Not all virtual assistants are created equal.
You have virtual assistants who are fantastic with customer support.
Virtual assistants who thrive in creating written content.
Then virtual assistants who are graphic designers.
Some days, you’ll strike gold and get a virtual assistant who is a jack-of-all-trades.
The primary focus is ensuring that the virtual assistant is capable of doing the tasks that you have for them.
Getting on a Live Call with the Virtual Assistant
Deleg8te was created by a client who decided to hop on a call with his virtual assistants first.
A live interview is the first step to seeing if a virtual assistant is whom they say they are.
During the live call, you can tell whether your potential virtual assistant:
- Is literally whom they say they are (yes, some people create fake profiles)
- Can explain the process of how they get their job done
- Takes the initiative by suggesting tasks or ideas to you
- Has a passive demeanor (may take more hand-holding)
- Knows what they’re talking about or if they only agree with everything you say
Platforms such as Upwork have the option to limit jobs to “USA only.” The USA only jobs have a reputation of paying better and being higher quality jobs. To bypass the geographical limitation, some Upwork freelancers have been caught creating profiles with fake names, inaccurate profile pictures, and false locations.
Some Upwork freelancers also sell their verified accounts to freelancers overseas.
Knowing that the virtual assistant can perform the tasks you’re hiring for, is crucial to a successful relationship. Sure, a virtual assistant could say that they’re a writer, but what kind of writer are they?
Do they know SEO?
Do they know how to do their market research or will they be dependent on you for ideas?
Are they capable of uploading the writing to a platform like WordPress or would you need another virtual assistant to do the tech part for you?
Asking the virtual assistant to explain their process reveals what type of virtual assistant they are and the limitations of their skills.
So yes, every virtual assistant, no matter how great they are, has some limitation. An honest and skilled virtual assistant can articulate where those limitations are though they may express an interest in expanding their skills through working with you.
The virtual assistant’s personality is equally as important to look at when gauging capability. If they spend the interview quietly listening to everything you say, never asking for clarification or offering suggestions, you may have a more passive virtual assistant on your hands. On the contrary, there might be a virtual assistant who shows excitement in your project and is firing off ideas during the interview.
Neither virtual assistant is technically “better” than the other. Personality comes down to your personal preference. Do you work better with someone who takes a backseat and does what you say or do you want a virtual assistant who takes the initiative?
Finally, the live call should reveal to you that the virtual assistant knows their skill set.
If the virtual assistant says they’re versed in SEO but has no idea what backlinks or keywords are, the virtual assistant may not be as qualified.
However, if the virtual assistant starts explaining how backlinks and keywords can help, along with other SEO tips, then you have a virtual assistant who knows what they’re doing.
Please don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and be critical of what their responses are. It will give you an idea of what it’s like to work with them after the hiring process. If a virtual assistant is challenging to communicate with during the interview process, they’ll have communication problems after being hired.
Read the virtual assistant’s reviews
The nice thing about Upwork is that all virtual assistants come with reviews and possibly portfolios. Read their past reviews and if anything looks out of place, ask the virtual assistant about it during their initial interview.
It would help if you also scanned through the virtual assistant’s portfolio. If you need someone to help you with graphic design, does the virtual assistant’s portfolio match your style? Does the language of the writing virtual assistant flow with your specific voice?
What to do before hiring a virtual assistant
Before the hiring process, gauge the capability of the virtual assistant. Hop on a live interview to see their personality and communication skills. Review their testimonials and portfolios to make sure that they’re a good fit for your business’s needs.
To make sure your first interview goes flawlessly, download our virtual assistant checklist below.
Also published on Medium.