What Skills to Look for in Executive Personal Assistant Candidates

Executive assistants facilitate the smooth functioning of businesses, organizations, or high-ranking executives by efficiently managing their day-to-day administrative and clerical tasks. For recruiters willing to hire skilled executive assistants, understanding the mandatory skills related to executive personal assistant recruiting is non-negotiable. Most large companies opt to work with a recruiting firm in efforts to save time and money; not to mention, if you don’t have the resources to adequately vet candidates, you may experience high turnover.

That said, in this article, we’ll go over some of the most important skills to look for in candidates as well as how to assess those skills. 

Must-Have Skills for Executive Personal Assistants

Skills like time management and organization make it easy for assistants to organize their boss’s schedule, set up meetings, and other jobs that need to be taken care of quickly and efficiently. These include being able to:

  • – manage someone else’s email account,
  • – answer phone calls and take messages for another person who works there,
  • – go with them to important meetings & take notes,
  • – type letters, reports or other documents,
  • – keep a record of all the daily/weekly appointments. For example, knowing how company systems work is useful. This is because these professionals have lots of different tasks during the day — some that need more thought than others!

Calendar Control

It is very important for VPs and executives to handle their schedules and emails well since they frequently have back-to-back meetings and a lot of messages to respond to, which means that there isn’t always enough time to think carefully about all the things they need to decide or deal with (‘strategic decision-making’). Efficiently organizing the calendar in a way that makes it easier to see what’s going on each day and week will help make sure that these kinds of employees don’t get too tired from overworking (burnout) and that everything happens at the right time/place without any problems (smooth workflow). One way of doing this is by going through the diary every month in order to identify such things as double bookings — & planning ways of avoiding them. It’s also important when looking at how good somebody is at this skill, to consider whether they have used particular tools & software for scheduling before — & if so, how well. Even if you yourself are not familiar with the programs in question, there are usually online reviews which give pros/cons of each one!


Communication skills

These professionals listen well and are also very good at understanding others’ viewpoints. They give good, clear directions to staff and customers.

Also, they can write clearly and quickly enough to make their point understood by all parties. This includes being able to spell & use grammar correctly as well as being good at proofreading written messages like emails so that there are no errors.

Maintaining positive connections by being approachable yet efficient is key i. e., an EA should find a way of balancing these competing demands.


Meeting Arrangements

Business leaders usually spend about 33% of their work time in meetings, but this percentage can go down if agendas are created carefully. It is easy for conversations to stray away from main topics without a clear meeting agenda, which means that more things get talked about than necessary and it isn’t always clear what needs to be done afterwards.

 There are certain skills that people who assist executives need to have when organizing meetings. These include being able to make plans for meetings that have lots of details so that they cover everything that they’re supposed to, & also making sure that all the necessary information is given to everyone before the meeting takes place. This helps the discussion move along more quickly because everyone knows what is going on. This means that there is a written record of what has been discussed  which can be shared with others later on. As a result  team members can refer back to these records to keep track of progress . Executives do not have to worry about remembering every detail   since notes will be available; they can focus on more important matters as someone else takes care of the rest. overall organization thus leading  greater success for organization as whole rather than just one person.

 Multitasking Ability

They are able to focus on one thing and not get distracted by other things happening around them. This includes being able to take care of urgent matters as soon as they come up. 

For example, it is easy for them to answer phone calls & reply to emails at the same time. They are also able to switch between different tasks easily without making any mistakes because they have a lot of experience doing so.

Being able to do multiple things well at once like this means that EAs can finish their work faster and without any errors.


In addition to establishing clear objectives and deadlines, EAs are pivotal in overseeing team members to ensure timely project completion. Through effective communication and requisite support, executive assistants alleviate their executives’ task loads, enabling them to concentrate on strategic decision-making rather than minor details. When assessing technical skills for executive personal assistant recruiting, it’s essential not to rely solely on candidates’ experience or academic qualifications. Instead, consider adopting a creative approach by incorporating assignments or scenarios tailored to specific tasks.