Top 6 Questions to Ask when Interviewing a Virtual Assistant
When you are Interviewing a Virtual Assistant, the preliminary interview is the most important part. The interview allows you to assess whether or not that Virtual Assistant is the right fit for you and your business. The right questions will help save you time and effort by helping you easily evaluate each candidate quickly and easily. In addition, it will help you avoid the hassle of hiring the wrong person.
Here are 6 Questions to ask your candidates:
1. What Are Your Skills and Capabilities?
This is obviously the first thing that you should ask and evaluate. If you need someone who is knowledgeable in content writing or social media management, you need to know if the person you are talking to has what it takes to get the job done. This question would determine if the prospective Virtual Assistant has the skillset that you need to keep your business up and running.
At HireSmartVAs.com we take away the speculation by asking for verification of skills. For social media positions as an example, we review and analyze the virtual assistants work before they are ever put through to the client. If you are hiring direct, however, you will want to verify that each candidate can do the assigned tasks.
2. Do You Have an Experience with <Insert Skill Requirements>?
Aside from having the skills and capabilities as notated above, you need to have an assurance that the candidate is good and enjoys this type of work. A lot of people want to be Virtual Assistants and their experience and qualifications range from zero to mere entry level. Past experience provides insight into their ability to enjoy the position or not.
You should also dig a little deeper into a virtual assistant’s past work history as it will give you a better understanding of what they did well in and what they didn’t. For example, if you see that there is a history of customer service positions and you are not hiring for customer service, you need to find out about why they want a change. Conversely, if you are hiring for a customer services position, you want to know why they want to leave or did leave their previous positions.
3. Can You Work in My Time Zone?
Assuming you are open to hiring in the Philippines, you want to make sure that they have experience with working the graveyard shift. The Philippines’ time zone is 12-13 hours ahead of the US depending on the time of year. Therefore, you will want to find someone to work on your time zone so communication will not be a problem. We have found that some Virtual Assistants state that they are OK with working graveyard, but haven’t done it for a while so at HireSmartVAs.com, we are very careful about this as not every Virtual Assistant can perform at a high level during the night. In addition, we verify that there is a support system in place to help if needed
4. Have You Had an Experience Where Your Client Had Difficulty in Stating or Describing His Needs?
Unfortunately, there are still many clients who hire Virtual Assistants but don’t have a clear understanding of what they want their Virtual Assistants to do. By asking this question, you can gauge the candidate’s problem solving skills and analysis. You can test his/her reaction and make an assessment of how he/she handles this type of situation where you want something delivered to you but can’t explain or provide the details further. This also helps you understand how your Virtual Assistant will act when they are unsupervised and there isn’t a clear task for them to do. For example, in our business, there is always social media, content writing, & research that needs to be done. When our Virtual Assistants clear their immediate tasks, they all know what to work on without my providing exact instructions. This is the type of Virtual Assistant you want working for you too.
5. What would you do if there is a power outage and you have a deadline?
Of course, working from home means that the Virtual Assistant is providing for their own equipment – computer, work station, internet connection and power. The Philippines is home to various typhoons during the rainy season, thus, causing some areas to experience power outage. This question assesses your prospective Virtual Assistant’s readiness and preparedness in case of emergency and the ability to problem solve, communicate, meet deadlines and complete important tasks. You want a Virtual Assistant who is always prepared to work and provide you with the results you need.
6. What Would You Do If You Found Out Another Worker Wasn’t Being Honest?
Since you are handing over some of the important tasks that keep your business up and running, you need to be able to trust your Virtual Assistants. The most challenging part of hiring a remote worker is feeling confident that you can trust your remote staff even if you do not see them every day. Asking this difficult question allows you to see their reaction, helps you feel confident that they will speak up, and gives you an opportunity to communicate how you want them to handle the situation.
We hope you enjoyed these Interview Tips. At HireSmartVAs.com, we pride ourselves in providing quality virtual staff for our clients. We take the headaches out of finding quality staff so you don’t need to worry about these questions – merely ones that relate to your business. If you are ready to explore hiring virtually – contact us for a free consultation. You can also sign up for our 3 Magic Questions which are just that… Magic.