Running a company is no easy feat, no matter how small. As a business owner, you probably often feel overworked, especially if you do not have the necessary resources to hire additional employees to delegate tasks to. As a result, work can quickly pile up and create a chaotic environment that induces stress and other problems.
To avoid burning out, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to lighten your workload. VAs are highly skilled and equipped with the necessary tools to help business owners like you manage and accomplish administrative tasks. The best part is VAs are a cost-efficient solution to supplementing your workforce and supercharging business productivity.
Typically, VA tasks comprise repetitive functions such as calendar or email management. However, you can also hire VAs experts in digital marketing, such as social media management.
You can also enlist a specialized virtual assistant to cater to a particular industry or a business aspect. For example, an ecommerce VA or a real estate VA can help with industry-specific lead generation efforts. A financial services VA, meanwhile, can accomplish bookkeeping and other basic accounting tasks.
Indeed, you can hire a VA to address almost any business need. It all boils down to evaluating what tasks you can and should be delegating and to whom you can entrust them. As such, when you’re looking for a VA, conduct a thorough interview to ensure you hire the right person.
Finding the right virtual assistant can be tricky as you have a lot of skilled ones to choose from. After all, most VAs are highly skilled, with 60% of virtual assistants being college-educated. The key is to ask the right questions to determine if the candidate is qualified in terms of hard skills, has the soft skills required, shares your values, and can work compatibly with you.
Find the best candidate for your business by asking these essential questions in an interview.
What do you consider your core skills and services?
Hiring the right candidate begins with finding out what their expertise is. This ensures that the applicant understands the general idea of their prospective role and how they may sufficiently complete their tasks. Consider, as well, how much experience they have overall in the field and how well they can adapt to a new environment.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
While business owners can receive various applications with the same general skills, a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses can vary from person to person. Asking this question helps you to understand how applicants see themselves and understand their abilities.
This question can also test if they can be accountable for their actions if they make a mistake. Additionally, it can help you evaluate whether the candidate’s strengths are the exact skills or values you and your team need supplementing.
Do you have experience with the required software?
Simply reading an applicant’s resume is often not enough for business owners to gauge how well a candidate understands their role. Allowing a candidate to explain what tools and how they use them to accomplish their tasks can help ensure that they can do a job properly with little to no supervision.
What time zone are you in, and what hours are you available?
Having a clear understanding of when a possible VA is available throughout the week allows business owners to cross-reference their schedules and see if it will meet their needs. Being mindful of time differences and specific holidays allows both parties to find better ways to communicate without any problems.
In addition, some companies prefer to have VAs work during the business’s off-hours to maximize productivity throughout the week.
Talk about an experience wherein you had multiple upcoming deadlines. What did you do to manage your tasks? What’s your strategy?
Efficient task management is the main reason you’re looking into hiring a VA. So, it only makes sense to hire a candidate who is highly organized. Asking this question allows you to ascertain their task management skills, test their analytical skills, and how well they handle being under pressure.
Share an experience wherein you were in conflict with one of your colleagues while working on a project. How did you handle the situation?
Hiring another member to join you or your team, albeit virtually, implies the need to get along with other employees and have a pleasant working relationship. Asking this question allows you to understand how a candidate typically socializes, works with others, and deals with clashing opinions or values.
The candidate’s answer can demonstrate their people skills and how professional they are. But it also allows you to see red flags.
Describe a time when you thought of a creative solution to a work-related problem. How did it go?
This question allows candidates to show how they can take the initiative when the occasion calls for it. You can also use this to gauge the applicant’s leadership abilities and resourcefulness. The candidate’s answer will also give you a glimpse of how dedicated and self-driven a candidate is.
Find the Right VA for You
Hiring a virtual assistant is proving to be an excellent choice for business owners and entrepreneurs, whether they have an SME or an established corporation. In fact, surveys report that a business can save as much as 78% in operating costs from getting a VA instead of a traditional, in-house employee.
It becomes significantly easier to find the right virtual assistant by asking the right questions. Outsource Access has mastered the recruitment process to find the perfect virtual assistant and cultivate a roster of top-tier talents. These professionals have passed rigorous testing and vetting to ensure that they meet the standards needed to provide exceptional service to clients.
Each client also goes through a needs assessment system to determine their critical business requirements that can be outsourced. Using this information, Outsource Access can match a client with a VA with compatible personalities, skills, and industry knowledge.