5 Essential Skills to Interview for a Private Service Position

Feb 7, 2018 | feigonhamilton | Feigon Hamilton Blog

Staffing Estates and Family Offices since 2005

Interviewing for a private service position is different from interviewing with a corporation. The preparation process is largely the same. Check out our five essential skills to interview for a private service position. Then let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


Once you secure an interview, the preparation really begins in earnest. Make sure to ask your recruiter when confirming the interview, who you’re going to be meeting. You also want to know what the suitable dress expectation is. You have the job description as well as your work history at hand. Clientele confidentiality will prevent research about your potential employer. You however can research the work it takes to do the job. For example, if you are interviewing at a household with an aircraft, learn what it takes to manage that aircraft.  This applies to a position on a yacht, an ocean front home or even an extremely high-tech home. It is important to research the position and become familiar with all terms and expectations.


Once you have a good understanding of the private service position you’ll be interviewing for, review your resume for the experience and specific skills the principals are looking for. It often helps during the interview to tell stories of times where you’ve demonstrated a specific skill or project. Think through these in advance or write them down so you’ll be able to offer them when asked. A personal chef, for example, can discuss balancing dietary needs, fussy young eaters, and the tastes of the principals. A personal assistant can choose a story that highlights efficiency and creative problem solving. Be prepared for the private service position you are applying for.


Be proactive. Make sure you calculate enough time for traffic, parking and any security checks. The person hiring you is likely busy. Ringing the bell of an estate earlier than the appointed time is intrusive. Show your attention to detail and your respect of their time by waiting in your car until the scheduled interview. Entering a lobby of an office building five to ten minutes early is appropriate. Once you’ve arrived, if you have a few minutes before meeting your interviewer, use the time wisely. You can observe the ambiance of the home, and the staff if they are present. Do be polite and respectful of any staff you meet. Do not engage in conversation beyond a cordial hello and brief introduction.


Working in a home or estate setting, you’ll be interacting with the principals, their family, friends and household staff. This is the opportunity to do what you love in private service position. Dress appropriately, professionally and carry yourself with decorum. Much of the success of a personal service professional is being aware of your audience. If you meet with the hiring representative for the principal, their questions are likely to be the point and exacting. Keep your answers equally to the point and exacting. Some employers and positions need a meticulous personality. They may be expecting you to ask questions, and fully understand a project. Others are looking for someone who can juggle many different responsibilities and make independent judgement calls quickly.


Get greater insight on the job. Prepare a list of questions for your employer.  Get a briefing from your recruiter. This will help provoke a vision, an overview or basically the “world view” of your potential employer’s lifestyle and needs. Prepare a concise “elevator speech” about your work history to share with your interviewer. You will quickly discover how you might fit with their team as a leader or a support person.

When you prepare and master these interviewing skills, it will ensure a better fit for you and the hiring family. Feigon Hamilton is in the business of placing valued private service professionals with households and estates. We know what it takes to make a good placement. Feigon Hamilton offers staffing, coaching, guidance and referrals to resume experts and schools. We help you further your expertise to the right placement and embark on a career of helping others.

Visit us @ www.feigonhamilton.com
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