5 personality traits you should look out for when hiring a Private PA

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A private PA using a laptop to book a trip for her principal, smiling and holding a credit card.

Finding a private PA is a notoriously challenging task; not only do they need to possess all the requisite skills and experience to fulfil their day-to-day duties, they also need to be the right ‘fit’ for you.

Due to the highly personal nature of the role, you’ll need someone who you feel comfortable around, who can understand your needs and whose personality compliments your own.

This intangible ‘fit’ is difficult to pinpoint because it is completely unique to you and often relies upon an instinctual feeling you get about a person.

Although you’ll have a good idea of what you need when hiring your personal assistant, there are some common personality traits that you should look for when finding the right person for you:

A thick skin

Your personal assistant is usually the first person you’ll go to resolve any issues you might have and, equally, the person who might be in the firing line if anything goes wrong.

It is vital that the person in this role can deal with frayed tempers professionally and can mediate difficult situations that may arise – so that your life runs as smoothly as possible.

A good work ethic

A private PA can perform a range of duties, from booking travel and taking children to school, to helping out with business matters.

Often their workload is reflective of how busy your life is, so someone who is prepared to dedicate more time to their role when your life becomes more demanding is essential.

Your life will not fit around a normal 9-5 work pattern, so a PA must understand this and be flexible to your requirements; they must also think ahead for when they are not around and plan accordingly.


A personal assistant is a lynchpin role; they will usually be the first port of call when you are approached about a private or business matter, so they should be open and down to earth so that you can maximise the opportunities that arise.

They should be confident, so that they aren’t seen as a push over ‘buffer’, yet have no sense of ego which gets in the way of their commitment to you.


It goes without saying that anyone undertaking a support role must have the capacity to go above and beyond a ‘to do’ list to ensure that all eventualities are anticipated and accounted for.

However, being a private PA usually means that their ‘to do’ list is completely different from one day to another; one day they might be resolving an IT issue and the next they might be sourcing equestrian trainers.

This means that your PA must have the mental capacity to problem-solve and self-teach so that they pick up new skills quickly, and retain new information that they can apply to the task at hand.


Difficult situations will always arise when managing a busy schedule, so your PA should be able to approach such tasks with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude, making problems appear less of a burden.

You’re also likely to be spending a lot of time with your PA, so it is important that they are a positive influence on you and the other people they are likely to be working with.

If you’d like help finding your private personal assistant, call Tiger Private on +44 207 917 1803 today.

Author Tiger Contributor Tiger Recruitment Team

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