The moment has come: your home-based business is growing, you are busier than ever dealing with customers and with various official documents, and you realize that you need help. Of course, you are not yet at the point when you can afford to hire full-time employees. But you can certainly clear up your schedule by hiring a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant works from home, just like you. These professionals are specialized in dealing with various administrative tasks, such as:
⦁ Keeping your daily agenda
⦁ Typing and proofreading documents
⦁ Preparing offers for customers
⦁ Answering emails
⦁ Reminding you to file taxes and other mandatory documents
Looking for a virtual assistant is great practice for you – it prepares you for the moment when you have to start recruiting for various positions in your expanding company. For now, you need to find a virtual assistant who is a good match for your style of working and can adapt to the specific requirements in your line of business.
No idea how to conduct a recruiting interview with virtual assistants? We are here to help you. Let us go through the most important questions you should ask a virtual assistant during the initial interview.
1. What Are Your Working Hours?
It is important to ask this question, especially if the virtual assistant lives in a different time zone. Some assistants are flexible enough to match your business hours, even if this means working in the evening.
At any rate, you should determine a minimum number of hours per day or per week and a time frame corresponding to the busiest part of your work day.
2. How Do You Charge?
Most virtual assistants charge at an hourly rate. This is also convenient for you. You will pay exactly for the amount of time the virtual assistant has spent working for you. In order to ensure perfect transparency and trust building, you should identify a clear way in which you can track the time actually spent by the assistant working for you. Virtual assistants already are accustomed to working with time and activity tracking software installed on their computers.
3. How Familiar Are You with [Your Niche]?
This question is important because it will give you an indication of how long the virtual assistant needs in order to become familiar with the specific activities and procedures in your line of business.
You should not sideline a candidate which seems a good fit for your business except for the lack of experience in your niche. Good virtual assistants have the necessary core skills and the willingness to learn quickly and adapt to a new client and business they are working for.
4. How Do You Handle a Task You Are Not Sure How to Complete?
This question will give you an insight into the candidate’s mindset and approach to work tasks. You want to work with someone who is a problem solver, who is flexible and creative in finding solutions, but who is also capable of following the guidelines you set for specific situations.
5. Are You Willing to Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
During your daily interactions with your virtual assistant, you will give them access to sensitive and confidential information, such as your client list and specific work procedures you developed for your business which set you apart from competitors. It is important to protect the confidentiality of this data and information and the simplest way of doing so is by signing a non-disclosure agreement with the virtual assistant.
Last but not least, ask for references. Experienced virtual assistants have many satisfied customers who are willing to provide credentials and testimonials for their experience working with the respective assistant.