Virtual Assistant Interview Questions & Ideal Answers

remote interview questions

Asking questions during the interview process is critical when hiring virtual assistants. If you are looking to hire a virtual assistant, reading a candidate’s resume or CV is not enough. Asking the right questions is an excellent way of gathering additional information and making better hiring decisions.

As a candidate or applicant, it is also valuable to know the common interview questions for a virtual assistant position. Knowing these questions helps you prepare your answers, making it easier to communicate and present yourself to your interviewer.

In this article, you will learn all about virtual assistant interview questions: what the essential questions are, the purpose of asking them, and the ideal answers to them.

What is a virtual assistant?

Before looking into the interview questions, you first need to be familiar with the virtual assistant position. Virtual assistants are freelancers or independent contractors assigned to handle remote tasks for a client. Individuals or businesses hire virtual assistants to free themselves of daily administrative tasks so they can focus on other areas of their business.

The skills, requirements, and qualifications of a virtual assistant vary depending on the client or their business. When hiring virtual assistants, you should know what tasks and responsibilities you are assigning them. When applying for a virtual assistant position, you should know what the role requires you to do.

What is the purpose of an interview?

Before you conduct or join a client-applicant interview, you should keep in mind what an interview is for. The following are the main objectives of an interview with respect to the hiring process:

  1. To learn more details
    An interview allows the client or recruiter to learn more about their potential candidate. The candidate, on the other hand, finds out additional details about the position and the company or individual looking to hire them.
  1. To elaborate on qualifications
    An interview gives the candidate a chance to explain their skills and experience further. The interviewer meets with candidates to confirm if they are the best fit for the job.
  1. To gauge a good match
    Often, the working style of a candidate is not apparent on paper. An interview is the best time to gauge if a candidate’s working style is compatible with the person they will work with.
  1. To evaluate communication skills
    An interview is the best way to evaluate how a candidate communicates, i.e., if they can effectively and proficiently convey their thoughts to others. An interview is also the best chance for a candidate to showcase their communication styles and further convince their suitability for the position.

Virtual assistant interview questions

Below are, in our opinion, the ultimate list of virtual assistant interview questions. We organized them according to the purpose of the question. Use these as guides to know what answers to look for as an interviewer. If you are a virtual assistant candidate, use these to prepare the best answer that fits your qualifications, experiences, skills, and personality.

Details on qualifications

The following interview questions relate to the job description and the virtual assistant candidate’s suitability for the role. The interviewer asks these to clarify details not included in the applicant’s resume. The ideal way to answer these is not to repeat the information on the resume but to elaborate on them.

  1. What makes you qualified for this position?

This is one of the most common interview questions and the most tricky to answer. The best answer should show that the candidate has read about and familiarized themselves with the position and the company.

Sample answer: I read through the tasks for the position, and I am confident I am the virtual assistant for the job. I have worked in similar roles before, and with my help, my boss didn’t have to worry about missing emails, forgetting appointments, organizing notes, etc. I admire your company’s vision, and it would be great if you consider me for the position.

  1. Explain how you prioritize your virtual assistant tasks.

The answer to this should show the candidate’s time management skills which is one of the necessary qualifications for a virtual assistant. The goal for the candidate is to show that they can work independently and efficiently, meet deadlines, and make decisions to get the job done.

Sample answer: In my experience, I am more effective if I make a list before I start my day. I remove items from my list as I finish them and add or rearrange things depending on the requirements of my client or manager. Also, seeing the tasks written in black and white helps me focus and not get distracted or pressured when deadlines pile up.

  1. What communication tools do you prefer to use?

This question is to gauge the candidate’s knowledge of common virtual assistant communication tools and their flexibility with using different tools. The best answer to this is an honest one. A candidate who pretends to know tools just to be impressive will only reflect negatively on their application.

Sample answer: My default communication tool is email, but Slack, Skype, and Whatsapp have been effective for me in the past. I prefer Google Drive for file sharing and Trello for project management software. For virtual meetings, my go-to app is Zoom, but I have also worked with Teams and Google Meet. I allow my manager or boss to choose their preferred tools. I adjust to their choice of tools or learn how to use them if I haven’t used them before.

  1. How do you solve problems encountered as a virtual assistant? Give an example.

The answer to this should showcase the candidate’s problem-solving skills and persistence in overcoming challenges. Problem-solving skills include the ability to identify the problem, resourcefulness in researching possible solutions, willingness to try and evaluate solutions, and openness for continuous learning. Citing a specific incident can also help to demonstrate such skills.

Sample answer: Last time, my client wanted product images for their e-commerce site. But these pictures on the source website were protected from being saved to my computer. After confirming with my client that these photos need to come from the said source website, I set about researching how to retrieve protected images from a website. It was my first time doing that, and I was proud to have found a way to accomplish my task.

  1. If faced with an impossible task or a deadline you can’t meet, what’s your next step?

Facing tight deadlines or impossible tasks is unavoidable for virtual assistants. The candidate’s answer should show their working style and reaction to work-related pressure. Again, citing an incident in the past is an excellent way to answer this question.

Sample answer: First, I notify my boss or client ahead of time, give the reason for not meeting the deadline, and provide an alternative deadline. Once, I couldn’t provide my boss with the information she needed. I informed her that I won’t have the information until Monday because I was waiting for the person to return to their office on the said day.

  1. How do you resolve a dispute or disagreement in the workplace? Share an experience, if any.

This question tests honesty and conflict-resolution skills in the face of difficult team members. A virtual assistant must show empathy, level-headedness, professionalism, and willingness to compromise to resolve conflict. Also, the candidate should be able to explain a conflict they were involved with clearly and without bias.

Sample answer: There were no major conflicts in my past experiences as a virtual assistant. There were difficult tasks from clients that needed me to go back and clarify with them, but there were no significant disputes or unpleasantness. However, in my previous job in customer technical support, I dealt with angry callers and irate managers. I dealt with them calmly and kindly and always tried to see the situation from their perspectives.

  1. What made you leave your last virtual assistant position?

This is another tricky question to answer for virtual assistants. The interviewer asks this question to assess the risk of hiring the candidate. The answer to this should be honest and transparent but should still paint the candidate in a good light.

Sample answer: I have worked as a freelance virtual assistant for different clients in the past five years. I have enjoyed working with various companies in varying fields. One of the projects I have been working on ended, and my schedule allowed me to take on another client. I found your job posting and considered it ideal for me.

Details on experience or background

The answers to the following questions further convince the interviewer of the candidate’s suitability for the virtual assistant position. As the experience or background is already on the candidate’s resume, the answers should be more specific and not a repetition of the resume.

  1. Can you recount your past virtual assistant experience?

If there can only be one question to ask to learn all about the experience of a virtual assistant candidate, it’s this one. This question is where the candidate tells the story of how they started as a virtual assistant concisely, focusing on tasks they’ve handled and skills they’ve learned.

Sample answer: A friend referred me to her boss, who was looking for additional virtual assistants. The company was a legal firm handling insurance cases, and my initial tasks included filing and organizing documents. Soon, I accepted other virtual assistant jobs, including recording inventory for a construction company and managing social media content for an online store. Working remotely has been an excellent learning and rewarding experience, and I see myself doing this for a long time.

  1. What’s the best skill you’ve learned from your past virtual assistant positions

This question lets the interviewer know that the candidate has valuable learnings and takeaways from their past jobs. With the fast-paced digitized environment they work in, virtual assistants need to keep on updating their skills to stay effective at their job.

Sample answer: There are several skills that I’ve learned since I started working as a virtual assistant, but if I have to choose only one, it would be flexibility. Flexibility is not something that came naturally to me before. But since working with different people and different working environments and communication styles, I can now easily adjust to their styles to be an effective virtual assistant for them.

  1. If this is your first time working as a virtual assistant, how did past working positions prepare you for this job?

This question gives a candidate with minimal experience the chance to convince the client to hire them. Even with zero experience as a virtual assistant, an applicant can get the job by enumerating past experiences related to the qualifications of virtual assistants.

Sample answer: In my past job in human resources, I had experience handling administrative tasks and project management. My previous position trained me to be organized and detail-oriented when filing records and preparing training schedules. I can anticipate tasks and ensure they are proactively addressed. I may not have any experience as a virtual assistant, but I have experienced doing the tasks you’ve outlined for the position.

  1. How do you keep your skills up to date?

As mentioned above, it is essential for virtual assistants to keep updating their skills. A virtual assistant’s skills stay updated through continuous training, joining a network, learning new technology, working with new tools, experiencing new work tasks, etc.

Sample answer: With my busy work schedule, I cannot join as much training or enroll in online courses as I want to. Recently, a new skill I learned was that of using an inventory software. And this was because it was required for my job. When not learning to use new tools, I try to learn and update my skills by interacting with my clients or other team members.

  1. Which virtual assistant tasks are you an expert on?

For the interviewer to identify the candidate’s area of expertise, the answer to this question needs to be specific. There are varying areas of expertise for virtual assistants, and the candidate’s response should be related to the position’s requirements.

Sample answer: I have particular expertise in preparing financial reports. I have been doing this for clients for two years as a virtual assistant and five years in my previous job in a real estate company. I understand you seek a virtual assistant for these reports and other accounting tasks. I am sure that I am the person you want for the position.

  1. What do you think is the most important skill of a virtual assistant?

The answer to this question gives an insight into how a virtual assistant views their position. A candidate’s answer must show a good understanding of what makes a good virtual assistant. An experienced virtual assistant can cite their professional experience and identify which skill they have relied on in the past.

Sample answer: For me, the most important skill that a virtual assistant can have is adaptability. Working with different clients, I have learned that I needed to learn how to work with different communication styles, business goals, and management methods.

Insights on personality

Hiring team members that work well together is the key to sustainable business growth. Thus, gauging a virtual assistant’s personality is critical before adding them to a team. The following questions are used to evaluate a candidate’s personality and to predict how well they will fit into the company’s culture.

  1. Tell me about yourself

This is another common question asked during interviews. This simple open-ended question is easy to miss as an opportunity for the candidate to win over the interviewer. A good answer to this question should be specific but not too personal and includes the candidate’s motivations, goals, and priorities.

Sample answer: I am a virtual assistant with an IT background and have worked remotely for five years. I am passionate about software, online tools, and data entry and analysis. I love this job for the opportunity to earn on the side while I work with and learn about the things that interest me.

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question aims to assess self-awareness in a candidate. Knowing their strengths shows that a candidate knows they have the tools they need to be the best virtual assistant. On the other hand, knowing their weaknesses allows them to have the chance to improve and better themselves.

Sample answer: I am creative and have no issue when it comes to thinking out of the box. I have worked with previous clients who praise me for being innovative in solving their problems. And because I have so much pride in my ideas, the downside is sometimes I struggle with negative criticisms. I am slowly learning to go easy on myself and not to treat criticisms of my work as reflections of my value as a person.

  1. Do you enjoy working as a virtual assistant? Why?

The interviewer asks this question to get an idea of how passionate or enthusiastic you are about being a virtual assistant. The ideal answer to this should contain enough excitement but not too much, or it will sound insincere.

Sample answer: I admit I took my initial job as a virtual assistant only as an extra source of income. But being a virtual assistant gives me the freedom and flexibility that has been missing in my professional life. I don’t regret getting into this field, and I see myself working as a virtual assistant for a very long time.

  1. What made you decide to apply for this position?

With this question, the intention is to ask the candidate why they want to work for the hiring company. A usual follow-up question is, What are your expectations from this job? The answer should show that the candidate had put a lot of thought into the application. Giving generic answers shows that the candidate did not take the time to research and study the position.

Sample answer: I looked over your requirements carefully to make sure I meet them. I am a virtual assistant with a focus on writing blogs, but my SEO writing is limited to using Google search suggestions and top rankings. This position will improve my SEO writing abilities and expose me to more content-writing tools. This role is ideal for the direction I want to take in my career as a virtual assistant.

  1. Describe your ideal working environment.

The ideal working environment differs from one person to the next. The answer to this question gives an idea of how the candidate will fit into the team or work with a manager. The best answer to this can be a work environment that combines independence and collaboration.

Sample answer: I can adapt to any working environment. But in the past, I found that I am the most productive when given a specific task deadline. I still like to have the freedom to work anytime, but a deadline keeps me on my toes and gives me the push to start on my tasks.

  1. How many clients do you handle currently, and how do you manage your time with them?

An interviewer asks a freelancer virtual assistant this question to know if they are capable of handling multiple clients. The candidate’s answer should reflect their time management skills and ability to prioritize tasks based on several factors.

Sample answer: I am handling four clients currently, and the time I spend working for them amounts to 18-24 hours weekly. With this time, I have enough weekly hours to take on another client or two. To be an effective virtual assistant for all of my clients, I assign and plan my weekly working hours in advance. This way, I stay in control of my tasks and feel less overwhelmed by deadlines.

  1. Do you have questions regarding this position or company?

This question is often asked near the end of the interview. The purpose of this question is to let the candidate clarify things regarding the interview. Asking questions at the end of the interview shows that a candidate has a genuine interest in the position.

Sample answer: Can you tell me more about the inventory process you assign to the virtual assistant? What applications or software do you use?

Work-specific details

The interviewer can also ask the following questions that require direct and simple answers. Experienced virtual assistants should have their answers in mind or in their notes to refer to during their interviews. Answers to these questions should align with the job description and show the applicant’s attention to detail and eagerness to get the job.

  1. How many hours a week can you work?
    Sample answer: I let my clients specify the hours they want from me. I can work up to 40 hours a week.
  1. What are your ideal working hours?
    Sample answer: My working hours depend on my clients. I am flexible in adjusting my hours for their needs.
  1. Are your hours flexible?
    Sample answer: Yes. I can easily adjust my working schedule to accommodate tasks for my clients.
  1. Are you looking to work full-time or part-time?
    Sample answer: I am looking for part-time work, but I can consider working full-time for a client in the future if my situation permits.
  1. What is your salary rate?
    Sample answer: The salary rate range in your post is agreeable to me.
  1. Do you have a preferred schedule and mode of payment?
    Sample answer: No, you are welcome to use the payment channels you are convenient with. I can also work with weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly payment schedules.
  1. How soon can you start?
    Sample answer: As soon as possible.

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Remote Raven has decades of experience hiring virtual assistants. We know the right questions to ask for all your hiring needs. All we need from you is your virtual assistant requirements. We’ll take care of the long process of screening applicants, interviewing them, and selecting the candidates for your final interview and approval.

Remote Raven also benefits virtual assistants who are looking to get hired. We review your qualifications, background, and core skills. From this, we find the ideal positions and clients for you and, ultimately, promote your suitability to potential clients. Remote Raven also provides training to help you prepare for interviews, giving you the highest possible chance to get hired.

If you want virtual assistant interviews done right, let Remote Raven do it for you. Contact us for more details today!