I’ve had a lot of experience at interviews for Personal Assistant/Executive Assistant roles both as a candidate and interviewer. After years of being a candidate, sitting on the interview panel or even being part of the recruitment campaign and candidate selection process is a real eye opener. I learned as much from that as from being the interviewee. For instance, if there are many applicants, the most basic mistake can see you cut from the line-up. Make sure you read all the small print. For example, if the advertisement asks applicants to attach a CV and a cover letter to an email than do not put your cover letter in the email body and attached the CV, do not attach the CV and cover letter together in one document, etc. Give them exactly what they ask for. I think for roles that require such attention to detail as a Personal Assistant does, making basic errors in the application process can really go against you. I have seen qualified and experienced Personal/Executive Assistants cut for these reasons. No one is perfect of course (I might have some errors here!) but make sure you read and re-read the application instructions. That being said, the biggest mistake I used to make as a candidate is something different. It was not getting across my agenda. The interview process is not a one-way street, as you know. But it’s not just about asking questions at the end and being interested in the company. For me personally, it’s not enough to answer the questions you are asked and hope that will hit upon the points you yourself want to make. You as the candidate need to decide in advance what you want to get across and either a) weave these into your answers while still answering the question you were asked and/or b) use the opportunities they give you to ask/say anything. Your “agenda” could be any or all of the following - How much preparation you have put into the interview - Skills or experience you want to highlight but they didn’t ask you directly about - How much you know about the company/dept. (beyond the quick google) - How much you have researched the industry/their competitors/their target audience - How passionate you are about the role (remember wanting the role badly doesn’t make you the best candidate unfortunately) - - How you went above and beyond in your roles in the past and how you can transfer your skills. When I used this strategy I definitely improved my interview outcomes. And I know from being the interviewer, that this can put you above and beyond a similarly skilled candidate. If this strikes a chord with you, you may be interested in the Interview Skills for PA/EA roles workshop I’m holding in 2018. We will be discussing this strategy and more. If you enjoyed this blog post, subscribe to my monthly productivity newsletter.