Questions to Ask When Interviewing a PA or EA for a Vacancy
Posted on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 by The Interviewer — No comments
When it comes to interviewing for any role, you want to get it spot on. However, when it comes to hiring a PA or EA, you may feel the pressure even more. PA jobs in London involve close partnerships between the executive and the PA. As a PA recruitment agency, we’re skilled at guiding employers on how to find the best PA or EA for them by using refined interview questions. Here are five questions we always recommend you ask:
- What do you anticipate the needs of the executive to be?
This will form the core of their role, and indeed anticipation itself will be a key skill in their success. This question will reveal their ability to understand the role and the pressures on the individual executive within your business and industry. It should also reveal how they anticipate that they will get up and running quickly in the role.
- Which skills do you deem to be essential to a PA/EA?
The role of the PA or EA depends on a broad range of skills, but you should expect to see certain ones showcased. Here you should anticipate answers that focus on the core competencies of a skilled PA: communication, time management, and organisation. In conjunction with these, you should hear references to flexibility, discretion, and level-headedness. Try to prise out genuine examples of these skills in practice.
- How do you ensure confidentiality of information?
A PA is in a unique position, often given access to information otherwise reserved for the most senior executives in the organisation. At the end of the day, you need to be certain that your PA can act with utmost discretion. The candidate should take this as an opportunity to begin building trust with you.
- How do you organise and prioritise your work?
The PA and EA role can be hugely demanding with multiple deadlines to meet. You need to be certain that this candidate can stay on top of daily tasks whilst also managing the demands of urgent calls on their time. Your mission here is to learn more about how they cope under pressure without jeopardising excellent and efficient time management.
- How do you take a customer service approach to your role?
This is an interesting question, as the PA or EA should quickly identify other colleagues and the executive themselves as the ‘customer’. It is imperative in modern business that they approach this from a customer service angle. For example, there may be times that they need to deal with a pressuring or angry colleague who is demanding to see the executive. How would they deal with this? Again, communication skills should be highlighted here and conflict resolution.
Weave these questions into your interview when you’re looking to fill PA roles. Also remember that you will benefit enormously from using a dedicated PA recruitment agency rather than a standard London recruitment agency. At Love Success, we can help you identify the best candidates for interview and develop the best questions to ask.
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