BLOG : A Consumer-Developed Tool to Find the Right Personal Assistant

I have been a Concepts Consumer for 22 years, so I have been through my share of finding and hiring Personal Assistants (PAs). Finding the right PA is a very personal process, unique to each individual Consumer. And if you are just starting out as a Concepts Consumer, it can be a bit intimidating.

One tool that makes the process easier is to use a written question form to ask your potential PAs the questions you find most important - BEFORE the interview process. Once the form is filled out, you can review and weed out any people that are not a good fit right off the bat. Now you’ve saved time by only interviewing the people that are most likely to match up with who you are looking for.

So how do you know what questions to ask on this form? That is a personal decision. For me, an example of an important question is “If there was another transit strike, explain how you would get to work?” Living in NYC, this is a possibility, so I want to make sure my PA has a plan and can think creatively to solve problems. Just take some time and reflect on your personal needs throughout the day. Do you want someone who can cook? Maybe someone who can cook a specific type of food? Someone who is okay spending a lot of time outside with you? Someone who knows how to drive? Does it matter if they smoke? Okay being around pets? You can also use this form to ask for references. Here are the specific questions I ask:

  • If an emergency forces you to be late for work, explain what you would do and why?
  • Explain a good reason for not coming to work?
  • If there was another transit strike, explain how you would get to work?
  • Do you have a problem caring for household pets? If so explain.
  • What would you do at the end of your shift?
  • What kind of things would you consider not part of the job description and why?
  • Describe the reasons why you want this job and why you should be hired.
  • If the person that is supposed to relieve you is late or does not show up, what would you do and why?
  • What do you consider your three best qualities?
  • What do you consider your three worst qualities?
  • What do you expect to get out of this job?           
  • On a nice day, if you had to travel a mile, how would you get there?        
  • How would I benefit by having you work for me?
  • In one sentence, tell me why I should hire you?
  • In your opinion, out of these questions which is the most important?
  • Please list any days of the week, times of day, and/or holidays when you would NOT be available for work.

The beauty of Concepts is that you have the power to find just the right person for YOU. Using this tool makes the job that much easier.


Written by Carmelo Gonzalez

Note: While Concepts of Independence does not provide guidelines or advice on hiring, training, supervising and/or terminating Personal Assistants, we are pleased that many of our Consumers are happy to offer such advice from their own experiences. They are peer mentors, and their advice is their own to offer, and does not reflect the policies or guidelines of Concepts of Independence.  This article is written by a Concepts Consumer in the spirit of peer mentorship.

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