So, you’ve decided to hire a Virtual Assistant.
You are on your way to maximizing your business approach and time management skills. However, you have to ensure you are hiring a Virtual Assistant that is the right fit for your business.
Fortunately, a virtual interview can accomplish this.
Hiring and onboarding are two of the most critical aspects of building your team. It is something you have to master to hire your first Virtual Assistant.
Below is the information you need to know to ensure you are hiring the best person for the job.
Step 1. Know What You are Looking For
Before you post or even create your job description, you need to determine what you are seeking in a Virtual Assistant. For example, are you looking for general administrative help? Do you need someone to bounce between social media marketing and scheduling? Do you want them to specialize in a particular facet of your business?
Be sure you know what your expectations are. Then, create a job description that specifies your needs and use the job description to answer questions of potential candidates:
- What are the required qualifications?
- What skills and abilities should they have?
- Which tasks are they responsible for?
- What are your expectations regarding when and how they should be available?
- How is your company’s culture?
Virtual Assistant candidates likely have just as many questions as you do. So, take a moment to think about your job through their lens, and create your description accordingly.
Step 2. Be Aware of What All You Should Be Looking For
Interviews can tell you a lot about a candidate. From picking up on body language to being aware of their word choice, there is a lot to take away. So, don’t just be mindful of what you want, also pay attention to what you need.
For example, you want someone that not only has the right experience, but you also would like them to be enthusiastic about what they do. You want someone that is going to be motivated and inspired by your company’s mission.
In addition to this quality, here are a few other things you should be looking for:
- If the candidate’s skills, abilities, and experiences make them capable of handling the tasks, you required.
- How the candidate handles situational issues (specific questions will reveal this).
- Their communication and writing skills.
- Whether the Virtual Assistant is comfortable with what you are asking of them.
- If they are confident enough to handle any unexpected issues that come their way.
While you may not get a feel for some of these things during the virtual interview, you should tailor your questions to reveal as many of these points as possible.
Step 3. Preparing for the Virtual Interview
Once you have posted the position, received applications, and narrowed down five potential candidates, it is a good idea to prepare for a virtual interview.
While you may feel more inclined to do a text-based messenger interview, a virtual video interview is likely the best option. Virtual video interviews allow you to see and interact with the candidate. They also enable you to read body language and physical cues.
So, if you do not already have preferred video conferencing software, start doing your research. Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, Go-To-Meeting, Appear.in and many other programs are available. So, be sure to check out their pros and cons and pick something that works for you and the potential candidate.
After you select a video conferencing software and test its viability, it’s now time to set up the interview. It would be great to use a program like Calendly to schedule a time that works for you and the candidate.
After they select a time, programs like Calendly can integrate with Gmail or other email clients to send the meeting information to the candidate. In addition to the technical logistics, it is also helpful to send a follow-up email with the additional necessary information:
- Let them know if you are recording this interview.
- Tell them if anyone else will be sitting in.
- Remind them that they may need to download some additional software before the interview.
- Provide them with a phone number to call in case they are experiencing technical difficulties.
Including this information into a follow-up email can answer any additional questions the candidate may have while also easing their concerns.
Step 4. Prepare the Questions
Before you begin to prepare your questions for the virtual interview. There are two practices you should adhere to:
- Take a look at their resume. Make any notes about concerns or additional questions you have about their work history, accomplishments, or responsibilities.
- Look at your needs. Craft questions that get to the core of their capabilities.
These two concepts should be a guide as you prepare your interview questions. To get you started, here are a few other questions you likely want to include in your interview:
- How long have you been a Virtual Assistant?
- How much experience do you have working remotely?
- Why did you choose to become a Virtual Assistant?
- What virtual assisting tasks are you the most excited about, and why?
- Which virtual assisting tasks are you the least passionate about, and why?
- What communication and collaboration software are you familiar with?
- What are your regular working hours?
- How many other clients are you working with if any?
- How fast and reliable is your internet connection?
These are solid questions to start with as they reveal their general intentions, and gives you some insight into their work style and experience. However, while you are preparing these questions, be sure to add in some situational inquiries.
If you know you require specialized assistance, add questions that get to what you need. Also, don’t be afraid to do some additional research. Search Google for some common issues and situations Virtual Assistants run into, and craft questions around them.
Step 5. Conducting the interview
Your ultimate goal here should be to find the information you need. However, it would be best if you also made the candidate feel at ease. For example, don’t start the interview with challenging questions. Instead, start the conversation by greeting them, telling them what they can expect, and asking general information about who they are.
Show that you are there to provide the help and information they need to succeed. Ask the candidate about their goals, inquire about where they are from, or even break the ice with a little information about yourself.
Finding things that you have in common, whether it be a hobby or passion can quickly make the candidate feel comfortable. Treat the interview as if it is a conversation.
Also, be sure to allow the candidate to ask you questions. They are also interviewing you, and want to know if this is the best fit for their career or business aspirations.
Step 6. Post-Interview Activities
Toward the end of the virtual interview, be sure to thank them for their time, and provide some tentative next steps. If possible, give them a range of time they can expect to hear from you.
After the interview, be sure to write down your initial thoughts about each candidate. If you recorded the interviews, set a time when you will go back to view them. Also, take some time to send a follow-up email of the next steps, and a reminder of when they can expect to hear back from you.
This part of the process is also a great time to offer a trial test. Offering a trial test is a great way to get a more in-depth look at their abilities.
Once you have made your decision, be sure to notify everyone you interviewed, as well as those that may not have gotten to the interview stage. You never know when you may need another Virtual Assistant, so always keep track of those you interacted with for a future position.
Interviewing your first Virtual Assistant can be intimidating, but it is a necessary step in business ownership. Virtual interviews should be used as a method for finding the best candidates for your business. So, be sure to approach the process with a strategy. Know what you are looking for and create questions around these needs. Also, allow candidates to show who they are. If you follow the steps above, you are well on your way to conducting an efficient and effective virtual interview and hire a great candidate.
Good Luck and Happy Hirings!