Don’t Skip This Step in Hiring Your New Assistant

The finish line is in sight – you’re almost at the point of relief from being the only person working in your business day to day.

So let’s dive right into how to make that happen!

With your list of applicants, narrow it down to the top 3-5 candidates. Then, schedule an interview with those top candidates.

It really is as simple as reaching out through email, congratulating each person and inviting them to schedule a 15-20 minute interview with you within the next week. The interviews can be conducted via phone, Skype, video conference line, whatever you prefer.

Why do you need to reach out to 3-5 people and not 1-2?

Because people drop off the radar or land another client or are just no longer available. I’ve experienced all of these when hiring for clients, even from assistants that came pre-qualified from colleagues.

During the interview, ask questions like:

  • Why do you want this position?
  • Can you give an example of when you followed through with work independently?
  • Can you give an example of your organizational skills?
  • If you found a problem with a forward-facing item, such as an email broadcast or social media post, how would you handle it?
  • How would you fit this work into your schedule?
  • Do you see yourself being able to stick with this role for some time?
  • What tasks and projects do you most and least enjoy working on?
  • What would help to make this a great fit for you?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

The interview is also a great time to go over the expectations for the role – communication preference, check-in meetings, turnaround time for tasks and projects, etc.

Plus, tell them about your work style. Will there be room to take a project and run or do you expect to have more oversight over her work? Do you answer emails as they come in or wait and respond in one bulk email at the end of the day?

But… listen more than you talk, as you’re looking for a personality and work style fit, not as much skill level (skills are teachable). As with companies large and small, it takes resources to find a new team member, so you want to be sure this is a person you’re excited to work with.

Remember, the assistant is also feeling out the situation to make sure she’ll gel with you and your work style, too.

It’s also a good idea to check references, whether you reach out via phone or email or review the testimonials on a VA’s website. Since you’ll start small by working with your new assistant, you’re looking more for ‘is this person who they say they are and does this third-party back that up?’. If an assistant gave a specific example of client work, ask about it.

Do you have a candidate rising to the top of your shortlist?

YES! You’ve done it and can now officially hire your new VA. Send an email with the good news.

A nice touch before considering this step of the project closed – reach out to all applicants and explain that you filled the VA role in your business. Be gracious and thank each one for their time in filling out the application and taking part in the interview process (if applicable).

Next time, we’ll wrap-up by going over how to successfully onboard your new assistant and start the working relationship off on the right foot.

Have a question on the crucial interview process? Let me know below and we’ll get it sorted.

Photo by Kevin Curtis on Unsplash

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