Competing for personal assistant positions in today’s job market is like a battle of the gladiators. Even having “celebrity PA” experience on one’s resume isn’t enough to land a job because so many candidates are competing for open slots.
It goes without saying that assistants need to go into interviews very well-prepared. My rule of thumb: Be over-prepared. Why? Because candidates that think they are “ready” for an interview actually are not – by a long shot.
It’s simply impossible to predict what kind of curve balls the employer is going to throw at you (especially the Fortune 500 companies). In fact, it’s standard operating procedure now for employers to ask job applicants off-the-wall questions just to see how they will react. There are plenty of websites that have lists of the craziest interview questions, which you can research on your own (billionaires are especially famous for out-of-this-world questions).
The point is this: If you are over-prepared for the interview, then you are going to be thoroughly prepared for anything that comes your way (nervous energy can’t take over if you have confidence, and that comes from doing homework).
As a friendly reminder, doing exhaustive research on the employer that you’re going to be interviewing with is a critical component to passing the multi-tiered process. If you don’t give them a reason to hire you (by proving to them that you’ve done homework), then making it past the first stage is almost impossible.
That covers the basics of being mentally ready, but what about being physically ready? I encourage a candidate to warm up their mind AND body before going into an interview. Because most candidates won’t do it, this will give you an alertness (an aura, if you will) that employers are going to notice – even if they can’t pinpoint it, they will say “that candidate had great energy”. Try the following:
- Warm up your voice by doing some light singing to your favorite song. Not only does this get your vocal cords warmed up, it will lift your spirits too – kill two birds with one stone.
- Do some stretching before you get dressed. There are plenty of tutorials online to guide you, but warming up your muscles will help you relax and get your blood flowing.
- Deep breathing is also helpful to calm your nerves. This can be done on the ride to the interview.