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Best Qualities in a Personal Assistant

July 5th, 2018

Qualities to Look for in a Personal Assistant

In many ways, a personal assistant is similar to an executive assistant. They often screen phone calls and emails, manage calendars and set appointments for their employers. While there is plenty of overlap when it comes to responsibilities, personal assistants differ from executive assistants in some key ways. While both positions are valuable, personal assistants generally work for a single person in the person’s home instead of in a professional environment. Personal assistants are often involved in their employer’s lives on both personal and professional levels, especially if they work for someone who is self-employed. Whereas a candidate’s education may be a key factor in the decision to hire an executive assistant, the practical skills an individual has are typically more important when it comes to hiring a personal assistant.  

What to Look for in a PA

While there isn’t a set of minimum educational requirements for personal assistants, it’s advisable to make sure a given candidate has certain qualities. Personal assistants often have access to their employer’s financial accounts and the most intimate details of their lives. With this in mind, it’s vital to ensure a candidate has specific traits before you offer the person a job. Here are some of the characteristics a personal assistant should have:
  • Trustworthiness
  • Loyalty
  • Reliability
  • Tech-Savviness
  • Flexibility
  • Organizational Skills


Given the nature of what personal assistants do, it’s essential that someone in this role is trustworthy. Personal assistants are often tasked with paying bills or filling in for their bosses at high-profile events. If someone isn’t trustworthy, it can damage your reputation and affect your financial health.  


A personal assistant must be loyal. You don’t want to get someone settled into their role only to have them leave a few weeks later. Even worse, you don’t want your personal assistant to share details about your life with other people or tabloids. A loyal personal assistant will always have your best interests at heart, and they will be discreet with information about your life.  


A personal assistant is often their employer’s “right hand.” To succeed in this position, a personal assistant must be reliable. From being punctual to completing their tasks in a timely manner, you have to know your personal assistant will do their job flawlessly. Over time, you should be able to count on your personal assistant to take care of a wide array of things without you even having to ask.  


In today’s connected society, it’s essential for a personal assistant to be tech-savvy. A prospective personal assistant should have computer skills that enable the person to do things like manage your email, book flights, make reservations, prepare reports and conduct research. If you use proprietary software for work, you should seek out a personal assistant who will be able to master the programs you use with ease.  


A personal assistant will be an integral part of your personal and work life. Just like you have to be prepared for the unexpected, so must your personal assistant. Flexibility is one of the most important personal assistant characteristics because a candidate must be able to adjust to changing circumstances quickly and happily.  

Organizational Skills

While you may not be highly organized, your personal assistant must be. Your personal assistant will manage your schedule, oversee your calendar, take messages and do many other things on your behalf. If your personal assistant isn’t highly organized, it can impair your performance at the office and negatively influence the quality of your home life.  

Contact Quintessentially People

While you may know what to look for in a PA, finding one who has a long list of desirable personal assistant characteristics can be challenging on your own. With a global pool of highly-skilled personal assistants, Quintessentially People makes it easy to find a personal assistant no matter where you’re located or what your specific requirements are. Contact us to find your personal assistant today.