virtual assistant

If a full-time, physical staffing isn’t an option for you, but you need help for your business,  hiring a Virtual Assistant might be the right choice. There are a variety of virtual assistants available with different skills. Some may offer to work more efficiently toward scheduling and logistics, while others may offer web–based services like managing email accounts, doing research or social media related activities.

However, hiring a Virtual Assistant might not be as easy as it sounds. In fact, there’s a lesser chance of you hiring a good VA if you aren’t careful during the hiring process. Right from asking the ‘right’ questions to making sure that their skill sets match the one required, every aspect matters. There are a few points to be kept in mind while hiring a Virtual Assistant, for example:

  • Prepare a list of task and task specifics you would want the Virtual Assistant to do. More specifically, what kind of skills or field you need help with;
  • Duration you would require the help of a Virtual Assistant
  • Your budget 
  • Mode of communication

While hiring/ interviewing a Virtual Assistant, you could keep these following questions in mind to help you get to know more about the candidate, and to see if their working styles match yours.

Your first meeting with a Virtual Assistant

Introduction – You may begin by introducing yourself and your company. Ask the candidate to introduce himself/herself, see if they have done their homework for the interview. Building rapport at the interview will help later in building good relationship and teamwork.

Experience – Ask them about their experience in general as a Virtual Assistant. Then ask them about their experience in the task list that you have prepared. Ask them about what they have learned from mistakes they have made as a Virtual Assistant. Further, this will also help you decide whether their past work can help you or not.

Working hours – Their working hours and their typical week schedule will help you understand how they will work, the time they will be available to communicate with you, etc.

Strengths and Weaknesses – the most common question you would ask should be what are their strength and weakness, what they are good at, what do they struggle with, and how this might affect the task list you want them to handle should they are hired.

Communication – Be sure to ask them their preferred method of communication and mention the one you are comfortable with. You should ask about their internet connection and backup systems as these will affect the speed and quality of work they will reproduce.

Why you? You may ask them how they think they can contribute and fit into your company. Here you can ask them for references from the previous company and the work they handled in those companies. If you get these beforehand, be sure to go through them and ask them about the tasks that are similar to yours.

Scenario questions 

Asking a scenario question is an excellent way to filter out the non-serious candidates from the serious ones.

  • How will they manage if their server is down
  • What if their laptop/desktop crashes, will they have a backup system to get the lost data back, how soon can they replace it?
  • In the case of the method of communications crashing, how do they handle the tasks without any supervision or prompts?
  • Ask them about what drew them to your company? How did they know about the job? It will tell you their connections and networks, and if you can use them for your growth.
  • Discuss the salary, what they are expecting and what you are willing to part with should be well within the same range and reason.

In case you assign work to a company offering Virtual Assistance, you can ask if they would be sub-contracting the work. If you are assigning sensitive information about yourself or your company, you can ask them if they are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Lastly, you leave the conversation open for them to ask you any question they may have, about the company, their role, how both parties could come to a compromise on certain points, etc. Answer honestly, as that would promote transparency.

Once you follow this guide and ask these questions from your prospective VAs, you can easily hire the best Virtual Assistant, who can handle the job requirements to perfection. If you think you need a Virtual Assistant to help you out with your day-to-day business activities, just ask!