Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant Interview Questions That Provide Real Insight

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Interviewing a candidate for a job is one of the most crucial steps in finding the right fit for your team or company. While you can’t find out everything about a candidate in an hour interview, there are certain questions that can give you a better insight into what the candidate is all about.

If you are a high-level official (C-suite) looking for an executive assistant to join your team, you know how important it is for the candidate to be the right fit.

We have compiled some interview questions that can help you better assess and filter your candidate so you can make an informed decision.

Technical Questions

Describe your computer skills. What software do you use to organize your tasks and improve productivity?

Skilled executive assistants can organize data in spreadsheets, schedule calendar meetings, and create well-written emails. Apart from Microsoft Office and Google WorkSpace, executive assistants are well-versed in many other softwares.

What process do you follow to book domestic and international travel?

As a CEO or a leader, traveling is an essential part of your business. The executive assistant you hire must be familiar with everything that travel entails, including keeping note of delays, cancellations, layovers, car booking, and more.

Describe a great executive assistant in 3 words.

Summarizing a whole role in 3 words can be tricky but the words they will choose can give you an insight into what they perceive the role to be.

Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time you worked on projects with similar deadlines. How did you handle it?

This question is a good judge of how your candidate prioritizes tasks and handles pressure. As a CEO, schedules change pretty quickly and your ideal candidate is someone who can refocus and readjust according to the changing needs.

Give me an example of a time you had to solve a complex issue for an executive. Did you get any help?

While executive assistants are great at handling tasks on their own, they also need to collaborate with people on other teams to complete tasks. Therefore, people’s skills and team-building skills are also crucial to this role.

How do you handle conflict?

No workplace is free of problems. When dealing with different people in different departments, your executive assistant can come across difficult people or scenarios. A cool, calm, and, collected person knows how to handle conflict and avoid drama in the workspace.

Are you looking for a top executive assistant to manage your day-to-day tasks efficiently? We can help you find dynamic and well-rounded individuals for your team.

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Executive Assistant

How to Make Travel Plans for Your Boss

By | Corporate Culture, Executive Assistant | No Comments

Business travel is crucial to a business’s long-term success. Business travel brings in clients, opportunities, and helps a company expand its foothold. As an executive assistant, when your boss is traveling, the responsibility of taking care of all the travel-related logistics falls on your shoulders. From booking flights to reserving hotels— there are a lot of things that go into planning a streamlined travel itinerary for your boss.

In this article, we will cover some useful insight on how to effectively make travel plans for your boss.

Find out the budget

Every company has an allocated travel budget. Make sure you know how much can be spent on the trip. Businesses sometimes have partnerships with companies that offer travel at discounted prices— check if there is a better deal available.

Check travel requirements

Every country has specific requirements for visitors who are traveling for business or pleasure. Depending on which country your boss is traveling to, there may be certain travel requirements that he will have to consider. For example, does your boss need a visa to travel to that specific country? Does he need certain vaccinations? Keep such contingencies in mind and begin planning a few weeks in advance to cater to these requirements. Also, make sure your boss’ passport is on a date and has empty pages in case a visa is required.

Know your boss’ preference

Some bosses are particular about certain aspects of travel. For example, they may prefer an aisle seat over a window or want a digital boarding pass rather than a printed copy. Ask your boss what their preferences are and plan the trip accordingly.

Create an itinerary

Before travel, sit down with your boss and create a travel itinerary for the travel days. What will his schedule look like on day one? Who will he meet and at what time? Details such as getting into the shuttle and getting to the airport, to meeting an executive for lunch—everything should be listed down in the itinerary. This will give your boss a clear idea of what’s next and remove any confusion or miscommunication between you both.

Research the culture

With international travel, you need to keep certain things in mind. Every culture has norms, e.g. way of greeting, eating, or even tipping. Briefly update your boss on these details.

Account for the unexpected

Unexpected changes can happen during travel. Maybe your boss’ flight gets delayed. What should you do in that situation? If it’s an overnight delay, you would have to book a hotel for him. In another situation, their flight may reach earlier than expected, and you now have to coordinate the new time with the pickup service and the hotel staff. Always be prepared for the unexpected!

Working as an executive assistant can be challenging yet rewarding. If you are planning to further your career as an executive assistant, consider working with executive search firms that can place you at some of the top companies.

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Executive Assistant

The Best Executive Assistants Have These Things in Common

By | Corporate Culture, Executive Assistant | No Comments

Executive assistants are the force majeure on every successful executive’s team. The EA serves in multiple roles, such as scheduler, gatekeeper, coordinator, strategic liaison, advisor, manager, and problem solver – all before lunch!

In addition to running the office, the great executive assistants support the busy executive with their days’ professional and social demands. The scheduling doesn’t stop there. They will make sure there’s also time for family obligations. Assistants are successful only when their executives meet their goals and responsibilities.

Suppose you’re an executive in today’s dynamic business world. You need an expert executive assistant to help you meet the demands of your role in the company while still maintaining a work-life balance.

What every outstanding executive assistant has in common

Are you ready to look for your EA? You may already have a checklist of characteristics and skills in mind. They could include anything from being bilingual to understanding zoning regulations for commercial buildings.

However, recruiters who screen candidates for EA roles have identified the traits required of top assistants. The best executive assistants are a combination of several characteristics.

When it’s time to hire an assistant for your executive office, look for:

  • Superb communication skills in speaking, writing, and listening. This includes posting on social media as appropriate, listening to team member concerns, and reporting potentially volatile situations.
  • Tech-forward thinking that includes a willingness to recommend and use new technologies.
  • Vast networking capabilities because an EA won’t know everything, but they always know someone who does. It’s one of their secrets in getting so much accomplished.
  • A sense of professionalism that mirrors your corporate culture. Your EA will be ready to meet and greet stakeholders, lead a meeting, or conduct an interview at a moment’s notice.
  • An ability to handle stress in any situation. Meeting tight deadlines, coordinating travel itineraries and making sure you’ve signed your kids’ field trip permission slips are all part of a day’s work.
  • The person who will best represent and sell your brand. You can count on your EA to represent you and your company the way you do.
  • Collaborative skills include involving a variety of stakeholders in tasks. Great EAs rely on teams to make their magic happen, and the person in this position knows how to delegate for maximum efficiency.
  • Someone with sharp anticipation skills. Every EA’s superpower is its ability to anticipate your needs before you even articulate them.

Finally, confidentiality is critical when hiring for the role that will support your work. Executive assistants keep delicate information a secret. Your EA will be loyal and discreet, much the way we recruit candidates for your executive assistant position.

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Woman Assistant

Tasks You Should Be Delegating to an Assistant

By | Corporate Culture, Leadership | No Comments

A study by Harvard Business Review shares that senior managers and executives work in excess of 60 hours per week. The study also suggests that most executives spend large portions of their weekends and vacation time working as well. Admittedly, senior executives have a lot to do—investor meetings, managing teams, planning, crisis management, project tracking, email triaging, etc.

With increasingly fewer hours to spend on personal development and with family, time can often feel scarce. Putting in long hours can feel like the solution, but it isn’t. Throughout the day or week, executives spend time on tasks that do not require their specialized skill set and eat into their productivity. These can be accomplished by an assistant instead.

Let’s look at the tasks an assistant can execute on your behalf, so you can prioritize the things that truly matter.

What Tasks Should You Delegate To Your Assistant?

Here are some of which you could delegate to your assistant.

Managing Emails

Do you regularly check your emails to ‘stay on top of things?’ While it may seem like the least time-consuming activity, a study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute suggests that an average of 13 hours a week are spent checking emails!

A large percentage of emails clogging your inbox is just promotional or spam, and having an assistant to sort through them allows you to focus on important tasks that require your active attention.

Bookings and Reservations

If you travel frequently and spend hours searching for accommodations, the best deals on flight reservations, refunds, car rentals, etc., then perhaps it’s time to consider delegating these tasks to an assistant. An assistant can make all your reservations ensure that your travel and food-related preferences are met, and your itinerary is optimized so that you can focus on your meetings and relax in your downtime.

Organizing Appointments and Scheduling Meetings

Organizing appointments and scheduling meetings is another task that requires more attention than necessary. Constantly updating your calendar, searching for openings to schedule meetings, re-scheduling previously set appointments—these are tedious tasks that genuinely don’t require your attention and can easily be handled by an assistant.

Research and Reports

Most senior executives spend an unnecessary portion of their time collating data and making reports and presentations. An assistant can take the burden of research off you, irrespective of whether you want information on the background of a particular client or if you wish to gather data for a meeting. Yes, assistants are trained to be adept at research, and you can make informed decisions without spending hours sifting through data based on their findings.

Personal Errands and Support

Your assistant can handle multiple personal errands for you—from booking doctor’s appointments to scheduling children’s birthdays, shopping for presents for important occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, house warming parties. Assistants can also help you stay ahead of overdue communication, check on aspects such as car repairs, manage your social media, and more.

Managing everything alone is a Herculean task, but it doesn’t have to be. An assistant’s support can be crucial to taking small-but-significant things off your plate, ensuring your day goes smoothly. Work with us today—we make finding the proper support for you easier.

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