If you are ready to expand your team—whether it’s your first hire or you have a team of 100—you want to make sure you are hiring the right person.
Asking the right questions during the interview process can make all the difference.
This is especially important when hiring a virtual assistant. When someone is working for your business remotely, you must ensure they fit the culture, understand (and can deliver on) your expectations, and feel like a valued part of the team—without ever stepping into the office.
I currently have about ten virtual assistants working between my two companies. And each one is an incredible asset to the company they work for.
These are the 11 interview questions I ask during every interview process, ensuring it’s a fit right from the start.
Questions to Build Rapport
The first set of questions is simply to build rapport. You want people to feel comfortable sharing with you, whether in the interview or working for you long term.
These questions dive into past work experiences, personal life, and motivations. I want them to know that they mean more than just the work they’re bringing to the table and that I actually care about their interests outside of work.
1. What did you do before becoming a virtual assistant? Tell me about it.
2. How did you get started with virtual assistant work?
3. What else do you do besides work?
4. What’s your family situation like?
The first three questions are straightforward. The fourth question about family clues me in a bit more as to why they are really here.
Their response to their family situation can clue you into their level of responsibility and accountability. The people who have a reason to show up and be prideful in their work are more likely to be passionate about their contribution and stay with you long-term.
Questions to Determine if They Align with Company Values
The following questions are about finding out if the candidate aligns with your values. These are the most powerful questions you will ask in the interview process.
5. What is the most challenging experience you ever had, business or personal, that you were the proudest of your ability to get through?
6. Describe a type of leadership you responded well to in the past. (Make sure to encourage them by saying ‘What else?’ and ‘Tell me more.’) Tell me about a leader that you didn’t respond to well. (Again, make sure to bait them in by nodding or saying, ‘Yes.’) Is there anything you could have done to create a different outcome?
7. What’s your experience been with accountability? Where has it worked, and where has it not worked for you? Would you agree that accountability is critical to your success as a VA?
8. What lengths are you willing to go to daily to be a successful VA in real estate?
The responses to these questions tell you a lot about a person: whether or not they are willing to share, work habits and relationships, how much accountability they have, and how much initiative they are willing to take.
Before you move on to the next set of questions, thank the candidate at this point for sharing so much personal information.
Questions about Technology and Systems
Next, I dive into a couple of technical questions that give me some insight into their remote setup.
9. What type of computer, internet (WiFi or ethernet), and phone are you currently using?
10. What software (email, CRM, file sharing, etc.) are you using?
I want my VAs to be plugged into ethernet, so if they don’t already have that setup, I know it’s something I want to help them get.
I just want to know their level with technology and software—can they speak to what they use and are comfortable with?
Question to Wrap Up
The final question I ask brings the conversation back to the motivation and (if applicable) their family.
11. What would this position mean to you (and your family)?
This is information that I want to know for down the road. I want to be able to help people get better every day and be able to improve their life.
A mistake people make when hiring a virtual assistant is thinking the person is going to be able to act like some type of robot. Even though they are not in your office, this is a hard-working, intelligent human being that is a part of your team. And you should treat them that way.
These interview questions set you up to dig into that and start building the right type of working relationship.
If you are looking for more information about hiring a virtual assistant, I have two free ebooks with more details (with a third coming soon!):
How do I Hire a Virtual Assistant?, Volume 1 in the series, is about identifying the tasks you’ll be delegating to a VA and creating your job description.
Interviewing & Onboarding Your Virtual Assistant contains everything you need to know about how to interview candidates for a VA position and onboarding once you find the perfect fit.