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35+ virtual assistant interview questions


Virtual assistant roles have become more common in the last decade due to technological advancements like cloud-based systems, video conferencing software, and the rise in remote working. If you’re hiring a virtual assistant for your team, you’ll benefit from a data-driven, exemplary hiring method to thoroughly evaluate your candidate pool and assess their skills.

Skills testing with cognitive ability tests can help you assess your applicants, so you can focus the interview phase on your best performing candidates. But how can you choose the right set of interview questions that will help you learn more about your candidates to best select your new hire?

We have compiled a comprehensive list of interview questions to help you find the best virtual assistant for your company by initiating conversations about your candidates’ experiences, preferences, and working methods. We’ve also categorized the questions so you can pick and choose some from each section and cover all your bases.

Ask your candidate these experience- and skills-related virtual assistant interview questions to review their working background, experience, and knowledge.

  1. What initially attracted you to working as a virtual assistant?

  2. What are the most crucial skills for a virtual assistant?

  3. Do you have experience with social media?

  4. Which core virtual assistant skills do you need to work on?

  5. Can you tell me more about yourself outside of work?

  6. How did you become a virtual assistant?

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

  8. What qualifications do you have?

  9. Which tools are your favorite to use as a virtual assistant?

  10. What are your areas of expertise?

Now let’s dive into the specifics of sample answers you might expect from candidates when answering five of the experience- and skills-related questions listed above.

list of 5 interview questions for a virtual assistant

Listen out for ideal answers or additional information that can help you better understand your candidates.

1. How did you become a virtual assistant?

In response to this question, your candidates might explain that they had previously worked as a personal assistant and moved to a virtual role when remote work boomed. The fact that more than 2,242 virtual assistants in the US collaborate with teams in either hybrid or remote work arrangements reflects this increase in remote working for virtual assistants.

The answers to this question can vary, but candidates might also cite:

  • Relevant internships

  • University qualifications

  • Courses and independent training

Beyond these qualifications, you’ll want to assess your candidates’ soft skills – for instance, with our Communication and Problem solving skills tests. Alternatively, you can use our Personality and culture tests to determine which traits may have helped your virtual assistant candidates succeed.

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

Like most roles, virtual assistants benefit from continually upskilling. Honing skills helps them adapt to organizational improvements, such as advancements in cloud technology or the latest tools, like new customer relation management software. 

An ideal answer might mention further training related to these skills and how the candidate keeps up-to-date with relevant news.

For example, virtual assistants might need to subscribe to cloud technology or project management blogs to streamline technical skills like migrating data and managing basic databases.

If you want to validate your candidates’ methods for keeping their skills up to date, ask follow-up questions about the most recent facts they have learned about the virtual assistant industry. You can also give them Cognitive ability skills tests to evaluate their knowledge.

3. What qualifications do you have?

In response to this question, your candidates could mention training that matches their job role, such as:

  • A university degree

  • Relevant diplomas

  • Additional virtual assistant training

Relevant certificates can prove that your applicants have specific knowledge related to your industry. For example, a virtual assistant might have honed their project and people management strategies thanks to their university studies. 

The key to this question is finding out if these qualifications have helped your candidates achieve tangible results for their role. Candidates might mention that they streamlined communication with their people management or enhanced productivity by X% by delegating efficiently, thanks to their studies and knowledge.

However, your applicants’ qualifications may not be imperative because not all virtual assistants have university degrees. If their experience is your priority as a hiring manager, consider asking whether your candidates’ experience matches the open role. 

4. Which tools are your favorite to use as a virtual assistant?

You can expect your candidates to mention several tools when answering this question. Some might discuss that they organize meetings using specific calendar apps, like Calendly, which streamlines processes, helping them save time and avoid human error compared with manual calendars.

Other candidates might use communication tools like Slack to update their teams with messages, project management tools like Asana to streamline workflows, and video conferencing tools like Zoom and Teams to connect. 

The latter tools are crucial for bridging the remote working gap. A global study by EmailToolTester found that in 2021, Zoom and Teams had a 55% and 15% market share respectively in US and UK markets. 

These tools help virtual assistants to:

  • Share updates with their team

  • Complete one-on-one meetings

  • Share documents via screen sharing

  • Collaborate with other teams in the business who may offshore

Consider your candidates’ experience with these tools by asking follow-up questions about the results candidates achieved with them. 

5. What are your areas of expertise?

Not all virtual assistants’ areas of expertise, such as technical cloud software knowledge or project management tools, will be the same. The best way to evaluate responses to this question is to determine if their strong points match your job description’s “must-haves.” 

A few areas of expertise your candidates may mention include:

Some applicants might choose to discuss their soft skills, such as communication, time management, problem solving, and attention to detail, which help them to virtually liaise with stakeholders, handle workflow problems, and avoid errors. 

Asking about their areas of expertise can help you determine if your candidate aligns well with the role you are looking to fill. 

10 must-ask and additional virtual assistant interview questions to help you choose the right one

You may be interviewing many potential candidates and need questions to help you separate their skills, expertise, experience, and more. Here are 10 additional virtual assistant interview questions to help you achieve that.

  1. What is your notice period?

  2. Why do you want to be a virtual assistant?

  3. Why do you want to work for this company?

  4. What is your ideal work environment?

  5. What is your preferred salary range for this position?

  6. How would your co-workers describe you?

  7. How would your manager describe you?

  8. What’s your strength as a virtual assistant?

  9. What’s your weakness as a virtual assistant?

  10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

5 must-ask and additional virtual assistant interview questions with sample answers

Some questions are essential, no matter the role. Here are five questions that you shouldn’t omit, with example answers.

1. How would your co-workers describe you?

Your candidates who respond  to this question may mention specific traits that their co-workers have noticed when working with them, including conscientiousness, attention to detail, and empathy. 

These traits are essential for productivity, particularly conscientiousness in virtual assistants, which research suggests strengthens the positive effects on work engagement and proactive learning.

Other candidates may discuss the values their co-workers noticed in them, such as transparency, accountability, and adaptability, which ensure they could:

  • Build trust with their employer

  • Enhance their productivity and quality of work

  • Adjust to new workflow processes

You can also verify that your candidate’s response is accurate by completing a reference check or skills testing processes before the interview and checking if their answers match the results. Use our DISC test to evaluate your candidates’ personality traits and our role-specific tests to assess specific skills, which will help you find the perfect match.

2. Why do you want to be a virtual assistant?

Asking interviewees why they want to be virtual assistants will produce many different answers. Some answers may mention:

  • A passion for the industry they are working in

  • A love for the flexibility the role offers

  • Remote work opportunities

  • Their traits match the role

  • They have suitable skills to be a virtual assistant

For example, if they are virtual assistants in the marketing industry, some of your candidates might be enthusiastic about enhancing the company-client relationship by helping the team produce quality marketing articles. They may strengthen client retention by creating seamless communication within their company and supporting their team virtually.

However, it’s essential to consider if their enthusiasm correlates with their output because this will show they can stay productive. If your candidates can mention specific results, such as an uptick in traffic to their client’s website, they may be an ideal match for your company. 

3. Why do you want to work for this company?

Your candidates may want to work for your company if you offer something other companies don’t, such as hybrid work arrangements, a healthy work-life balance, flexible working hours, or training. 

These perks are significant because they mitigate stress and encourage productivity. Statista information from 2008 to 2022, looking at participants in the UK, has found that the number of employees who reported incidences of work-related stress increased by 91,000.

Many professionals leave their previous roles for less stressful environments, so looking for answers that describe perks that match your company is essential. This alignment can ensure that after hiring the candidate, your new hires remain with your company because they acknowledge the benefits of working for you.

4. What is your ideal work environment?

This question focuses on whether your candidates’ ideal workplace matches your offer, such as a fast-paced, remote, or startup environment. Their answer will likely focus on organizational culture and working hours.

In a global survey, more than 50% of those asked stated that flexible or remote working options were ideal in a work environment. Therefore, if you know your candidate prefers remote work, it’s ideal that you can offer this to them.

Bar chart showing why a flexible workplace is the most important attribute for an ideal job

Studies also show that a positive work environment enhances employees’ performance, so to ensure you retain your new hires, ensure their definition of a positive environment matches yours.

5. What is your preferred salary range for this position?

Candidates and hiring managers should be transparent about salary during the interview process. When all parties are open about compensation, it allows for a clear understanding of what each is looking for. 

Those with unrealistic expectations or salary preferences that don’t match their experience might not be worth pursuing. However, you need to consider what skills and experience they offer and assess whether it’s worth increasing the salary range where possible.

12 concluding virtual assistant interview questions about work life

Questions about work life and how your candidates manage theirs can yield insightful answers. Here are some great topics to discuss, from work schedules to communication styles.

  1. What’s your preferred work schedule?

  2. How many hours a week can you work?

  3. Can you explain your process for prioritizing your work?

  4. What is your preferred communication method?

  5. What would you do if you received a task you were unfamiliar with?

  6. Can you tell me about a time you disagreed with someone and how you resolved it?

  7. Have you ever disagreed with your supervisor?

  8. Can you provide an example of your time management skills?

  9. Can you explain your process for working with difficult team members?

  10. Can you explain how you proactively address business needs?

  11. Do you have any questions for me?

  12. Talk about a time you had to work with people with different communication styles.

5 concluding virtual assistant interview questions about work life and sample answers

Here are some closing virtual assistant interview questions and sample answers that you can reference against your interviewees’ responses.

1. Talk about a time you had to work with people with different communication styles.

Candidates who respond to this interview question will likely mention a few communication methods they use to liaise with team members, such as assertive styles or intuitive communication. Using these methods in different contexts is essential because your candidates may need to adapt their style to communicate effectively.

Alternatively, they might also discuss the tools they use to work with others, such as Trello’s email attachment tool or Slack, which can make communication faster.

Poor communication can lead to an average loss of $62.4m, so your next virtual assistant must practice clear, concise communication to avoid financial losses. Answers should focus on your candidate’s ability to adapt to different communication styles depending on the scenario.

A reference check will help you learn if your candidates have advanced communication skills. When you pair our Communication skills test with this process, this winning method will give you the qualitative and quantitative data required to evaluate candidates and find the most proficient talent for your company.

2. Can you provide an example of your time management skills?

Effective time management, including prioritization, planning, reflection, and timely execution of tasks, is essential for virtual assistants because it can enhance the company’s relationship with their clients’ thanks to consistent and reliable outputs.  Those in this role should mention several examples of their time management skills, which may include:

  • Email and calendar management

  • Research and information gathering

  • Phone call handling and message taking

  • Data entry and database maintenance

  • Document creation and editing

  • Travel booking and arrangements

  • Project delegation for their teams

For example, they might discuss a situation in which they delegated tasks to a customer service team, which helped them enhance the customer experience due to the team’s timely responses. 

Or, they could mention that they streamlined their workflow processes in a digital marketing agency using project management tools, which helped with time management across the business.

Integrate a Project management or Time management skills test into your hiring process to evaluate your candidates’ time management proficiency. 

3. Can you explain your process for working with difficult team members?

Answers to this question should focus on professionalism and pursuing collaboration with that team member in a way that works for all parties. Some other methods virtual assistants might use to work with difficult team members include:

  • Communication. Maintaining open lines of communication, listening actively, and providing clear feedback where necessary

  • Conflict Resolution. Addressing any conflict swiftly, helps encourage dialogue and find methods to resolve issues

  • Relationship Building. Showing empathy, understanding perspectives, and finding common ground

  • Clear Expectations. Defining roles, responsibilities, and goals clearly

For example, if your virtual assistant has experience with conflict resolution, they can diffuse tension, encourage communication, and motivate team members.

To assess your candidates’ conflict resolution skills, use our Problem solving skills test, and ask for specific examples of situations when they resolved tension in their company.

4. Can you explain how you proactively address business needs?

Your candidates who answer this question should mention the ability to assess more minor business needs without bringing in other company members. The candidate should be able to show how they can identify more significant needs, like financial concerns or system updates, that the wider team can then discuss.

Autonomous working is a valuable skill for a virtual assistant, and candidates that show they’re capable of this could be right for this role.

5. Do you have any questions for me?

Allowing candidates to ask questions is essential to enhance the candidate experience and ensure all parties don’t miss any information. 

Common questions your candidates will ask when given this opportunity include:

  • When can I expect to find out if I’m successful?

  • Is there anything else about the role that I may need to know about?

  • What perks and benefits does the role offer?

With this question, you also have the chance to sell your company’s reputation by responding with the positive values, work ethic, and perks your company offers. To achieve this goal, you must prepare thoroughly and provide accurate responses to their questions.

When should you use these virtual assistant interview questions?

The perfect time to use these virtual assistant interview questions is after inviting your candidates to complete skills tests.

For example, you could assess your virtual assistant applicants on their database management and administration skills and test their email skills with our Outlook and Gmail skills tests. Following this, using the virtual assistant interview questions in this article can then help you find the perfect candidate.

Using this method reduces time-to-hire metrics and mitigates resume screening. It also ensures you screen candidates objectively, which can help with diversity and inclusion in your team.

Find the ideal virtual assistant for you with help from TestGorilla

TestGorilla is committed to assisting businesses in their recruitment process with concise assessments that thoroughly evaluate a candidate’s skills. 

You can choose from multiple topics to successfully gauge their expertise and experience. You can then review each result to determine which candidates are suitable for an interview. 

Take advantage of our free 30-minute demo to discover the data-driven methodologies that science proves helps companies find the most qualified candidates. Combine this with our virtual assistant interview questions and hire an expert assistant with the traits and values to enhance your company’s output and reputation.


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