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Virtual Assistant

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Virtual Assistant Interview questions

A Virtual Administrative Assistant is a valuable role that helps to streamline a team’s motivation and productivity by completing administrative tasks and organising files and data. The role will primarily focus on tasks such as creating, maintaining and filing invoices and payslips. They’ll also play a huge part in ensuring all data is correctly entered and organised, as well as passing information and files between teams. So, it’s important you get a Virtual Assistant’s interview questions right!

When hiring a Virtual Assistant, these are the best skills to look for:

  • Great attention to detail and proofreading abilities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Fluency with Microsoft Office and similar office software.
  • Independent working ability.
  • Highly skilled in data entry and file organisation.
  • Experience with handling confidential information.

If your Virtual Assistant will be assisting the payroll, accounting or HR department, it is also worth checking if they have knowledge of working with similar types of data.

Interviewing a Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant benefits the whole business from being swamped with administrative duties, saves you time from sorting through countless files and folders and boosts productivity by streamlining communication. Because these benefits have such a fantastic impact, it’s extra important that when you hire a Virtual Assistant you ask the right interview questions.

So, to help you ensure you’re hiring the best possible talent for your team, we’ve put together this example list of job interview questions for a Virtual Assistant. It’s best to ask these questions in the early stages of the interview process, to gauge whether they’re the right fit as quickly as possible.

How to open the job interview

Understandably, in the early interview stages, a candidate can be quite nervous. This means that it is a good idea to ease them into the interview to ensure you’re getting a proper overview of their personality and experience. The best way to do this is to begin with some positive and ‘fun’ opening questions.

You don’t have to spend too long on this section of the interview, but one or two questions will make a huge difference!

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our Virtual Assistant Job Description here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What aspects of being a Virtual Assistant do you enjoy the most?

What is your proudest career moment?

Behavioral Questions

How would you deal with an administrative task which you weren’t sure how to complete?

 This question will help give you an understanding of the candidate’s communication and problem-solving ability.

How do you normally organise your daily tasks?

 As a Virtual Assistant role usually involves remote work, this answer will help you to gauge how well the candidate can independently organise their time and productivity.

What steps would you take if you didn’t think you’d be able to meet a deadline when working with us?

 This answer will highlight a candidate’s communication and people skills, as well as their ability to form an action plan when problems arise.

How do you stay motivated when working with a team remotely?

 Here, you’ll get to understand a candidate’s personality and working style.

When working remotely, how do you deal with getting information that you need with a short turnaround time or even immediately?

 This will demonstrate the candidate’s prioritisation and ability to communicate their needs.

Soft Skills

When receiving a brief, how do you ensure you understand the task and needs of a client thoroughly?

 The answer the candidate gives here is important, as it will indicate the strength of their listening, communication and remote working abilities.

Describe a time when you have anticipated a client’s needs effectively.

This example will help you understand how well a candidate can use their initiative, alongside giving an insight into their past experience.

What is your preferred way of communicating with a client?

 Here you’ll gain an idea of how you’d work with this candidate, as well as their flexibility and adaptability.

How would you deal with a situation where a client wanted something done a certain way, but you were certain there was a better or easier way?

A great quality to have in a VA is confidence in their work, and the ability to speak up. This answer will let you if they have these qualities.

How would you deal with technical issues during working with a client?

Here, you’re looking for insight into a candidate’s honesty and communication skills.

Hard Skills

Which tools and software do you have the most experience with?

 This answer will give you an idea of whether the candidate’s tools align with what you use within your business, or whether they will need to be onboarded on certain tools.

What skills make you stand out as a Virtual Assistant?

The candidate will be able to give you an idea of their skills here, as well as give an insight into their past experience again.

Describe a time when you’ve had to work with confidential information or data before.

 A Virtual Assistant may sometimes need to work with private data, here they’ll be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the processes to take when working with these types of files.

Describe your process when working on multiple similar projects, how do you stay organised and meet each deadline?

This answer is especially important if you’ll be providing the candidate with many simultaneous projects. Their answer should touch on their organisation software or system, as well as demonstrate their ability to prioritise projects without too much guidance.

What steps do you take when organising a meeting or information sharing session with multiple stakeholders?

Here the candidate will give an idea of their ability to manage a calendar when working with remote stakeholders.

Have you worked with clients outside of your timezone, and how do you deal with this if so?

This question is most important if you’re interviewing a candidate from another location. It will give you an idea of what you can expect when working with them, as well as their skills with offering communication when you would be online at different times.

Operational / Situational Questions

Describe a time when you’ve dealt with poor communication with a team when working on a task together and the steps you took to overcome this.

 This answer will give you an idea of whether the candidate’s tools align with what you use within your business, or whether they will need to be onboarded on certain tools.

If you have multiple tasks to work on but there are no deadlines set, how do you prioritise these?

This will give you a brief idea of how well the candidate understands your company target or values, as well as their ability to manage their time.

What are your typical working hours?

Knowing the candidate’s typical working hours will help you to decide whether their hours align with your needs as a company. It’ll also help you better plan your tasks for them.

Describe a time when you’ve found working remotely challenging, and how you overcame this challenge?

This answer will give you an idea of the challenges you may experience when working with the VA, and how you can both work to streamline this process.

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