Congratulations on joining the new economy!

Today, outsourcing is the way to go in quickly scaling one’s business or professional life without the need to sacrifice one’s personal life in the process. It has truly revolutionized how people are able to create a great life for themselves, employers and employees alike. According to, there are about 2.6M jobs being outsourced from the US in 2013 alone with 44 percent of them citing reducing costs as the reason for doing so.

Interviewing Helps You Find the Right Contractor

With this new economy, there are still age old practices that must be upheld to ensure that the very decision to outsource is warranted – such as interviewing applicants to screen them for the job. Although there are many legit workers are who want nothing, but earn an honest paycheck and build their careers online, it is still important to be vigilant of one’s trust and resources and protect one’s self from those who are unqualified and are not committed to the job in the long run.

Here are some important questions to ask applicants to help you gauge whether they’re right for the job:

Question #1: Why did you decide to work as a virtual assistant?
Asking applicants this question will let you know their level of commitment to their job. Ask whether they plan to work as a VA on a short-term or a long-term period. This is an important consideration especially if you are looking to build a lasting work relationship with your contractor.

Question #2: What are your key skills and strengths and what can these do for my business?
Asking for their core competence is integral to the success of the arrangement. Follow it up by specifically asking how these skills and strengths can be applied to the job. For example, if the nature of job is in writing or publishing, the person to be hired must have at least a background or work experience involving copywriting and editing. They also must have above average skills in grammar, spelling and composition. Plus, they must be sticklers for meeting deadlines.

Question #3: What is your expected salary?
Following question #2, part of the expectation also of the virtual assistant is the pay. Usually the higher the pay, the greater the work experience that the person has. When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, it is better to be focused on the value a person can provide, but their pay should not be ignored as well. Are those who are cheaper better? It really depends on the demands of the job at the end of the day.

Question #4: Can you show me some work samples and provide references?
Asking for work samples will help you better evaluate the candidate’s skills and these can also be confirmed by his or her list of references. Check what past clients have to say about the person’s work skills and character.

Question #5: What has been your greatest failure and how did you overcome it?
This question gives you an idea about the solution-finding skills of the virtual assistant. Remember, these people are not directly coached by you as a superior and it is important to find one who can think on their feet—no matter if they are seated continents away as your virtual assistant.

Aside from asking the right questions, you should also take note of how the candidate presents himself or herself during the interview. Was he or she polite? Did the person prepare for it by doing a background check on your company and showing interest by asking questions about what you do? Did her she dress up professionally for the video interview?

Candidates are not the only ones who prepare for the interview; Clients must also be ready with the right questions plus the detailed job description to be able to find the perfect virtual assistant for the job or project.

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