Whether you recently launched a start-up or run an established business, since you are an online business owner, it would be no surprise if you were a one-man or one-woman team.
Many online businesses were established by just one person. Take Amazon for example. The world’s largest e-commerce company was originally an online bookstore founded and initially run by American tech entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist Jeff Bezos.
Solely responsible for your online business, you most probably handle everything—even the things you are not familiar with—until you build your team of VAs. When you do, make sure each of them is a good fit. They should not only be able to do their jobs but are also reliable and easy to work with.
You can find that out by asking the candidates the right questions during their interviews. Below are five of the most important questions to ask when interviewing any VA. These will let you know for sure whether she is the perfect VA for you.
1) What would you say are your primary skills?
Job applicants do their best to come across as the best candidate in their resumés or CVs and cover letters. Having a lot of choices makes it hard for any employer to figure out who among them is actually the right one for him or her.
Asking the potential VAs about their primary skills lets you find out how much they really know about their chosen fields. Get them to tell you as much as they can. The more you know about their skill sets the better your decision will be about whom among them to hire.
2) What tools do you use in your work?
You and the VA you would choose need several things to work together besides Microsoft Office. Those include a project management tool like Asana, a telecommunications app like Skype and a password manager like LastPass.
Unless you will train her, your VA needs to know how to use all the tools to be able to work efficiently.
3) What is your preferred schedule?
If you are not from the same country, keep in mind that your VA lives in a different time zone. Ask whether she would agree to work to your schedule. Being available when you are lets you easily communicate. The easier you can reach each other the quicker you can respond. Responding quickly prevents delays and makes sure all the tasks are done on time.
4) What would you do if you could not perform a task?
Like traditional business owners with their employees, online business owners hire VAs to do most of their tasks. Delegating most of their responsibilities lets them focus not only on things related to their business that require them to be hands-on, like meeting with investors. It also lets them take care of personal things themselves, like driving their kids to soccer practice.
There are going to be times when you need to be away to handle such things yourself. So your business keeps running smoothly, you need a VA who is skilled, experienced or resourceful enough to solve minor problems herself.
5) How do you usually spend your free time?
Being easy to work with depends on the potential VA having the right personality. For example, she will be able to gel with the rest of the team if she is inherently concerned for others. A good sign that she is if she volunteers during her free time.
It would also be worth noting if she likes attending conferences or seminars, reading books or learning different languages. That is a good indication she has a natural desire to learn new things and stay sharp.