Interview questions for personal assistant
Over the last few years I’ve changed employers a number of times and so have had to face quite a few interviews. After finishing university in 2003 I was lucky because there were plenty of jobs available in London. I went for one interview at a global accountancy firm and had a full-time permanent role as a team administrator straight away. However, this just isn’t the case anymore. I decided to leave my previous employee in June 2010 but was job hunting for 6 months and when I did get the role I am in currently I had to complete a detailed application form, attend three interviews and sit two psychometric tests (for language and numerical skills).
These days’ employers are inundated with job applications therefore you have to be prepared to sell yourself and stand out from the crowd. So what happens when you do land that all important first interview?
I’ve always found the best way to prepare for an interview is to think about the subjects you will cover. Let’s face it, there are always going to be a set of standard questions you will be asked, so you should prepare the answer before you go in to the interview. I don’t think you should come across as false but I do think you should be rehearsed.
Over the next two blogs I will look at some of the common questions interviewers ask and the answers I would give if I had an interview, the examples are personal to me but hopefully will help you think about how you structure your answers.
- Tell me about yourself?
When this question comes up, which it always does, I keep the answer specific to my career and very succinct (if you don’t know your career history know one will!)
“After leaving University in 2003 I accepted my first full-time role at Deloitte and spent a year and a half there as a team administrator. During this time, I came to realise that I loved working in the support staff team and moved from there to my next role as Personal Assistant and Administrator at the ICAEW. I worked at the ICAEW for 3 and a half years and in that time was promoted to an Account Manager where I looked after 12 Committees and supervised one administrator. Unfortunately, I was made redundant but successfully moved on to my next role as a PA to the Business Assurance Director at Lloyd’s Register. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in this role and learnt a great deal but was fortunate to be targeted for my next role at BMS where I am currently Executive Assistant to the COO, CFO and Company Secretary”
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
Unless you have been made redundant, which is a common answer these days unfortunately, this question can result in quite a negative answer. There is the temptation to have a bit of a moan about your current /previous employee but I really recommend you try to find a positive answer to this. Having conducted interviews in the past there is nothing worse than hearing someone complain about their last job, it just sounds unprofessional.