Prepare for a Personal Assistant interview

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Comments (30)

masefako jane ramoshai in Pretoria, South Africa

80 months ago

i just want to know what kind of question i am going to found if i have been selected to come ot an interview.

role and skills

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sheila in Ghana

71 months ago

Hi David,

I'm going for an interview as a Personal Assistant and I want to know what kind of questions I could be asked at the interview and how to answer them.

I'll appreciate it if you could reply me asap. The interview is tomorrow 26th Nov. 2008.

Thanks and best regards.

Sheila

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

continued
When you have completed those lists, make some more. Make a list of people who you admire, who are successful in their chosen fields, or who you would choose for someone in your family to aspire to, and make contact. Discover how you can reach these people and pose a letter w/ the same question you have asked me and/or ask the person how it is they arrived to their current position. Do not be deterred if you receive no response as those people are likely to have a Personal Assistant to handle such matters. However, do not despair if you receive no feedback. Make another list of people in your community who you believe to be leaders. People who are effective in their chosen field and have impressed you or those close to you and reach out to them. Once you have a bite and someone shows interest in your determination to succeed and make them your mentor

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

continued
You referenced management experience. No matter the industry of the management, across the board, management is management. I was hit with a brick wall constantly after four years of retail management when entering the “business” side of the professional world. When applying for jobs I would often get, “Well, you have no experience in managing a ….” Or, “David, your degree is Medical Administration and you have four years of retail management, what make you think you can manage a Pest Control business”. My response was always the same, “I’m sorry, management is management. It does not matter if one is the manager of a shoe store or the manger of an office. Budgets are still set and expected to be met. Payroll is processed the same for four people or forty people. Customer service skills apply to all industry across the board and I think my experiences and skills, although acquired in a different industry then yours, are no different then the qualifications necessary to fit the bill”. Verbatim; no, but you get the point. ALL SKILLS ARE USEFUL IN ALL INDUSTRIES.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

continued
Again, it is my opinion you should stay in the field of cosmetics if that is where the majority of your experiences are. The president of May Kay has a PA of one fashion or another. The same goes for the corporate officers of Estee Lauder and Mac Cosmetics.

On the same note, the skills you acquired in the cosmetic industry can cross over to any area of fashion. Everyone from the editor of …to the model in the advertisement has a PA of one kind or another. And as you have noted your gift to be organized and enjoy helping others keep things in order; calendaring, scheduling, and I would suspect, event planning are right up your alley.

I wish you much luck and have enjoyed attempting to answer your question, as broad in scope as it was.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

continued
I am launching a facebook professional page for young business people, no matter the industry. Although the page is still in the concept stages it might be of advantage to you. Please query a facebook search: David R. Twiss, Jr. read my bio on the information wall. The bio itself will be of help to you if you are interested in restructuring your resume. In addition to the bio, there are other PA’s that I have some contact with there which could be a resource to you. I also have been posting “no brainers” in form of suggestions or experiences for basic business functions/operations. Feel free to post feedback as it is encouraged and after reading my first comment “Day 1” you will understand the pages concept and hopefully participate.

If I have not answered your question thoroughly or have gotten off base feel free to contact me @ davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

CONTINUED AND IMPORTANT
Once more thing, as if I have not been wordy enough, POST, POST, POST everywhere your intentions of being a PA. POST, POST, POST anywhere you can: your skills, experiences, and nuances of what makes you an effective PA – as you have personally assisted others in the natural order of life. POST, POST, POST, in community bulletins (that are free), classified ads or on web sites that you are looking to fill a position as a PA in whatever industry you decide.

Yvonne, please keep me posted to what events conspire in your determination to succeed. Best regards and best of luck.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

Regards, Michelle. Guess what, your foot is already in the door!! Having experience as an Administrative Assistant is the first key experience you will need and use as a PA.

The only advise I can give you is in relation to the mentality of those you will be a PA to in or around NYC. Unfortunately, but true, pretense is a big part of the game no matter the industry. Pretense is simply a realism of the NYC area. While opening an office in Albany, NY, the wallet being opened from our Manhattan office, I received a telephone call from the PA of the business owner asking why I had purchased a specific item from a specific store. "In consideration of budget" was the answer. I was told "I'm not sure how things are done in Albany but here in NY we have an image to ..." I'm sure you can figure out the rest of that conversation. I, in turn, went to the President and COO, to who I was the PA and Office Manager and explained to him that our humble means were not up to measure w/ the Manhattan office and we were to spend more money as "image is important to Mr...".

Of course that mindset is not the world over, least of all, not the final mid set of New Yorkers or even the City Dwellers but it does come into play more often then not.

If you are asking what steps you can take to begin the process of looking for a position as a PA then please read the other comments posted herein. Especially pay attention to what I conveyed to Ms. Yvonne. Feel free to contact me with specifics @ davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com or ck out my page on facebook: David R. Twiss, Jr and read bio on the info wall.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

Michelle in Boston, Massachusetts said: Nice to meet you, David!

As an experienced administrative assistant who often works closely with C-level Executives in a large Healthcare company, I'd love to pursue a career as a Personal Assistant and hope to relocate to New York City. Have you any advice about getting my foot in the door?

Best regards,
Michelle

Regards, Michelle. Guess what, your foot is already in the door!! Having experience as an Administrative Assistant is the first key experience you will need and use as a PA.

The only advise I can give you is in relation to the mentality of those you will be a PA to in or around NYC. Unfortunately, but true, pretense is a big part of the game no matter the industry. Pretense is simply a realism of the NYC area. While opening an office in Albany, NY, the wallet being opened from our Manhattan office, I received a telephone call from the PA of the business owner asking why I had purchased a specific item from a specific store. "In consideration of budget" was the answer. I was told "I'm not sure how things are done in Albany but here in NY we have an image to ..." I'm sure you can figure out the rest of that conversation. I, in turn, went to the President and COO, to who I was the PA and Office Manager and explained to him that our humble means were not up to measure w/ the Manhattan office and we were to spend more money as "image is important to Mr...".

Of course that mindset is not the world over, least of all, not the final mid set of New Yorkers or even the City Dwellers but it does come into play more often then not.

If you are asking what steps you can take to begin the process of looking for a position as a PA then please read the other comments posted herein. Especially pay attention to what I conveyed to Ms. Yvonne. Feel free to contact me with specifics @ davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com or ck out my page on facebook: David R. Twiss, Jr and read bio on the info wall.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

sheila in Ghana said: Hi David,

I'm going for an interview as a Personal Assistant and I want to know what kind of questions I could be asked at the interview and how to answer them.

I'll appreciate it if you could reply me asap. The interview is tomorrow 26th Nov. 2008.

Thanks and best regards.

Sheila

Shelia, I'm sorry for not having been able to ck my emails concerning Indeed. Please make me aware of what took place during your interview. As I was not able to be of assistance to you for the first part of the interviewing process, perhaps I can be of assistance to you for the next step or for the rest of your journey. davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com my professional bio can be found at facebook: David R. Twiss, Jr or search: business person.

To answer your question: It is impossible to determine w/ out much more information what kind of questions you will be asked. I can, and always do, advise that you answer each questions w/ thoughtful and considered words. Always speak honestly and if you have no answer to cannot find an answer to any question, ALWAYS ask the relevancy of the question. Preempt your questions w/ a simple statement like "I'm sorry I have no answer for you, perhaps I'm not understanding what you are asking, please explain the relevancy of the question". Not only does this cause the interviewer to take a step back, to consider what is being asked and how it is being asked but also it gives the interviewer the impression of intelligence.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

Shelia, Not knowing an answer to a question or not knowing how to answer a question is not as important as what one can do with the question. And remember, if it is a technical question or a question related to something in your education a good reply is "that information is in referenced materials I use...". Answering a question w/ the "I don't know but I know how to find the answer quickly" lets the interviewer know that you can handle reference materials, which are key to any industry.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

mabitarom@yahoo.com in Tarawa, Kiribati said: Well, screening for PA post have been done, I've been selected to join the screening test. Please would you help me what kind of test/questions I can expect during that test.

Expect your reply please,

Meere

Meree, good luck on the screening test. You can expect all of the following or none at all, I'll explain why later:

drug screening, background check, bonding or if bendable, securtiy clearance by local authority and as high as the FBI, general Q & A's, moral questions, industry information, specific company information, standardized testing, typing, scheduling, filing (alpha & numeric), 10-key, etc. or you can be asked none of the above.

The "I'll explain later"; there is no way to judge what questions can be asked. That question should have been made to the human resources department or to those who made you aware of being included in the next process. Or, better yet, discover what the process will be on your own. As a PA you will be expected to handle "discovery" and if you are unable to discover what you need to, how are you going to be able to handle "discovery" for someone else. It is not my intent to be harsh; I'm simply being honest.

Let me know what has occurred, what the corporation/business is, what department you will be PA to/for = any detailed information will help. davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com, for best and timely responses. Best regards! See my professional profile/biography on facebook, search: David R. Twiss, Jr or search: business person - this is in conceptual stages and is intended to be a "go-to-group" for professionals like me and you.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

masefako jane ramoshai in Pretoria, South Africa said: i just want to know what kind of question i am going to found if i have been selected to come ot an interview.

role and skills

Please read the answers provided for other participants at Indeed.com. = www.indeed.com/forum/job/personal-assistant/Prepare-Personal-Assistant-interview

As there are no specific questions asked for any industry other then the obvious: your education, work experience...etc. I've been asked how it is I prepare my eggs...have I ever considered modeling...where I bought my shoes. And once I was asked if I shopped at Macy's. With that said, if you would like to share what the company is, what type of PA the positions is (are you walking the dog and picking up the dry cleaning or are you scheduling, calendaring, emailing, reviewing, receiving and directing information...)narrow the scope of your question by identifying the specifics of your scenario. Contact me @ davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com or see my professional page (conceptualized) on facebook: David R. Twiss, Jr. or search within facebook for: professional person. See my bio/profile on the "info" wall. Best regards and I hope we can reach a more positive tone when you provide more information.

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bewelltoday@hotmail.com in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

LNHamukwaya in Walvis Bay, Namibia said: I would like to thank you so much for registering yourself on the web as an experienced and qualified administration assistant.I hope you will take many people up the ladder who are interested in this position to be personal assistants in future like me.I am only a receptionist and also would like to be a PA in near future as I am already in the same field. I hope you can also help me with this interview tips,questions and answers.

Please direct any questions to my professional page on facebook, David R. Twiss, Jr. or search within facebook: business person and find me. or email me @ davidrtwissjr@yahoo.com.

I would love to answer any specific questions on my professional page and I think the concept of the page will interest you.

I look forward to your questions.

Regards,
David

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Betty in United Kingdom

32 months ago

I would like to know what kind of questions should I expect on an online test in a retail company.m nervous and I really need the job I have suffered enough.I am writing a test on 23 February 2012

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David R Twiss Jr in Atlanta, Georgia

32 months ago

Please be aware that you are in the wrong forum. This forum is related to Personal Assistant careers. However, I do have four years of retail experience to include management. With that said, the test will be multiple choice and yes and no questions. You will be asked character questions: Are you a leader or a follower; are you a self starter or do you need direction; have you ever stolen from an employer? Certain psychological questions will be rephrased throughout the test. Example, "Have you stolen from an employer". Rephrased, "Have you ever taken a pen from work".

Be prepared to write an essay as to why you believe you are a good fit for that company and how the company will benefit from your employment with their company.

I hope this is of help to you. If you would like to provide more information or have an in depth conversation please see me on my professional facebook page @ David R Twiss Jr. Best regards and good luck!

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Tanu sharma in Delhi, India

28 months ago

I'm going for an interview as a Personal Assistant and I want to know what kind of questions I could be asked at the interview and how to answer them.

I'll appreciate it if you could reply me asap.

Thanks and best regards.
Tanu Sharma

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dmokwena in Kimberley, South Africa

28 months ago

David in Troy, New York said: As a Personal Assistant to the President/COO of a national tradw organiziation I can hoestly say there is no given "kind" of question you can expect when interviewing for such a position. Of course there are the standared questions that one will be askes during any interview: how would you consider your organizational skills, are you an effective communicatio...These types of questions are usually and often answered from/by your work experience. However and moreover, you should be prepared to answer questions that concern personal relationships and/or situations that may occur in every day life, again these are typicaly standard questions: when presented with a particualar situation how did you respond. The best and most honest reaponse I can offer you is be prepared for a myriad of questions. Often it is best to find general answers that can fit most situations and/or, from the cuff, be able to tailor a general response to fit the situation/scenario/question. Remember to always be diplomatic, honest, forthright and sincere. The afore mentioned will show through any blunder, incorrect response or shortcomming.

A good habit to form when acting as a Personal Assistant is to never second guess yourself. If you have made the wrong decision, and you will quickly learn if you have, often you will be find praise in responding quickly to any given situation - shortly after discovering you have made the wrong decision. In addition, these situations will only help and enforece the anticipation of your employers needs.

Feel free to contact me w/ any feedback or questions you might have.

Best Regards,
David

Hi David If they ask me, a question like:
Tell about yourself.
weak point and strong point- those are my downfalls.

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dmokwena in Kimberley, South Africa

28 months ago

Hi david

please help with this question. if they ask me to tell them more about myself, how should i answer this question

what are you strong points and weak point. this question are my downfull

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josephine mapemba in Blantyre, Malawi

27 months ago

Hi David,

I'm going for an interview as a Personal Assistant and I want to know what kind of questions I could be asked at the interview and how to answer them.

I'll appreciate it if you could reply me asap. The interview is on 31st july,2012.

Thanks and best regar

josephine

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josephine mapemba in Blantyre, Malawi

27 months ago

Hi David,

I'm going for an interview as a Personal Assistant and I want to know what kind of questions I could be asked at the interview and how to answer them.

I'll appreciate it if you could reply me asap. The interview on 31st July, 2012.

Thanks and best regards.

josephine

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josephine mapemba in Blantyre, Malawi

27 months ago

Hi David,

I'm going for an interview as a Personal Assistant and I want to know what kind of questions I could be asked at the interview and how to answer them.

I'll appreciate it if you could reply me asap. The interview is tomorrow 26th Nov. 2008.

Thanks and best regards.

Sheila

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

Shelia, Unfortunately I have just received your inquiry, a bit late; wrong dates?
Are you a professional (business) Personal Assistant, (personal-home based) PA, or…?

If you have had the interview: please make me aware of what occurred; what professional and personal questions were asked, what were your answers, did the interviewer take lead on the interview, or did you? Were there any questions that you had issues with or were taken aback from? Did you have a second or third interview? And, were you offered the position?

If the interview has not occurred: be prepared for anything!! I have had questions like, “Do you shop at Macy’s”, “have you ever had to assist someone in an emergency”, “how do you get along with children”, “if you are ordering a menu for a dinner party and the main course does not show, what do you do”?

So, as you can see, the questions can be off-the-wall.
More than likely you will be asked the standard questions:

*How do you describe yourself?
Be complete, start with you personality related to profession. How does your personality fit the job, are you a type “A” or…? Discuss professional scenarios that you excelled at or went far beyond the call of duty. (I was once asked to review a book to get the authors take on 911. After reading the book and supplying a written account of the material and my thoughts on the author’s positions, I connected, Peter (President & COO) to the author via telephone. Not a big deal, huh? The author was a recluse and had not left his home or had correspondence with anyone expect his wife, who was also is go-to-person for everything).
CONTINUED

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

* What are your merits and demerits?

Use every merit, even un-written ones, you have achieved, go back to high school and move forward. Be honest about demerits. Of course, lighten the severity of the most egregious, but do not miss any of the key events: did you receive written demerits, or was it verbal? How was the scenario corrected? (It is my rule to “fix what is broken”. If you are able to correct a negative scenario before it reaches a demerit stage, do so. Afterward, be the person that admits, without prompting; to the occurrence (be brief with this part). Then be very explanatory about the occurrence and how you corrected it.

* What is your primary thought about this organization or being my direct PA?

It is time to do research. Tap any resources available to you: computer search on sites like indeed or Facebook. Ask friends and acquaintances if they are familiar w/ the organization. Dial the company directly. Contact the Human Resources Department; introduce yourself and the purpose of your call. 99% of the time you will be well received.

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

* How do you deal with criticism and how do you offer criticism?

We have all been in situations that have caused a negative critique. You can take this one in two directions, or both: discuss the least of the negative critiques and how you handled it, and if you applied the experience to different situations; you can discuss the most sever of these occurrences, how you handled it, what you learned from it, and were you able to apply the critique to a different scenario. (With this type of question I go for humor by discussing scenarios that are completely ridiculous, don’t be guarded on using humor)

CONTINUED

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

* Are you ready to work beyond the call of duty*How do you plan to be on call when during non-working hours.

(THIS IS A BIG ONE – My former employer, American Life Insurance Congress, of Mark Ross & Co., Mark would call me at all hours of the night). Keep your laptop at the ready. Keep your cell on and fully charged. Have a backup cell and be sure relevant people have it. Have contact number to EVERYONE available IMMEDIATELY (DRIVER, SECREATRIES, ASSISTANTS, CONSTITUENTS, COLLEGUES, EVERY NUMBER TO EVERY BOARD MEMBER IN HOUSE AN OUT. ALL CONTANCT INFORMATION TO ANY CURRENT BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS OR … HAVE YOUR CALENDAR UPDATED DAILY WITH THOSE YOU WORK WITH. This can be delegated to a secretary.

* Are you ready to work on weekends? Of course you are.

EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT; you will find most everything can be outsourced or delegated.

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

* How often will you require a leave?

I’ve never been asked this question. I do, however, make it clear when my off time is or my personal “time-off –needs” right after the job is offered. Keep anything that can be negative for the very end.

* From 1-10, where do you rank yourself, with regards to work?

Be honest. If you are a five, you are a five. Perhaps the position only requires a five. If you are an 8, 9, or 10, then you are and you will have hard proof, via experience, of your ranking.

* How often do you accept challenges?

Challenges should be accepted daily and you should have a scenario that can back up your integrity. Perhaps you had a professional scenario where a deadline might not be met due to someone else’s error, which you discovered and corrected; even though unfamiliar territory

CONTINUED

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

* Why should you be a leader, what leadership qualities do you have in you?

This is another question based on your experiences. Use anecdotes to previous difficult situations in which you excelled. Discuss scenarios in which you have had to motivate or critique ancillary employees. Perhaps you can focus on a large event in which you were the lead person. (I collaborated on the “Coming out Party of ALIC. My responsibilities’ quickly changed from delegating to complete authority on a dinner inviting the entire professional insurance field to ALIC. After acquiring the space I designed the floor plan, menu, and 2k invitations…from 2.5k miles away. I acted with complete anonymity with a three figure budget.

* How do you strike a balance between work and personal life?

It is my view that there is no balance in life, which includes a professional side. It is my personality that work comes first. I have zero reservations to cancel a personal event for a professional duty. I am the PA.

CONTINUED

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

* Why should we recruit you?

Again, this question is based on experiences and merits.

* Why did you choose our organization to work?

This question stymies’ most everyone. The truth of the matter is we need to work, to be paid, to survive. However, there might be very specific reasons you wish to work for this company…perhaps they are community oriented, you have had previous dealing with the company. Perhaps you simply admire the growth and merits of the …WHAT EVER THE ANSWER IS BE HONEST.

* What are your salary expectations?

Salary expectations are based on experience, location, and the company/person you are interviewing with. Dig deep to discover what the pay range is for the...be realistic, the COO of Dollar Tree will not offer the same range as Perry Ellis.

CONTINUED

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David Twiss in Millbrook, Alabama

27 months ago

The best suggestions I can offer to those who are interested in being a Professional Personal Assistant is to BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING. BE PREPARED TO PERFORM ANY BUSINESS (AND SOMETIMES NON-BUSINESS) FUNCTION AT ANY TIME…AND YOU MUST ENJOY THE PACE.

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