At some point we, as entrepreneurs, ask ourselves that one crazy question … “How do I clone myself?” There’s much to do but you’re only one person! Hiring a virtual assistant can be an effective and affordable option to get the support you need for projects or perhaps even as a long-term solution.
Although you will want to ask many questions when interviewing a Virtual Assistant (VA) candidate, these are what I feel are the TOP 7 most important questions to gain the insight that will help you hire the right person. Every. Single. Time.
What’s your story? How did you end up as a VA?
With this question you want to see if the VA is comfortable talking about themselves and see what they are willing to share and emphasize on. It’s also a great, light conversation starter to keep this casual and relaxed. This will give them the ability to “sell themselves” and explain their past. A good way to judge someone’s confidence and know a bit more about them before giving them access to your business.
What type of work do you feel you are best at? What are your core skills? What are you most interested in learning more about? What work do you prefer not to do?
This is a great open-ended “ice breaker” question and offers the VA an opportunity to walk you through their “day-in-the-life” and background. Hopefully the answers to these questions will be very closely related to the ones you’re looking for. In reality, the last thing you want to do is plug someone into a role that isn’t quite the right fit (for you and them). Knowing this early on will make the work process possible.
What is your favourite way to communicate?
How quick is your usual response time?
Personally, I’m an email, Slack, Zoom and Asana gal! I find each of these tools offer a different opportunity (and solution) when it comes to working with various clientele on a day-to-day basis. Lack of or poor communication is a huge cause of workplace issues, especially when it comes to working remotely. You want to know your VA can be reliable and knows to communicate effectively in order to be a true team player.
What tools do you use in your business and for/with your other clients? What are your favourites? Least favourites?
Truthfully, nobody like to work on things in which they aren’t good at, or possibly do not like to do. Having respect with that, or at the very least and understanding, will help your VA feel valued on your team. Communicating this upfront will help build a greater team mentality. Make this an open-ended question to see if you get a match!
If I asked you to complete a task and after accepting you realized you couldn’t do it on your own, what would you do? Or, what if I gave you an assignment but you don’t understand what it is you need to do?
Truthfully, we as VAs (even graphic and web designers too) sometimes take on tasks, we’re not always 100% confident with because we love a good challenge AND we don’t’ want to seem incapable. Carefully examine their answer. See if this is something they’ve thought about before or are answering for the very first time.
Let’s say you’re working on an urgent deadline and you had technical issues (platform not cooperating, computer crashes, internet goes down). What is the first thing you would do? Do you have a back-up plan for tech chaos?
Nobody wants to feel as though they are a disappoint when things out of their control takes over. But, having an open/honest relationship goes a long way when things get tech-crazy! Having back-up plans are a good thing. And if for some reason they don’t have one suggest a few. If they react badly to your suggestions, then this is a sign that this VA isn’t willing to go the extra mile for you. And that’s not someone you want on your team.
Do you have any schedule restrictions? Many other clients? How many hours do you usually work per week? What time zone are you in and what hours are you available?
It’s important to establish a work schedule to make sure the VA can set aside (and commit) to time to focus on your business needs. Here is where you gauge commitment and focus.
“Unity is strength … when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
– Mattie Stepanek, American Poet & Best-Selling Author
Stay tuned for another special edition of “important questions” coming your way on Monday!
This one is for all of you working with web designers! 🙂
If you found today’s blog post informative, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by sharing it on social media or emailing it to a friend. You never know whose life you might change. Also, have any topics you’d like to hear more about on my blog? Feel free to drop me a line or post your comments on Virtually Untangled’s Facebook page. Thank you!