Core Competencies


The most important thing about being an Executive Assistant is a strong commitment towards the job. In other words, there needs to be a strong desire to succeed. As a candidate, the person must be willing to constantly improve his/her performance and add new abilities.

The demands of the position always keep on changing with the advent of newer technologies and business practices, so Executive Assistants should be adaptive, flexible and inquisitive. Much of the support that an Executive Assistant provides is nearly invisible as he/she works without any supervision, hence there are no performance reports that an assistant requires to submit.

The only yardstick of their performance is the way they make lives easier for their bosses, some of their core responsibilities are given below −

  • Keeping them informed about all details

  • Assuring their presence in all the important events

  • Anticipating their needs

  • Prioritizing their work and other engagements

  • Managing the daily workflow.

Apart from the above-mentioned responsibilities, in total, there are nine core competencies that every Executive Assistant must be good at, which are listed below −

Adaptive Skills

  • Is flexible to changes and adjusts accordingly.

  • Has a positive attitude towards work, irrespective of the nature of work.

  • Can manage and prioritize many conflicting priorities in a composed manner

Organizational Skills

  • Knows how to best utilize the time.

  • Knows how to distribute time as per the tasks at hand.

  • Knows how to utilize office space and organize paperwork.

Task Management Skills

  • Anticipating needs and addressing them.

  • Ensure completion of crucial projects within the time frame.

  • Balances many priorities and designs a suitable workflow.

  • Being able to foresee problems and taking pre-emptive actions.

Communication Skills

  • Listens and actively works to improve those skills.

  • Writes well-rounded sentences in a professional language without errors.

  • Speaks confidently and sends clear messages that are easily understood.

  • Knows how to employ oral and written skills to convey a positive message.

Client Service Skills

  • Responds to queries in a timely and professional demeanor.

  • Is aware of the latest developments about the client’s business.

  • Interacts in a formal and professional way with clients and colleagues.

Business Concepts Skills

  • Is aware of the fundamental business principles.

  • Knows organizational behavior and demonstrated it.

  • Understands the overall industry and business operation.

Team Player Skills

  • Likes to be counted upon as a competent team member.

  • Gives importance to group goals and participates accordingly.

  • Is willing to be a back-up support for others working with the manager.

Computer/Technical Skills

  • Displays proficiency in using the standard office equipment.

  • Displays a proficiency in using computers, peripherals and accessories.

  • Demonstrates advanced proficiency by quickly adapting to new technology.

Judgment Skills

  • Exhibits sound decision making and fair judgment skills.

  • Refers issues to the appropriate authority when necessary.

  • Works effectively independent of constant supervision or direction.

These nine core competencies are not easy to cultivate in a matter of days, so it is clear by now that the list of things that an Executive Assistant should be doing is exhaustive. The role of an Executive Assistant is never easy; there is sometimes not a moment of rest. In these cases, it is imperative that the person maintains a positive attitude and unwavering focus on the job. This job is much larger than the sum of its parts.

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