Have you ever felt so busy that you wanted to clone yourself? Well, unfortunately, that option is not yet available but we have a pretty good alternative for you: a virtual web assistant. Hiring a virtual web assistant can free up a lot of time for you but you need to make sure that you hire the right person. To make this job a little easier, we assembled the top 5 questions you need to ask prospective candidates before hiring them.
1. How did you get to where you are today?
This may seem like boring chit-chat, but it’s important to see if the candidate is comfortable with talking about his/her personal experience and how they handle open ended questions. It’s also interesting to see which parts of their experiences they emphasize, which ones they try to stay away from and it’s also a good way to get the conversation going in relaxed and casual manner.
2. What do you like to do outside of work?
This is a good question to ask if you want to get to know your virtual web assistant on a more personal level. For example, one candidate told me that he is working to start his own small business, which shows entrepreneurial spirit as well as ambition. I also had candidates who talked about how much they love to party and get drunk which are obviously not good answers.
3. What type of work are you good at and not good at?
The one thing you don’t want to do is plug someone into a role they’re really not good at and/or not interested in. Also bear in mind that this question is only useful if the candidate does not have the inside scoop on the qualities you are looking for otherwise he/she will simply tell you what they feel you want to hear, not necessarily what they are good at or interested in. Because of this this, try to ask this question in the early stages of the interview.
4. How quickly do you respond to emails?
The correct answer here is not “Immediately” because nobody can respond to all e-mails immediately. The answer you are looking for should be something like “Within business hours, I usually respond right away, but if I’m working on a project it could take a little bit longer. Responding to e-mails is a typical task that gets outsourced to a virtual web assistant so you want to make sure that the candidate is punctual with the responses.
5. Can you provide an example of a situation where you proactively addressed a client’s need?
If you wanted someone who will mindlessly do all of the tasks you assign you would have hired a robot. You want somebody who will anticipate problems and resolve them before they snowball. Look for qualities such as initiative, leadership, and critical thinking skills. You may even want to ask if they have ever challenged their former boss’/supervisors’ way of thinking. Finding a candidate who can think for themselves will pay dividends in crunch time i.e. a lot of work so little time.