Getting help in the office includes an interview process. Here are 3 things you must do when interviewing a prospective assistant.
Pull out your list of tasks and job description before you conduct any interview to create your list of talking point or questions.
First: Plan on having 2 phone interviews before having an in-person interview. If you are working with a virtual assistant (someone who is not in your area and who will not be working from your office), then skip the in-person interview and add a 3rd phone interview. Having 3 interviews helps build a relationship before you commit to working with anyone. Why a phone interview? Because, your assistant may immediately or eventually be making lots of calls on your behalf. You can tell right away whether this person has a great phone personality and can think on their feet. If your phone interview with them is lack-luster, why invest your time and money to have them represent you.
You want someone who already has developed a winning personality so you can capitalize on that talent while training them to do your work.
Second: Plan on 3 short interviews of no more than 30-45 minutes each. Divide your questions into 3 categories to be asked during each of the three interviews.
Category 1: The Get to know them and cut to the chase interview. Why are they interested in working for you? Have they had any experience doing the kind of work you need? Mostly though, you want to experience their phone manner. You should be able to determine on this first call whether it’s even worth having another call. If you don’t get the kind of information you are looking for in the experience department or if you feel uncomfortable with their phone manner, thank them and move on to another person.
Category 2: If you’re confident that a second interview is appropriate, schedule one for either later that day or the next day or in as short a time frame as possible. Give yourself time to think about your first conversation and make notes about subjects you would like to revisit or cover in more depth.
This next call should cover questions about their long-range goals for work and family, the length of time they could commit to working with you, as well as their available hours. This call allows them to demonstrate more personality and enthusiasm as they talk about their own life. You’ll continue to get an idea of how they interact on the phone. Do they have enthusiasm for their life’s-plans, and can you see how that might transfer to how they’ll represent you? Will their future plans mean they’ll leave you shortly or is there potential for this to grow into a long-term working relationship worthy of you investing your time and money? Are they showing interest in finding out more about your work and the job they’ll be doing for you? Do they ask interesting questions?
Category 3: If you’ve reached three calls, there is a good chance that this person might be right for your job. This call is your opportunity to share some of your goals for working with an assistant and get a feel for their interest to grow with you. If all sounds good on this call, it’s time to meet in person if you will be working in person—if not, then it’s time to make some decisions.
Third: The third and most important part of the interview process, is for you to demonstrate a calm enthusiasm for your business. Do not overwhelm the interviewee with your desire dump all your unwanted tasks on them during the interview. Be cautious not to scare them away by giving them the impression that your livelihood depends on them. Remember, you want to ease someone into your fold, groom them for greater involvement. That’s why you made a job description of non-income producing tasks.
By keeping these three suggestions in mind when interviewing, you will save yourself lots of time and money and hopefully find the perfect assistant.
Next week: Part 4: What to Pay.
Have you ever interviewed someone for a job? How did that go? Were you prepared? Can you see how the above questions and three step interview process might help you find the right person?
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I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s graphic image. Check out her work at v360.com.
Thanks to Curfew, for providing This Month’s Biz Booster Theme Music, “Future Dance”
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars, online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com
Coming soon: Get Great Gigs Podcast