#30: Expert Hiring System Part Three

Jul 22, 2018 | Office Operations

The theme for July is “Hiring Your First or Next Virtual Assistant.”

Now that you’ve defined the role and determined the specifics, created and posted the ad for your new hire, it’s time to begin the paring down and interviewing process.

In this video, I walk you through how to set up a quick system to make sure you don’t forget any steps, one thing you don’t want to forget to do, and how to make sure you are getting the best person for the role.

Now that you’ve defined the role and determined the specifics, created and posted the ad for your new hire, it’s time to begin the paring down and interviewing process. 

The next key step is to get all those responses together and rate them. You want to create a response rating form and this can be something simple like a grid that lists the hard skills and soft skills on the left and each column is an applicant and you give them a numerical rating.

Review the responses that you have received, looking for specific skills and talents that are on your rating form. Some of the technical skills, maybe you want to be qualified in specific programs, or some of those softer skills if you are able to pull that out of the application process. You can start to rate that.

You can get a lot in just having them write that paragraph of why they are going to be a great fit for you. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, run-on sentences, how they communicate – especially within a service environment where you are going to have them respond to emails – it’s a great idea to get a sample of their writing. You can rate them on the different paragraphs and on the different things that come through. Even reading those paragraphs maybe you’ve got 5 that are all written very well technically, but some just feel warmer to you. They feel more like your voice so that is the kind of person you want to have on your team. So you are going to score all the applicants, then from that select the top 3 or 5 people, and schedule an interview.

Also, make sure that you send a quick note to the applicants to let them know what to expect, that’s just a courtesy thing.

Once you have rated your responses and picked your top 3 to 5 people, then the next key piece is actually conducting the interview. You want to create an interview worksheet and on that worksheet, create a list of 8 to 10 open-ended questions. When I say open-ended, you don’t want to ask any questions that are yes or no. You want to get them talking.

It’s good not only to give you a good insight into who they are, but you are going to learn a lot more from them when they are giving you examples. Ask for specific examples. One of my favorite questions is, “Tell me a time you __________.” And then fill that in. So you are going to think of some common situations that come up in your business that they are going to be responsible for, and turn that into a question. “Tell me about a time that you provided fantastic customer service.” Or when you had to deal with an angry client or when you were given a project and you really took the lead. Asking them open-ended questions like that that is going to start to give you insight into who this person is.

The next step is to determine if you want to have another interview with them, or if after you have interviewed all the candidates, that you’ve really found your number 1 candidate.

Another thing that you can slip between these two, between determining if another interview is needed, and hiring your perfect candidate is to maybe create another hoop for them to jump through. Say you have more than one person that is your top candidate and you can’t decide, what you can do is something pretty simple like create another hoop.

For example, you can email them and say “I’m going to send you this questionnaire, and I need it back from you by 9:00 am tomorrow morning. I need you to complete it in Word, convert to a PDF, and email it back by 9 am tomorrow morning Pacific Time.” The questionnaire doesn’t have to be original or hard, it can go into more detail about their experience with some of the technical programs or expound on the “tell me a time that you… ” open-ended question. Ask 2 or 3 of these open-ended questions and let them respond in writing.

Again, it gives you a kind of insight if that candidate can jump through some hoops to get things back to you on time using clear and simple instructions. If you asked them to convert the Word document to PDF, which may be something you routinely have them do as part of their role, and they don’t understand you, they don’t have the program, don’t have the tool, they aren’t being resourceful, the formatting looks horrible, etc. then that may be an indication of something.

If they didn’t convert but sent back in Word or got it back to you late… just more ways for you to weed out the detail-oriented ones from the pack before actually going to the next step of offering them the position.

Just know and realize that virtual assistants are business owners too and they may have a system of their own that they use to bring on clients. They may want you to submit responses as well to make sure you are the right fit for them. But of course save your own questions for during the actual interview and because the VA will be performing for you, there’s nothing wrong in asking them to jump through a few hoops. Nothing wrong with that.

We’ll wrap up our Expert Hiring series next week with onboarding and training your new hire.

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Outsourcing Templates


As a busy entrepreneur, you know that it’s not possible to do ALL the tasks for your business and do them effectively. It’s easy enough to say you should outsource, but then you have to do the training. And when faced with that daunting task, it’s often easier to just say, “I’ll just do it myself.” 

But that would be a mistake.

There are only so many hours in a day and you can only fully develop so many skills. Instead, these outsourcing templates will give you a giant head start and gives you all you need to find and hire that perfect contractor. Problem solved! 

Here’s what you get:

  • 4 Project Listing Templates
    • You’ll get 4 fill in the blank Project Listing templates to use when you are looking to outsource specific projects for your business (perfect for submitting a request for proposal):
      • Graphic Design Work
      • Virtual Assistants
      • Writing Work
      • Web Development
  • 4 Project Specifications Templates
    • You’ll get 4 fill-in-the-blank Project Specification templates to use to ensure you don’t leave out the important details as you outsource your projects. You’ll get specification templates that are specific to the following type of projects:
      • Graphic Design Work
      • Virtual Assistants
      • Writing Work
      • Web Development
  • Evaluating Applications Checklist
    • Part of the struggle with outsourcing is not knowing who to choose to work with. This checklist will help you thoroughly evaluate the responses and applications you receive back from potential outsourcers to ensure you make the right choice for your business.
  • Quality Check Checklist
    • I want you to get the best work out of your contractor, so I’ve included a detailed quality check checklist that you can go through to ensure you are receiving quality service for your outsourced project.
  • Constructive Feedback Template
    • It can be difficult to provide constructive feedback when outsourcing. I’ve made it easy for you by providing a fill in the blanks template you can use to address any questions or concerns you may be having with your projects. No more struggling to find the right words.
  • Big List of Outsourcing Sites
    • Finding the perfect person for the job can seem overwhelming at first, but I’ve provided a comprehensive list of websites for you that will help you in your outsourcing search.
  • Suggested Interview Questions
    • Finally, I’ve included a list of interview questions you can use as you begin talking to and assessing potential contractors.

As you can see, all of the templates included in the Outsourcing Templates bundle will give you the boost you need to get started outsourcing for your business so you can finally focus on the tasks that will grow your business.


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