Hiring a good virtual assistant can be a great benefit for virtually any business. However, finding the ideal assistant can sometimes be a challenge and can determine whether the experience is a positive one or negative. Generally, a virtual assistant is employed outside traditional office walls, even sometimes in different countries. They often perform tasks that may otherwise take a great deal of your time, such as researching projects and answering emails. Sometimes, a virtual assistant reviews specific documents or helps schedule appointments. When the time comes to ask your prospective virtual assistant interview questions, it’s crucial to ask the right ones to make sure you’re a good match for working together.
Before you hire a virtual assistant, you’ll need their references and a detailed resume in addition to asking them a series of relevant questions concerning their previous work experience. Ideally, you need to know if they’ve actually had any prior experience working as a virtual assistant and what knowledge they have in certain software applications. Also, you can ask to see their portfolio samples if it’s relevant to the kind of work you have available; for example, a person who can write letters on your behalf.
When requesting virtual assistant services, it’s important to determine how you and your candidate will communicate with one another, such as IM (instant messaging), video chat, or email. If necessary, consider the differences in time zones when establishing working hours as well. Make sure you know the response time to your emails and the approximate timetable to complete each project. Both you and your assistant while likely have your own preferences on how to communicate, so it’s important to set up that aspect of virtual assistant services protocol right from the start.
Here are 10 critical virtual assistant interview questions to ask before you decide to hire them.
1. Have you ever worked as a virtual assistance before? If so, what positions?
2. What are your key strengths and weaknesses?
3. What training, if any, have you had in the past year relevant to this position?
4. What major contributions did you make that made a positive impact overall on your employer’s bottom line?
5. How do you generally handle difficult clients/people?
6. How do you respond to challenging situations?
7. How do you maintain successful relationships with seemingly impossible clients?
8. Example situation: You have an important deadline to meet and your computer system suddenly crashes. What do you do now?
9. What books have your read in the last six months?
10. If you have children, who’s in charge of them throughout the day?
Asking your candidate to describe in detail their strengths and weaknesses may sound a bit cliché, but it will give you a very good indication whether or not they’re a good fit for your business. It’s best to hire someone that’s stronger in certain areas where you tend to be weaker. For instance, if you lack the time and patience to answer emails in a timely manner, you need an online assistant who can pick up the slack in that area.
Is Your Candidate a Good Fit?
Once you get through the interview and your potential virtual assistant reviews and answers all your questions, many times you’ll just know if they’re a good fit for you. In fact, you’ll be 99 percent sure if they’re the one you intend to hire even before the interview is completely over.
In the end, hiring a virtual assistant isn’t any different than hiring someone to physically work in your office. Either way, you need to know they can perform well, do the tasks at hand, and be a good asset to your overall business.