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12 Questions to ask when hiring a VA

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

In my last article, 5 Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant, I’ve discussed how having a VA can reduce some of the mundane and tedious tasks that you simply do not have the time to work on within the day

Running a business is an exhausting process, and it would be wise to work smart and hard for it. In order to achieve these 2 fundamental principles, One must be open to broadening their workforce.

It’s a bit unsettling to hand over information to someone whom you haven’t met physically. But professional VA’s are your typical Assistants, they just moved their work online.

With that being said, let’s move on to the core matter, I’ve provided some questions that you can ask when conducting an interview. I hope this will help you in your selection process during the hiring period.

1. What made you decide to become a virtual assistant?

Break the ice and start the interview in a relaxed way. You’ll get to know their background and the reason why they decided to become a VA. Given this is not included in their resume.

2. Can you tell me about your 3 recent employers? What usual tasks did you do for them? Do you think they would give you a good rating?

This is a great way to find out what the candidate’s forte is and how confident they are with their performance.

3. What software, apps, or tools are your favorite to use?

Google Docs, Office 365, Canva, Adobe Photoshop, HootSuite; there are various tools out there that everyone is using. You’ll get to know if the candidate and your company is utilizing the same tools or if it’s close to the one that you are using.

4. What timezone are you in? Do you have schedule restrictions?

It’s good to establish a clear working schedule with your candidate, some of them might be comfortable working at night, or they might be single parents. This is a good opportunity to discuss what works for both parties.

5. What line of communication do you prefer? Video call, phone call, or email?

Some people prefer email since it gives them ample time to think and decide how to respond. Some prefer voice calls since they’re...well, anxious. While others prefer video calls because they like looking at your face, or in some cases, their face. Kidding. They like video calls because it’s real-time and they can show their progress through screen sharing. Either way, discuss this with your candidate and agree on what type of communication both parties will be using.

6. Let’s say your computer crashed in the middle of your shift, how would you handle and address the situation?

This will give you an insight into how well your candidate handles a situation. Will they be proactive and find a quick solution? Will they inform you straight away? How independent/honest will they be?

The right answer is to notify you immediately. Otherwise, your anxiety level will go through the roof when you don’t hear from them.

7. If I gave you a task and you realize that you did not understand some of the instructions that I have given you, are you willing to schedule another meeting with me before starting your work?

Another insight into the candidate’s resourcefulness and if they are not afraid to ask follow up questions to make sure that they are doing the right thing.

8. How good at you at meeting deadlines?

This is a gut-wrenching question, but the main point of this enquiry is to find out how transparent your candidate is. It’s good to be informed if they are falling behind, it happens.

9. What communication problems have you encountered at your recent job and did you find a way to solve it?

It’s best to know if you will have any communication problems and find a quick turn-around. Again, transparency is the key.

10. How do you manage your day? Do you have a schedule that you set up for yourself?

Find out how organized your candidate is, what their priorities are, how much time do they put into a task, or are they multi-taskers?

11. Tell me about the time when you suggested something within your workplace that you think is helpful.

This question will help you find out if the candidate is proactive and is not afraid to give suggestions when you’re working on a project. You never know, their opinion may be of great value.

12. What is your opinion about Aptitude vs. Attitude? What do you think is the more predominant practice when it comes to working?

There is no right or wrong answer on this one. Both principles are efficient when it comes to ethics in the workplace. Although it is debatable. Well, what do you think? Comment below and give us your thoughts.

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