40 top virtual assistant interview questions

Do you sometimes feel there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? From projects to meetings to correspondence, countless tasks demand a lot of your time. One way to take care of some of those tasks is to hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can take many administrative duties off your plate so you can focus on higher-value tasks.

However, hiring a virtual assistant can be an overwhelming job in itself, especially if you haven’t done it before. You want to make sure you hire the right person for the job, someone who has the combined skills and experience for your needs.

We’ve gathered the best virtual assistant interview questions to help you in your search for the right sidekick in this article. But first, let’s clarify what a virtual assistant does and discuss why it’s important to conduct a thorough interview.

The virtual assistant role

A virtual assistant is a remote worker who supports you by performing a number of administrative tasks. They’re often independent contractors who are running their own businesses, or they may work for a virtual assistant company. They can work from anywhere: their home, their office, or even another country.

A virtual assistant could be a full-time employee, but you could also hire them as a contractor on a part-time basis. A contract arrangement can be financially advantageous for your business, as you don’t have to provide a full-time salary or benefits. Instead, you pay the virtual assistant for a specific number of hours of work that you establish according to your needs.

A virtual assistant handles the same types of tasks as a traditional in-house assistant, including

  • Scheduling
  • Payroll
  • Correspondence
  • Digital paperwork
  • Calendar and email management
  • Data entry

However, some virtual assistants specialize in specific areas, such as graphic design, social media content creation, finance and bookkeeping, and travel arrangements. Virtual assistants usually already have all the technology (hardware and software) they need to do their job successfully.

The importance of a thorough interview

There are many virtual assistants all over the world ready to take on jobs, so finding the one who’s right for you can feel like a monumental task. It’s not usually difficult to identify those candidates who are unqualified or a poor fit for the role. What’s harder is finding the best person for the job — the one who has the necessary skills and works well with you personally.

That’s where the interview process helps to weed out good candidates who just aren’t a good match. But asking the wrong questions (or not enough questions) could mean you end up hiring the wrong virtual assistant for your needs. You want to avoid having to start the search over again and wasting your time and resources.

During the interview process, start with questions about the candidate’s skills, experience, and expertise. But also ask questions that will help you better understand their approach to problem solving and their overall attitude about the job. These types of questions also help you set expectations for your candidate and give them insight into what the job might be like. After all, they want to know if the job is a good fit for them as well.

40 insightful virtual assistant interview questions to ask

Choose from this list of virtual assistant interview questions to get to know your candidates better.

Questions about skills and experience

Virtual assistant interview questions that focus on a candidate’s professional background are essential in any interview. You’ll want to align the questions with the type of skills you’re looking for in a virtual assistant. For example, if you want a virtual assistant who’s a pro at graphic design, spend more time asking about their graphic design skills.

Here are some examples:

  1. What would you say are your strongest virtual assistant skills?
  2. What virtual assistant skills do you feel you need to work on the most?
  3. What initially led you to become a virtual assistant?
  4. What are your qualifications for being a virtual assistant?
  5. Do you have any special certifications or training?
  6. How do you keep your virtual assistant skills up to date?
  7. What are your favorite tools to use in your day-to-day work?
  8. What tasks are outside the scope of your work?

Questions about logistics and scheduling

Skills and experience are important, but logistics and scheduling are also a priority when you’re working with someone remotely. Be sure to ask about time zones, communication styles, schedules, and technical infrastructure.

Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What time zone are you in?
  2. What time zones can you work in?
  3. What type of computer hardware and software do you use?
  4. What type of security protocols do you have in place?
  5. What is the best method of communicating with you?
  6. What are your turnaround times like for tasks?
  7. What are your working hours?
  8. How many hours can you work a week?
  9. When are you available to start work?
  10. How much notice do you need for tasks?
  11. What is your ideal salary or hourly rate for this role?

Questions about past clients

You can learn a lot about a person from how they’ve interacted with their past clients. Use scenario-based questions to learn more about how the virtual assistant has dealt with tough issues in the past as well as what their proudest moments have been.

Potential questions to ask include

  1. Can you share a time when you dealt with a difficult situation with a previous client?
  2. What is the best project you have worked on as a virtual assistant?
  3. How have you dealt with difficult team members in the past?
  4. Have you ever had a major disagreement with a past client?
  5. Can you share an example from a past client where you developed new skills to meet the needs of the role?
  6. Share an example that shows off your time management skills.
  7. What would you do if your client wasn’t good at articulating their needs or expectations?
  8. How have you dealt with people who have completely different communication styles than you?
  9. How would your last client describe you?

Questions about personality

Regardless of whether you’re working with someone in person or virtually, it’s important to get along with them. To determine whether your personalities align, ask personality-based virtual assistant interview questions.

Sample questions include

  1. How do you prioritize your tasks?
  2. What do you love most about your personality?
  3. What do you like to do outside of work?
  4. Do you have any questions you would like to ask me?
  5. What do you wish you could change about yourself?
  6. What are your favorite books/movies/TV shows?
  7. What types of hobbies do you have?

Questions about the company

The virtual assistant has to get along not only with you but also the company as a whole — and this includes customers, vendors, and partners. Be sure to learn about why they want to work for your company in particular during the interview.

Here are some examples of these types of questions:

  1. What drew you to this job posting?
  2. Why do you want to work for our company?
  3. Why do you feel like you would be a fit at our organization?
  4. What do you like about our company’s mission, vision, and values?
  5. Where do you see yourself with our organization in one year? In five years?

Jotform: The tool to use when you’re ready to hire

When you’ve found the right person and you’re ready to make the arrangement official, Jotform can help make the process easier for you.

Use our virtual assistant contract form template to draft your own agreement with your virtual assistant. You can use our simple editing tool to customize the contract and our e-signature tool to sign and date the contract electronically.

Beyond the initial contract, Jotform also provides a number of useful solutions for both you and your virtual assistant. Use Jotform to create online forms, surveys, questionnaires, and polls — from appointment booking forms to new client questionnaires and more. You can analyze form responses with Jotform Tables and create visually stunning reports with Jotform Report Builder. Plus, Jotform can help you and your virtual assistant automate certain tasks with Jotform Approvals.

No matter who you choose as your virtual assistant, Jotform is here to support you both!

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

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