Now that you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant, it’s important that you ask them the right questions during the interview process. Below is a list of questions that you can ask your potential virtual assistant. Be sure to include questions that are specific to the tasks that you are hiring for and questions related to your business.
Why did you become a virtual assistant?
Your virtual assistant is a human being. Asking this question gives you an idea of what your virtual assistant’s experiences are and what they may feel comfortable sharing with you. It may be a red flag if your virtual assistant seems closed off or doesn’t want to answer this question since this is a laid-back and casual way to start the conversation.
Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions, especially if the virtual assistant said something interesting about themselves.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a virtual assistant? What’s your least favorite thing to do?
Asking these questions helps you gauge where you want to place your virtual assistant. If your virtual assistant really enjoys admin-type jobs, they may be happiest taking care of your emails and setting up your appointments. A happy virtual assistant is more likely to deliver top quality work and stay for the long haul.
Knowing what your virtual assistant doesn’t enjoy is also crucial because you might have to hire someone else to take on that work. For example, if your virtual assistant despises working with social media, but will do it to make you happy, that task might not be the best option for the virtual assistant.
What would you do if you were assigned a task that you disagree with?
This question tests the leadership capabilities of your virtual assistant. Disagreeing with an employer can be uncomfortable so it’s interesting to see what virtual assistants will do in this situation.
Some virtual assistants might approach you and suggest an alternative way to accomplish the same goal while other virtual assistants will keep quiet and do the task anyway.
Are you looking for someone who can think for themselves and approach you when they disagree with a task, or are you looking for someone more passive? Neither personality is right or wrong, but you have to consider what type of person you’re seeking for your business.
What are your future career goals?
Your virtual assistant may want to be a virtual assistant for three months or three years. Knowing what their long-term goals are will help you understand whether these goals will align with your own goals. If you need a virtual assistant that will work with you for at least the next several months but your virtual assistant is looking only to work until they graduate college, this might not be a good fit for you.
What is the best way to communicate with you?
You and your virtual assistant need to have a clear line of communication. Will that be through email? Slack? Upwork’s messenger system? Asana? Make sure you establish the communication process with your virtual assistant so you’re both on the same page.
How long does it usually take for you to respond? What is your time zone and what are your office hours?
Your virtual assistant will not always be at their desk or working for you. Ask the virtual assistant what hours they can expect to be working on your business and how long it will take them to respond if you contacted them in and out of those hours. Some virtual assistants take a few hours to respond while others may take a few days. Get an idea of turnaround time so you’re not surprised later on if it takes too long.
Do you subcontract any of your work?
Some virtual assistants subcontract, especially if it’s a skill that they don’t have. Normally, subcontracting increases the quality of work and decreases turnaround time (so everybody wins) but you might want to know if someone else is working on your business.
How many clients do you currently have and how many will you take on at any given point?
Unless you’re giving the virtual assistant full-time hours, they will probably take on other clients besides you. Ask them how many clients they currently have and what is their max amount of clients, because you don’t want to get your tasks lost in their other clients’ tasks. If they have a large number of clients, ask them how they juggle so many clients at once.
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