Virtual Assistants (VA) are the newest trend in employment. With so many people working remotely, a Virtual Assistant can help you with your everyday administrative tasks such as email management and scheduling. But before you hire one, it’s important to make sure that they’re the right fit for what you need – both from a skills perspective, time management process, and their personality.
We’ve curated 60 questions that will help ensure that your Virtual Assistant is the right fit for you! The interview questions are broken into 5 sections: General, Apps & Tooling, Task & Time Management, Customer Management, and Work/Life.
Please read through each and get yourself familiar with the different types of questions, then pick and choose which ones you want to include in your interview process.
Virtual Assistant Interview Questions You Should Ask First
1. How long have you been a Virtual Assistant?
This question will help you gauge how experienced the Virtual Assistant is. The more experience they have, the better!
2. Which industries do you have experience in?
This question is designed to find out if the Virtual Assistant has worked with previous clients or companies that are similar to yours. It’s important for both your company and their resume if they can demonstrate this past work experience.
3. What is your favorite part about being a Virtual Assistant?
An excellent answer would be, “I love helping clients with their administrative needs because it gives me purpose!” or something along those lines.
4. What is the longest you have ever been employed as a Virtual Assistant?
This question can help gauge how much experience this person has in the field of Virtual Assistantship and their past success rates.
5. What administrative tasks would you like help with on a daily basis?
This will allow them to showcase their skillset by letting them ask questions about specific needs of yours (if any). For example, “I manage many social media accounts so I need someone who understands how all platforms work.” Or “We want someone who does excel spreadsheets and financial reports.”
6. What’s your core skillset? What do you find yourself doing the most for your clients?
Knowing their core skill will help you determine which Virtual Assistant is the best one for you.
7. What’s your availability like?
Knowing their availability means that if they’re available when you need them, then they are probably more of a good fit for what you need than someone who isn’t. If not – there might be an extra cost associated with working around their schedule.
8. What type of contracting agreement would you prefer?
Knowledge about this should be discussed between yourself and the potential assistant before hiring so they know how much independence they’ll have from day one – as well as if any extra costs might come into play such as paying taxes or expenses incurred while working remotely (such as travel).
9. Will my work be sub-contracted to someone else?
This is a critical question to ask the potential assistant – as they will be working for you and in this case, it would make sense that your work would not go to someone else. Know what their answer is before going any further!
10. What methods do you prefer for communication?
This question is very important because it helps determine how often they’ll be in touch with you and what type of work style will suit your needs. For example, if the Virtual Assistant is located overseas, their availability may be restricted to daytime hours for a variety of different reasons – so this should also help shape when you would like them to contact you!
11. What are some skills that set you apart from other candidates?
This question might sound self-serving but it’s not! It can reveal whether or not there is anything about themselves that could lead to potential problems on the job (i.e., bad temper) as well as provide an opportunity to find out how flexible they are by discussing expectations around working remotely.
12. What do you like most about being a Virtual Assistant?
This question may not help in the hiring process, but it can be valuable to know about their character and personality. Will they enjoy working with people, or prefer tasks that are more solitary? Knowing this information ahead of time can make all the difference when it comes down to day-to-day work life!
13. What do you like least about being a Virtual Assistant?
Doing this question in the interview can help establish that there won’t be any surprises down the line, such as them not wanting to travel or need for weekends off every now and then. Knowing upfront if they have certain limitations may save both of you time!
14. What would your ideal job look like?
This question helps determine whether or not someone has realistic expectations when it comes us Virtual Assistant jobs; oftentimes we hear “I want my boss’s job!” which isn’t really feasible. Understanding what they’re looking for with their job search can help you better assist them.
15. Do you have a criminal record?
If the Virtual Assistant hopes to be handling sensitive information, or if your company requires background checks, it’s important that this is addressed early on in the interview process so there are no surprises!
16. Do you have client references or testimonials?
This is a great way to find out what other people think about their work and will also give you an indication as to how well they are likely to take feedback.
17. Do you have a confidentiality agreement?
This is an important document to review before hiring a Virtual Assistant. Confidentiality agreements state what they can and cannot do with information that is shared with them, how long they are required to keep the information secure, and where details will be stored.
18. Do you have Insurance?
Many Virtual Assistants are self-employed and do not have a work contract. This means that they don’t get benefits or sick days like you would in a full-time position. It’s important to ask about their type of insurance so that any gaps in coverage can be addressed ahead of time before anything bad happens!
19. How much are you charging per hour? What does that include (hours worked, tasks completed)?
The cost of hiring someone remotely will vary depending on what tasks you want them to complete and their fee per hour–this question should give both parties an idea of expectations before anything else.
20. How much do you typically charge per hour?
It may seem like an obvious answer, but this tells managers about how much value Virtual Assistants place on themselves (which will then affect compensation) and what clients have paid them thus far. The company will also want to know if a candidate charges by the hour or project so that they can determine how often they’ll need them and what projects will be most cost-effective.
21. What payments do you accept?
This question should be asked so that there is no miscommunication on what type of payment the Virtual Assistant will accept.
22. How do I pay you (do you charge clients on an hourly, daily or monthly fee)?
The type of payment that the Virtual Assistant will accept should be discussed as well, so there is no miscommunication
23. Do you have a contract? What are its terms and conditions?
If you want to make sure your relationship with this Virtual Assistant lasts long-term, it’s important to discuss how they work. A written agreement will ensure both parties know what the other expects going forward.
24. What would your current employment status look like if we hired you?
This may seem redundant after reading some of the previous questions, but it is a good indicator of what they are looking for or if there have been any recent changes in their employment status.
Customer Management Questions
25. What do you do when a client has trouble articulating their needs?
This question is important for Virtual Assistants who will be doing a lot of customer management work. They need to know how they’ll handle situations where the client is unclear or frustrated, and whether or not they have any experience with this type of previous customer interaction.
This question should also make them start thinking about ways in which they would resolve such issues if ever faced with them on the job.
26. How do you handle difficult customer inquiries?
The candidate should demonstrate their ability to provide excellent customer service at all times.
27. What is your policy for handling complaints from customers?
This question will help determine if the applicant has any experience in dealing with and solving conflict and problems that can arise when working as a Virtual Assistant or Customer Service representative. What channels do you use most often to communicate with clients: Email, text messages, Whatsapp chat? The Virtual Assistant must be able to articulate how they would handle difficult client inquiries.
28. How do you handle conflicts or difficult situations at work?
A good answer should demonstrate patience as well as their ability to stay calm intense moments. You’ll want to make sure this person isn’t easily frustrated when things don’t go according to plan! They should also be able to solve problems quickly without becoming upset about them.
Task & Time Management Questions
29. How will your work be managed?
This question helps make sure that the Virtual Assistant has a management style similar to yours, which can help with cooperation and efficiency between yourself and them in the long run!
30. What hours are you usually available and how many other clients do you currently work for on a weekly basis?
This question will help you get a sense of whether the Virtual Assistant is able to manage their time well and if they can provide flexible hours.
31. Can I contact you after hours?
This question is important in the event you need to reach the Virtual Assistant after they have left work for the day.
32. Describe a typical work week.
This question will help you get a sense of whether the Virtual Assistant is able to manage their time well and if they can provide flexible hours.
33. How many hours do you work each day?
Do you find it difficult to take breaks throughout the day or end up working late into the evening?
34. What is your typical day at home?
This question will show you what tasks the Virtual Assistant likes to do, as well as if the VA has any personal projects that take up time outside of business hours.
35. What is your ideal work schedule, and why?
Are there any particular days of the week that are better for focus than others (e.g., Mondays)? Or, on the other hand, days when distractions seem more frequent (e.g., Fridays). Why might this be true?”
You’ll want to make sure they have a well-structured daily routine so that their quality doesn’t suffer! You may also not want them taking too many breaks during their shift because then who will take care of tasks in between those periods? If they’re always at risk of getting distracted, then you’ll need to ask them what they’re doing that’s causing this.
36. What time do you usually start your workday?
How much of a break do you take during the day for personal matters (e.g., lunch)? Are there any other breaks that are taken when working from home or remotely outside office hours?”
We recommend setting boundaries and expectations up front so it doesn’t get too overwhelming over time! If their daily routine is already well-structured, then these questions will be less important–but if not, we encourage asking about potential habits they may have formed in order to figure out how best to set up expectations with them. It could be something as simple as needing more structure than others or having trouble finding time for self-care.
37. What are your availability requirements?
Possible answer: “I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule, so it doesn’t matter for me.”
This question will help you find out how available this person will be in order to work around your needs.
38. How do you keep track of tasks?
A good answer should demonstrate that the individual utilizes productivity techniques such as scheduling ahead or using apps like Trello when necessary. It’s also important for them to use appropriate communication tools such as Slack! What methods do you use to make sure deadlines are met consistently on all projects? A good answer would include aspects such as having an organized system to keep track of tasks and using tools like Slack.
39. What are your thoughts on deadlines for assignments?
A good answer would include an ability for the Virtual Assistant to have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to meeting deadlines on time. What do you think are some skills that every Virtual Assistant should possess? An excellent response includes proficiency in task management strategies, communication programs (e.g., Slack), productivity techniques, and more!
40. Is there an extra charge for rush projects? Will you ever work evenings or weekends?
A Virtual Assistant should be flexible enough to work any reasonable hours of the day or night, and a good answer would include that they are able to do so when needed in order to meet deadlines.
Applications & Tools Questions
41. What type of computer setup (desktop/laptop) do you use?
One question many people forget when hiring Virtual Assistants is what technology they need access to from home–sending a laptop or computer is an extra cost that could be avoided if the Virtual Assistant already has one.
42. What Project Management software do you use?
This is a great question for someone who needs to stay on top of tasks but does not want the Virtual Assistant managing them. Project Management software can help with delegating and assigning tasks specifically tailored to what each person in your company needs. This also helps make sure that there’s consistency throughout all projects they work on even when it isn’t their responsibility!
43. What is Asana App? Have you used this tool before?
Asana is a project management and collaboration application that helps teams work together on shared goals. Asana can be used to break down projects into tasks, organize them by team member or date, add deadlines and dependencies; essentially everything you need for successful project delivery! The best part of using this tool is the ease with which it can help keep everyone in your company accountable. For example, if someone wants to use their time productively then they will know what needs to get done because it’s clear as day within the app!
44. What is Clickup App? Have you used this tool before?
ClickUp is an all-in-one project management software that helps you manage every aspect of your company. The system includes a CRM, invoicing module and customizable reporting features for easy data tracking. With Clickup’s simplified collaboration tools; you can effortlessly collaborate with teammates on any proposed projects without the need to email or call them!
45. What is Monday.com App? Have you used this tool before?
Monday.com App is a Virtual Assistant app that helps you keep track of your calendar and tasks. Monday fulfills the need for an advanced task management system to help with managing projects, deadlines, meetings, events, and more!
46. What is Trello App? Have you used this tool before?
The Trello app is like a virtual corkboard that can be used to set up boards and cards for different projects. The software has many features, such as the ability to upload files from your computer or share them with other team members; make checklists of tasks and editable comments on each card in order to keep everyone updated on progress.
47. What is Airtable App? Have you used this tool before?
Airtable is a database app that lets users create their own database by adding rows and columns to it. The user can choose what information they want to save, such as contact info or expenses. You’re able to attach files with the project or event so you don’t have to search for them again!
48. What is Google Drive? Have you used this tool before?
Google Drive is a file storage application offered by Google that includes the ability to create and edit documents, video clips, images. It also has an option for creating online forms in order to collect information from other users of the service; it also integrates with many third-party office software suites.
49. What file storage tools have you used?
The candidate should be familiar with the following file storage applications: Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, Box.com
50. What communication tools have you used?
There are many different types of communication tools on the market today, do your research and find the one that works best for you and your VA.
51. What type of software do you use to get things done? Do they have any other tech tools that might be helpful in assisting them at their job?”
We highly recommend taking the time to ask about these sorts of details so that there’s an understanding between both parties as to how technology will play into the Virtual Assistants role–it could save a lot of headaches in the long run! Sometimes the Virtual Assistants like using Slack or Todoist instead of email or Google Drive because it allows them more flexibility without having to open a new window.
52. What are your strategies for keeping passwords secure?
This question is important for Virtual Assistants, as they will have access to your account information and accessing passwords. It’s a good idea to ask them what their strategy is in keeping passwords secure so that you know whether or not they’re up-to-date with the latest trends.
53. What is 1Password? Have you used it before?
This is a question that doesn’t have a ‘correct’ answer. It’s best to ask this if you’re looking for someone who has experience with it but doesn’t feel like the Virtual Assistant needs to use it in order to be hired because there are lots of other tools they could use as well. Virtual Assistants can also recommend other password managers like LastPass or Dashlane on their own initiative and not worry about whether or not these will meet your company standards.
Work/Life Balance Questions
54. Do you work from home? If so, how do you manage your day-to-day operation?
This question is a great way to get an idea of their daily routine and how they like to work. This also gives you insight into how they will work with your company. And, whether or not if they are distracted with a typical workday like for you? Great answers include “I start by checking my to-do list and follow it on the order of importance. I usually break up tasks into small chunks so that they’re easily achievable.”
55. What are your strengths?
This question will allow you to see what skills and services a Virtual Assistant offers that would be useful for your company.
56. What are your weaknesses?
This is a tricky question, as you don’t want to seem like you are prying too much. But this can be a great way for the applicant to open up about their background and what they’re looking for in a company. Great answers include “I work best when I have an organized schedule so it helps me stay on track.”
57. What city or country are you located in?
If you are looking for someone from a specific country, this is an important question.
58. What time zone do you live and work in?
It’s important to make sure that the Virtual Assistant can match your company hours if they are going to be working with any of your employees. You also want to see what their availability will look like as a result.
What time zone do you prefer? What zone do your team members work in?
This is key if you have employees who need to collaborate with the Virtual Assistant. You want to make sure that they will be able to share schedules and workloads so everything runs smoothly.
59. Are there any hours or days where it’s difficult for you to get things done?
It can be hard for a Virtual Assistant candidate to answer this question, but as an employer, it helps give insight into their schedule and how much time will actually be available per day. It also gives them more flexibility on what type of position they’re looking for (e.g., full-time vs part-time).
60. What type of hours would you be able to commit?
This question can help weed out candidates who want a full-time position when all that’s available is part-time work. It also helps determine whether someone will need time off before joining your team and how much notice they might need to give should they resign as well.
In closing …
The key takeaway here is that hiring a Virtual Assistant isn’t just about figuring out how much work needs to be done – it’s also important to know who would be able to do it! There are many factors at play behind the scenes when evaluating a Virtual Assistant candidate and these 60 essential questions will help you make the best decision for your needs.
As always, please connect, and let’s talk about your Virtual Assistant needs!