Ready to use a Virtual Assistant? Great. Once you have shortlisted your potential candidates think about the questions you are going to ask.
Now, don’t skip this step. It’s really important that you take the time to get on the phone or Skype with prospective VAs. By talking to them, you’re going to be able to tell if there’s a ‘connection’ or not. And asking these questions will give you a better idea of where they stand on different things and whether they love what they do or not.
Here are 24 questions to ask a VA before hiring them:
1. How long have you been in business?
2. What target market do you serve?
3. Where are you located? (What time zone more specifically)
4. What hours do you work?
5. Do you work after hours or on the weekends?
6. Is there an extra charge for rush projects?
7. What is considered a rush job?
8. What is the turnaround time on projects I send?
9. Do you have others on your team? (More specifically, what if you get sick or your computer crashes – do you have a backup plan so my work will still get done on time?)
10. Do you have client references? May I contact them?
11. How soon can I expect you will respond to an email/voicemail from me?
12. How do you do your invoicing? (Specific day of month?)
13. What payments do you accept?
14. Do you require me to sign a contract? If so, what does it entail? (Specifically, does that ‘bind’ you to working with them for at least 3 months before being able to end the working relationship?)
15. What is your preferred form of communication?
16. Out of everything you do for clients, what is your favourite?
17. Do you charge for time we spend emailing or on the phone?
18. What is your availability?
19. Do you invoice upfront or after projects are completed?
20. What software/computer programmes do you use?
21. Do you have a confidentiality agreement?
22. Will my work be sub-contracted to someone else?
23. What security measures do you have in place?
24. What do you charge? (How is time billed – 15 minute increments, per project, etc)
You might be thinking, wow that’s a lot to ask. But keep in mind you have every right to ask these questions and even more. It’s not only for your benefit, but the VA’s as well. Just as you’re ‘interviewing’ her (or him) to see if she will be a good fit for you and your business, she’ll also be able to get a feel for whether you would be a good fit for her. And you don’t have to ask them all if you don’t want to. Maybe after a few questions you’ll know right away if will work or not. Ask as many or as few questions as you feel you need to, to be able to get a good feel for who she is and how she does business.
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to tell the VA yes or no once you’re finished the consultation. Let her know you’ll be in touch within 24 hours (or however long you feel you need to finish the rest of your calls and to make a decision). Of course, follow your gut and if you talk to someone that you gel well with, whose personality you love, and whose skills are exactly what you’re looking for, then by all means go ahead and sign up right away. Just don’t feel pressured to sign on the dotted line immediately.