Before hiring your first virtual assistant, you might want to interview all of your candidates. Hiring a virtual assistant is like employing someone for your business (whether you’re hiring an independent contractor or an actual employee) so don’t skip the interview process.
PSI Select International says that the interview should confirm two things:
- Whether the candidate can successfully do the job
- Whether the candidate has the motivation to be a part of your business
When you’re hiring someone to handle a portion of your business, doing the job is never enough. Your virtual assistant should be passionate about your business and even feel excited about working with you. You’ll find more success with virtual assistants who enjoy working with your business, rather than virtual assistants who are looking for their next paycheck.
The interview can also tell you:
- How comfortable the virtual assistant is with the tasks
- The personality of the virtual assistant
- Whether there may be communication issues between you and the virtual assistant
- The confidence level of the virtual assistant
- That the virtual assistant is whom they say they are
Before heading to your interview, prepare notes on what you’re going to ask. Review each candidate and make a list of questions that you’d like them to answer. Ask a mix of questions related to their work ethic and the actual work involved.
Have questions specific to each candidate, based on your background checks. Then have questions that you’re going to ask everyone who applied for the position.
For example, you might be looking at a virtual assistant who applied for a customer support role with you. You notice that they have a strong résumé, but their jobs were all short term. Since you’re hiring someone to work with your business for the long run, you might ask, “Why were you with these businesses for such a short period?”
You might also ask a few skill-gauging questions to make sure that the virtual assistant is capable of the tasks you require.
Preparing these questions ahead of time will make the interview go smoothly.
Logistics of the Interview
To set up the interview, send the potential virtual assistant an email with days and times that you’re available. You might even use software like AcuityScheduling or Calendly to make the appointment setting process completely automated.
Let the virtual assistant know how the interview will be conducted.
Will it be a text-based interview where the both of you chat over a messenger service?
Will you have them on a video call?
Will the interview be over the phone, without video?
Giving this information to the virtual assistant allows them to prepare for the interview mentally.
If there are other people, who will be weighing in on the interviews or giving feedback on which virtual assistant should be hired, consider recording the meeting. Let the virtual assistant know if you are recording the session.
Aside from a phone call, Zoom is a great platform to host an interview. We use Zoom to communicate and conduct interviews here at Deleg8te.
Having the Interview
Interviewing pro Katie Couric believes that the more comfortable you make someone feel, the better the interview will go. Don’t be cold. Break the ice by asking questions about the virtual assistant and their goals. Talk about where their goals intersect with the goals of your business.
Expand on the questions that you’ve prepared. Don’t be afraid to go off-topic or explore the virtual assistant’s response.
Remember, the virtual assistant is a human being. Find some common ground and close the gap between employer and virtual assistant.
Leave room for your virtual assistant to ask you questions as well. They should be interviewing you as a potential client just as much as you’re interviewing them to be a potential hire.
After the Interview
When the interview is over, please write down your initial impressions and final thoughts, so you don’t lose them in the sea of other meetings you have to conduct.
Whether you decide to hire the virtual assistant or not, send them an email letting them know when they can expect a response to their application. When that time comes, send them either an acceptance or rejection email. Don’t leave them hanging or wondering if the interview went well.
Feeling confident about interviewing your potential virtual assistant? Please don’t forget to download our checklist of questions to ask a virtual assistant during an interview. Add your questions at the bottom for a wholly customized list.