How to Hire a Virtual Assistant: Screening Factors and Tips

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant: Screening Factors and Tips

Li Ramos
Li Ramos
Published: May 27, 2022
Last updated: Oct 10, 2022
hire a virtual assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. If you take the time to find the right person you can have a great experience working with a remote worker. There are screening factors and interview questions to consider in finding the best candidate for the job. Plus, you’ll need to know how to integrate them into your business.

Before you hire a virtual assistant, follow this guide to ensure a more effective talent acquisition process. With these tips in mind, your business can get more bang for your buck to facilitate growth opportunities!

What To Consider in Hiring a Virtual Assistant

You should only hire a virtual assistant you can trust to do their job during the hours you’ve agreed upon. Take note of these screening factors to make your hiring process easier and faster:

1. Qualities of a Good Virtual Assistant

Finding a virtual assistant is similar to hiring an in-house employee. They need to be qualified to fill the job and possess communication skills, resourcefulness, and reliability.

The STAR strategy can help you figure out if a VA is familiar with common situations in your industry. The Situation, Task, Action, and Result formula can help you determine which virtual assistant interview questions will best fit your needs.

Take for example Facebook and the five qualities they look for in potential hires:

  • Bold – contribute to the company so it remains an innovation leader
  • Focused – achieve Facebook’s mission to better connect people around the world
  • Reactive – move quickly to grab opportunities as they come
  • Open – promote collaboration and transparency
  • Achiever – establish social value in the world

2. VA Skills You Need for the Job

List the specific virtual assistant skills you need in a candidate. As an example, if you’re looking for a general virtual assistant; based on your list you can easily filter candidates to be lined up for an interview.

Hiring a virtual assistant

To illustrate, retail experts Scharf Industries needed to hire a virtual assistant who had experience working on digital storefronts. With Magic, they were able to hire a remote worker to handle various eCommerce tasks. This includes writing product descriptions, editing images for listings, and maintaining the existing extensive product catalog.

3. Collaboration Tools to Be Used

Get a virtual assistant who knows how to work with your preferred tools and processes. Some widely used tools include Google Workspace, Zoom, Slack, and Asana.

Using Magic Integration, yacht chartering platform Yachtlife chose these virtual assistant tools ideal for their communication and collaboration efforts:

  • Slack – assign, monitor, and verify tasks easily in just one virtual office
  • Google Workspace – create and update documents, files, and reports that can be easily shared with the members of the team
  • Zoom – clear phone and video conferencing with presentations done conveniently

Virtual Assistant Interview Questions to Ask

virtual assistant interview questions

Once you’ve filtered through candidates, the next step of the selection process is the interview. It allows you to learn more things about each candidate that aren’t on their resume. This said, it’s a good idea to have a list of virtual assistant interview questions ready. This will help you find the best candidate for the job. Here are some to consider:

1. How did you get where you are today?

This question aims to show if the candidate is comfortable telling people about themself. This is important if you want to hire someone for a sales or customer service role that requires good people skills.

It’s an open-ended question so they can share and emphasize their VA skills and qualities. It’s also a good conversation starter since it’s casual and relaxed.

2. Do you have a personal office or workspace?

This question sheds light on the work setup when you hire a virtual assistant. A computer setup and a stable Internet connection should be pointed out, as well as if they have failsafe alternatives. It’s also good to know if they use any of the virtual assistant tools you prefer.

3. If you can’t complete a delegated task by yourself or on time, what would you do?

It can be difficult for a VA to admit that they need help to complete a task or meet a deadline. Speculative answers may suggest that the VA’s experience is not as extensive as you would like.

In contrast, someone who’s been in a similar situation can answer it directly and state how they’ve handled it. This is better if you’re looking for someone with hands-on experience. Plus, this adds reassurance that they’ll do their best to prevent it from happening again.

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4. Can you cite a situation in which you had to contradict your supervisor or boss?

It takes a strong-willed and experienced virtual assistant to challenge what the business owner says. This also applies to offering better alternatives in accomplishing a task or project. Get a virtual assistant who can help you deal with many difficult tasks and unexpected issues.

5. You have a tight deadline but while working to finish it, your computer crashes. What do you do?

Technical issues are inevitable. It’s a good indicator if they have backup equipment or nearby internet cafes or coworking spaces to go to. However, you’d still want them to inform you of the problem and let you know how it can temporarily affect their work.

6. Can you give an experience when you improved a system or process at work?

Initiative and problem-solving skills are some of the best reasons to hire a virtual assistant. Asking this question lets you know if they can come up with solutions for problems while still fulfilling their role. You should also expect them to tell you about their tasks, how they proceeded to do them, and the outcome of their actions.

7. Why should we hire you as a virtual assistant?

This is one of the most asked but insightful virtual assistant interview questions during evaluations. An ideal answer cites the VA’s strong points such as being a good communicator, self-starter, and overall independent worker. It’s also helpful if they mention past projects that align with the role you’re hiring for.

How to Integrate Your Virtual Assistant into your Business

Finding a virtual assistant

Integration into your company is the next thing you need to consider after learning how to hire a virtual assistant. Welcome your hired VA to your team or business with these three tips:

1. Develop a VA Onboarding Process

A strong and consistent VA onboarding process allows you to seamlessly integrate a remote worker into the team without disrupting operations.

It should be a balance between sharing information with your remote workers and building a good relationship with them. Encourage rapport while explaining the communication and collaboration style that your company expects.

2. Communicate Your Expectations

It’s ideal to let your VAs know your expectations as early as the first day on the job. If you’re schedule’s tight, set a time within the week. At the very least, they need to understand your rules and regulations, processes, and what is expected of them.

Given their success in transitioning to remote work, Pilot Company serves as an ideal example. They’ve learned to build and nurture a remote culture with the help of Infor Workforce Management.

The company HR met with employees to provide the necessary information they’d need to start working remotely. Infor, on the other hand, handled the tools and applications the employees needed.

3. Learn Your VA’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Outside of the virtual assistant interview questions, you’ll discover your remote worker’s strengths and weaknesses once they start working. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) and schedule evaluations to properly measure their performance.

Knowing their strong and weak points allows you to assign tasks that they have better chances of doing well. This also allows you to maximize their skills to boost productivity and efficiency.

Magic: Get a Virtual Assistant Without the Hassles of Hiring

Magic lets you skip the entire process of hiring virtual assistants so you can promptly get work done. Just talk to us about your business needs and goals. We’ll find a pre-vetted virtual assistant for you within 72 hours!

To help you make a decision, you can ask virtual assistant interview questions to the candidate in an initial call we’ll facilitate. Magic will also help in the VA onboarding process by scheduling another call between you and your chosen candidate. We also have integration tools you can use so your virtual assistant can dive into tasks immediately.

Book a call with Magic and hire a virtual assistant starting at just $10/hour!

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