Carrying out a VA interview can prove problematic, especially if you don’t meticulously plan and know which questions you want to ask the applicant.
Correct preparation will give you a better chance of hiring a virtual assistant suitable to the role and your organization.
If you are interviewing several candidates to become part of a team of virtual assistants, then you need to ensure the questions you ask each individual are specific to the role you hire them to do.
You must prepare the right questions to avoid hiring the wrong person for the job.
Here are some critical questions you need to ask during an interview.
Here are the 8 most important interview questions for a virtual assistant.
Finding out what skills each candidate excels at is vital during the interview process.
Each position will require a different skill set, particularly if it is in a specialized area.
More specialized roles may require the virtual assistant to be skilled in social media management or bookkeeping.
In these cases, you don’t want to hire someone without knowledge of social media management or who loathes bookkeeping.
However, if a candidate displays a passion for social media, hiring them and providing them with the appropriate training may prove very beneficial.
Knowing how much experience a person has may indicate their dedication to their virtual assistant profession – but having experience isn’t everything.
You don’t need any experience to carry out primary administrative duties. However, experience is essential if you want to hire a virtual assistant for a specialized role such as marketing.
Sometimes, an applicant may have many qualifications but no experience in the job, which is when you need to judge whether the person is suitable for the role.
Asking open-ended questions is the best way to get the most information from each candidate.
For example, the candidate may have only sometimes been a virtual assistant, and they may have extensive knowledge in marketing from a previous job that you could utilize in your company.
Also, this question allows you to get to know what type of character the candidate is from their life experiences and how committed they are to working as a virtual assistant.
Excellent virtual assistants often have several clients, so you must establish what hours they can work, even when they are based in a country in the same time zone as your business.
It is critical to say how many hours the role requires the person to work. Also, if you need all tasks to be performed within a short timescale, you must make this abundantly clear to the applicant before hiring them.
The last thing you need is to hire a virtual assistant who finds it tough to juggle their workload and fails to respond promptly to emails and calls.
All virtual assistants must have excellent organizational and communication skills, especially when they have a large client base.
As a business owner, you want the virtual assistant you hire to understand that your tasks must be prioritized over the workload of their other clients.
If the candidate cannot display that they can implement measures to help them meet specific deadlines, then they are not best suited for your company.
If you hire them, you must stress that they communicate any deadline concerns before it becomes an issue.
With cybercrime on the rise, the virtual assistant you hire must have all appropriate IT security measures in place.
The candidate must understand how they use anti-virus and malware software to protect your company network from being hacked. An excellent secure private internet WiFi connection is also vital.
Due to working with classified information about your business, a two-way authentication password is needed on crucial apps.
The virtual assistant you need to hire is someone who can articulate a career path and how they wish to upskill to help them achieve their goals within your company.
The standout candidates display drive and ambition and can explain how they would best deal with and solve a problem without needing help.
Hiring an ambitious virtual assistant who can problem solve and is willing to learn and upskill while meeting deadlines will always prove an invaluable asset to your business.
Even the most experienced and qualified candidates will be willing to learn more skills.
Being self-aware enough to know that they can continuously improve is a quality that speaks volumes about their character.
For example, their background may be in content writing, but they know having good graphic design skills will help improve engagement for their blog posts, and they are willing to learn new design skills.
In this example, your business may want to invest in an online graphic design course for this person if and when you hire them.
Preparing to conduct an interview is just as important, if not more so, as a candidate preparing to be interviewed.
Asking the right questions, as discussed above, can make or break the whole interview process.
Even when you ask the right questions, you don’t always gain the right amount of knowledge about each candidate as you may need.
Therefore, it is the standard business practice to acquire references from applicants, clients, or former workplaces.
Also, most businesses insist on the desired applicant conducting a paid trial period to determine their suitability for the role.