10 Practical rules of engagement when selecting a new PA

Here is a ‘dirty’ little trick of testing your ‘click’ factor that I learned from multiple employers of mine in the past: Imagine you tell the personal assistant in mind your ‘dirty little secret’ (of course you don’t have to actually do it). Do you feel comfortable and certain that it will be kept confidential and acted upon appropriately?

The answer to this question will tell all about your ‘click’ probability.

Practical rules of engagement

  1. When asking for referrals include things like; keeping their word, respecting deadlines, being on time and accurate, are they honest and guarding your confidentiality well, are they representable, where do they stand on integrity, etc.
    And don’t forget to enquire if they felt truly and effectively supported by this candidate!
  2. It is largely advised NOT to hire people you know well from your personal life. It might work out, but those are truly exceptional. Usually, because of a different comfort level, things might get tricky and the only result you’ll get is a ruined relationship you once cherished. I specifically pinpoint this issue to family relatives and close friends.
  3. ALWAYS sign a confidentiality agreement and don’t be afraid to include huge financial penalties in case of a breach. If your situation dedicates utmost delicacy include an official screening process prior to the interviewing stage. Most agencies provide those services, but you can also turn to private detectives and your lawyers.
  4. Ask someone who knows you best to do the first interview rounds. An external point of view can usually predict the chances of a ‘personality’ click very well upfront.
  5. While screening the resume, pay attention to the order of duties mentioned. We usually put the ones we are best at on top.
  6. Also, review the resume’s layout and wording itself. The way they wrote this one will be the manner in which they will write and represent you.
  7. During the interview, ask them the following question: What is the most important aspect for them in this job? And the perfect answer should have some elements of: putting your needs first!
  8. You don’t have to mention you are a difficult person to work for (I got that a lot in my past experience). We expect you to be very demanding and meticulous!
  9. On the same subject: state your most obvious characteristics so they will know what to expect. It’s a very PERSONAL relationship! Things like: You raise your voice while under stress or you don’t like long talks – whatever it is, it’s all fine! Just let us know about it and we will act accordingly.
  10. Do encourage them to ask questions, especially in the beginning, so you can state your needs and wishes as explicit as possible. It’s a win-win. But do give them space to do their thing. You might be impressed!

About Anna Tjumina

Anna Tjumina is a Private & Business PA to high executives, private individuals, socialites and entrepreneurs. She is passionately engaged and devoted to her profession for over 12 years. Providing support to most driven and demanding professionals, Anna mastered the art of service by understanding and catering to the needs accordingly. With financial background she explored areas of luxury yachting, commerce, live entertainment, world class architectural design and insurance giants. Since 2010, Anna founded a PA service providing company in The Netherlands. As the eminent PA on-demand, she is making a difference in lives of extraordinary professionals. Global PA Academy is her latest venture, the ultimate soft skills educational platform for Assistants.

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