A: It takes a special skill to be a great PA – you may never find the perfect fit but, if you pick the right personality, there is every chance your new PA will grow into the job.
Don’t delegate the interview process to your HR department – this is a very personal appointment, only you can decide – but before settling on the shortlist, look around the office to see if there is a possible internal candidate – these are people you already know and, perhaps more importantly, they will know quite a lot about you.
When the interview comes, don’t bother too much about the CV – use the lunch test (would you be happy to spend a three-hour lunch together?), and remember that you are about to sign on for a very close relationship. You should be aware that the candidate will also be interviewing you – you must pass their lunch test. For everyone’s sake, don’t make a final decision until you have had a second interview – then go with your gut instinct.
The right personality will soon work out how to deal with your moods and idiosyncrasies and gain the respect of those around you.