t jump to an answer until you’ve understood the question.
Study the company or organization competently before attending the interview. Do thorough research of the company’s structure, products or services, and relevant information.
If you’re allowed to ask your interviewer a question, do not ask questions relating to salary. Ask questions relating to duties, contributions, and the current position of the organization.
Personal Assistant Interview Questions to Ask your Interviewer
- How do the company’s departments work together?
- As a Personal Assistant, what would you need me to focus on in my first few weeks of starting?
- What are the plans/goals of the company/organization?
- What is your perception of an ideal candidate for this role?
- May I know the major issues facing the organization at the moment and how does it affect the personal assistant role?
- What did you think after reviewing my CV?
- What advice would you give to me if I’m given this role of a personal assistant?
Personal Assistant Interview Question and Answer Tips
Here are some of the frequently asked personal assistant interview questions and answers
1)Tell me about yourself
This is a very popular question asked during interviews and is no different for a PA. Because a PA’s work would require him/her working closely with the manager, Its important for the manager to ask this question as the answer would help him decipher the personality and strength of the prospective PA. When directed with this question, ensure to have a planned and honest answer. Highlight your experiences relevant to the role, your interest and skills. The aim is to be positive and relevant in your response.
very closely with the manager it is important for the manager to be sure that they will get along well. There are not many jobs where the interviewer will ask this up front but it is a common question in PA roles. Have a planned, honest answer that highlights your interests, your experience, and attitudes; the key is to be positive throughout.
2) Why would you make a good personal assistant than the other candidates?
“I strongly believe I would make a great personal assistant because I am professional, organized, and responsible. I possess the attributes and skills that make a good PA. More so, I am a positive person who will stand under pressure and adapt to meet priorities. I can plan and organize my work strictly with time cautiousness”.
“I am a very responsible and organized person, I care about my work and do my best to avoid mistakes. I understand that my role is very important to my employer and so I always do my best to perform excellently”.
3) How would you organize your day as a personal assistant?
One of the qualities of a good personal assistant is being organized. A personal assistant should know how to organize his/her day. Also, a PA is expected to have a good memory. Tell the interview that you have an exceptional memory and you can make use of a PA organizational tool/app to ensure that you don’t miss your tasks or deadlines.
“I’m aware of the importance of being organized in a position as a personal assistant. Conveniently for me, I have an exceptional memory. I will also keep notes of details, and make use of a to-do list for the tasks I have to cover each day. More so, I know of a good organization app/tool that I can use to keep check and get access to the information I might need”.
“I will always keep myself on check, note down important information that needs to be remembered. Similarly, create a backup for everything I do just in case something goes wrong. Then, I will prioritize my tasks base on their importance and deadlines, this will help me achieve and complete all tasks accordingly’.
4) Can you work under pressure?
“Yes, I can work under pressure although to a limit. I also do a lot of planning and strategizing in other to cut off the build-up of pressure”.
5) Why did you leave your previous job?
This question is a tricky one. Especially if your reason for leaving your current job is a negative one. You might even be tempted to bad mouth your previous employer. Regardless, your answer should be right and positive. Don’t sound unprofessional, Don’t complain about your previous job. Just give a positive response to the question.
“I enjoyed my previous job and workplace. It allowed me to broaden my knowledge and enabled me to inject explicitly into the company. However, I feel it has its limitations. I still want to grow and expand my skills, I want to be able to perform bigger things. This is something I couldn’t do in my previous job. I believe that this role will allow me to expand in my career”.
6) What are your strength?
Here, your strengths include your skills and attributes that will aid your workability. Answer this question by referring to your core skills and how you can handle situations with these skills.
“I am very vibrant and ready to carry out tasks. I’m multitalented, flexible, willing and able to work under pressure. My skills and attributes have helped me in carrying out difficult tasks”.
7) Can you be trusted with confidential matters?
When you are in the position of a personal assistant, confidentiality is what makes a trustworthy relationship between you and your boss. Answer this way;
“I understand that trust is a bedrock for a relationship to be successful. As a personal assistant, I’ll strictly keep matters that should be confidential. Because I know it’s the best way to build a good relationship with boss and prove myself to be trustworthy”.
8) What positive change have you made in an organization ?
Your answer to this question should be short and well structured. Don’t use hours explaining a scenario. Just describe yourself in the best way but don’t sound arrogant.
“When I got my recent job, my director who I worked with had difficulty remembering things and so work was so disorganized. At that moment I understand the situation and knew I had to make a change, otherwise, I might be perceived to be incompetent. Therefore, I injected a strategy of task recording and scheduling. I made use of an organizational tool and a personal book pad. These helped me to function effectively and filled up the drawback”.
9) Do you have an experience as a personal assistant?
“Yes, I do”.
10) How have you worked with difficult people?
This is a question of people’s management skills. Every personal assistant should possess these skills. Answer this question concisely and humorously to show that the person in question didn’t affect your personality.
“ I have worked with a difficult manager. Although, it’s a hard situation to be in, I never relented. In the end he respected me for my strong will and not giving up”.
11) Can we meet you (tell us about yourself)?
“My name is Favour Nnamdi a graduate of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, I served as a Youth Corper in Benue State. I have 2 years of personal assistant experience with JD enterprise where I was able to meet up at least 75% of my monthly target monthly”.
12) If you have a pending work from the office, will you work at home?
“If the company’s protocol permits, and I need some extra time to complete my tasks, I will take my work home. Though, I’ll be careful so that it doesn’t affect my family time.”
Summary: Personal Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
- The role of a personal assistant is a vital one. During your interview, make sure to listen attentively before answering any questions.
- Use the STAR Interview Technique to structure your answer.
- There’s no harm in taking a moment to think before answering any question.
- Don’t forget to demonstrate your core skills and attributes to your interviewer.
- Do thorough research about the company before attending the interview.
- When you go for an interview, it’s appropriate to have some questions set aside for your interviewer. Some interview questions have been outlined.
- A personal assistant job is a role that supports a manager or director in the work they carry out.
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Thanks for reading. Let’s make this post interactive shall we? Do you have answers to any of the questions above? Comment with the question and your possible response lets learn together. Do well to share this with someone. Cheers!