20 Virtual Assistant Interview Questions and Answers to Look For

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A man talking to another man via a video call using a laptop asking virtual assistant interview questions

We love lists, and one of our favorite types covers virtual assistant interview questions and answers. If you’ve been following the Outsource School blog for a while, you’ve probably seen quite a few. 

In this one, we want to take you through the interview process we like to use. We’ll also give some background on the top virtual assistant interview questions we use ourselves. This way, you can get a better understanding of what we do to hire the best fits time and again.

Experience and Red Flags

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself…Where are you from? What are your hobbies? What’s important to you?

We like to build some rapport at the very beginning of each conversation. Many times, this can make or break the interview. This is the beginning of the relationship, so you want to put candidates at ease. This removes the stress that they can feel, which can taint their answers. Interviews can be especially challenging for humble and shy people. You don’t want to evaluate them wrongly simply because they were nervous about talking to a new person.

When you ask personal questions like these, you can get a lot of important information. It’s not just about making someone feel comfortable. For instance, you can anticipate power or internet service interruptions based on a candidate’s location. This is especially important when outsourcing to the Philippines, for example. You can also recognize strong potential in the person if they have challenging hobbies.

2. How long have you been working as a VA?

This is an amazing transition question. It relates to what’s important to the candidate and also steps into the realm of work. You want to quickly establish that you value experience without being too harsh. This question early in the process helps them grasp that. It also helps you determine right away if the candidate has what you need. 

Experience is a key factor in all hiring decisions. You need to know if a candidate has enough of it beyond the shadow of a doubt. If they can’t do the job, then you can move to the next candidate. That’s unless, of course, you are willing to work with them and get them up to speed. We do this from time to time if we see great potential in a candidate if they have rare qualities like integrity and loyalty.

3. Can you briefly describe your experience as a virtual assistant? What type of work have you had with your other

This line of virtual assistant interview questions and answers will dive deeper as you proceed. Initially, you want to know more about a candidate’s experience than just how long they’ve worked. You want to know their range and how flexible they are, too.

Asking these questions will also help you understand how confident they really are in their own skills and experience. Sometimes, people will “fake it ‘til they make it,” and you want to uncover that as soon as possible. If they have true confidence from experience, they will not make arrogant claims they can’t back up. 

A man using a mobile phone in front of a laptop asking virtual assistant interview questions over chat

4. What tools and software are you proficient in for remote work?

When hiring a virtual assistant, you will have particular tasks in mind for them to do. These tasks often involve the use of certain tools, like Time Doctor. This question is to determine if a candidate knows how to use the specific tools that they will be using. They may have years of experience performing a task, but with different tools than you use or prefer to use. You also need to figure out if your choice of tools is more important than, say, the candidate’s attitude. Then you can move forward with the interview or part ways accordingly.

5. Please tell me about your experience with <<type of work you are looking to hire for>>?

This is a good example of interview questions for virtual assistants that dive deeper. You can hone in on the virtual assistant roles that you are looking to fill. They may have other strengths, but these should be your focus.

Probe further so you can get details that show you the quality of their work. For example, have they worked for 8 years doing the same simple tasks? Or, have they grown in the role, learning and applying new skills? Have they done different tasks for different clients?

6. What is your internet speed and backup plan in case of connectivity issues?

Always confirm if the candidate has the infrastructure available to do the job. They may be the best assistants, but if their internet is always down, they won’t be able to work. Ask them what internet plan they are on, and what speeds that gives them. Then ask them what they do to stay online in case their connection gets cut. You may also want to know how often storms hit their area. Ask as well how often the power gets shut off in larger areas surrounding their location. Then ask how long the interruptions usually last. This will tell you how often they will not be able to get to alternate sites or how long their backup systems will cover them.

Ethernet cables plugged into ports.

7. Why did you choose to become a VA?

Some candidates talk about this when they answer the first question. Being a VA may be important to them for several reasons. Mostly, we hear that it’s because it allows them the flexibility to work while caring for their families, and still earn decent pay. Most VAs know that this answer appeals to clients, so be wary. Follow up, for example, by asking if they have children or are a primary caregiver to elderly parents. Then you can also learn more about how much time and attention they can actually give to your business.

8. Are you comfortable with flexible working hours or working in different time zones?

The next few virtual assistant interview questions and answers may seem overly simple. We have found them to be vital, however, in avoiding false starts. You are investing a lot in the search for the right VA. Having them quit after one week because of things like the schedule or going on video is just crazy. This actually happens, though, so ask anyway, if only to confirm that they read your job post properly. (Sometimes they don’t grasp the part about the time zone and assume it’s in their time zone.)

9. Are you comfortable with video conferencing and screen-sharing tools for virtual meetings?

This question is more than just about being shy or not being able to talk at 2 AM. (Many people who work from home will avoid both audio and video calls because it would wake sleeping relatives.) Some people will conduct interviews from a nicer location and not want you to see the area in which they actually work. That’s a red flag. Some may look good on paper and interview well, but not actually have the best motives. 

Still, if you prefer to work with them while on a call, you may not want to hire someone who prefers not to do it that way. The same goes for screen sharing. If you want to share your screen for training, they need to be ok with that. If you want them to share their screens when asking for guidance, they need to know how to do that.

On a side note, be wary of anyone who refuses to have their screens recorded during working time. They shouldn’t have anything on their screens that’s not related to work, so they shouldn’t have a problem with this.

A laptop screen showing multiple video call participants asking virtual assistant interview questions

10. What interested you in this position? What are you looking for?

This is a chance to get more information about why a candidate wants the specific job you’re offering. Sometimes you might get answers that surprise you. 

11. We’re looking for someone to work <<insert schedule>>, does that work for you?

If you haven’t confirmed this yet, make sure you are very specific about it. Give them the days and hours you want them to be working, and get their ok on it. 

12. The rate for this position is $X per hour. Are you comfortable starting at that rate?

Always confirm the rate that you are offering. We have come across many candidates who will interview for a job then complain about the rate after being hired. Sometimes they will not complain but will slack off because they aren’t happy with the rate. They might feel that the job doesn’t deserve their best because it pays too low. Always confirm that they are happy with the rate for the specific tasks they are expected to perform.

A man with a calculator counting money.

Attitude, Values, and Culture Fit

13. Give an example of a time when you had to handle a difficult client or situation. How did you resolve it?

The ability to properly manage difficult clients and situations is a rare skill. This question doesn’t mean that you are difficult to work with or that the work environment is toxic. You are simply trying to learn how a candidate will react or respond if problems arise on the job. When you ask about specific problem areas they faced, you learn whether you can depend on them to push through. You get an idea of whether they will complain about difficulties or adjust.

14. What are your strategies for maintaining work-life balance while working remotely?

Some people who don’t work in an office can have trouble with work-life balance. They may not be able to separate their work life and their home life. You need to confirm that anyone you want to hire knows how to draw the line. Otherwise, you can end up bearing the brunt of time management issues and burnout. 

15. How do you handle feedback and criticism from clients or colleagues?

This is one of my favorite interview questions for virtual assistants. I always want to know if a candidate will accept correction to learn and grow from it. If they can’t receive criticism with a positive attitude, then I prefer not to work with them. Get examples from them to confirm their answers!

A woman holding her head in front of a laptop and notebook.

16. Do you consider yourself to be hard working? If yes,
give an example that shows your hard work ethic.

Listen closely to how a candidate answers this question. You can learn a lot about what they think of themselves here. Are they satisfied with where they’re at or do they want to keep improving? 

17. Money or growth? Which do you value more? Why?

This is one of our all-time favorite interview questions for a virtual assistant. We want to hire people who value growth because we want them to grow. It helps them and will make them happier in the end. And as we invest in them, it helps us, too.

Final Questions

18. If you were to get the job, how soon could you start?

This question helps you understand how eager the candidate is to work with you. They should know more or less when you will need them, but you should confirm that they won’t grow impatient. It’s also a great way to wind down the interview comfortably.

19. Is there anything else I should know about you?

We always like to make sure that we leave an open space for a candidate to express themselves. This helps them feel more comfortable with the idea that they can go to you in the future if they need additional support on the job.

20. Do you have any questions for me?

This open question gives them the power, so to speak. It shows them that you are open to giving the information that they need. The best candidates will always have their own conditions because they know their value. With this question, they can confirm if you can provide the environment in which they can thrive.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


We hope this set of interview questions for virtual assistants help you in your search for the best fit. The first set will give you a good basic understanding of each candidate. They will also set and confirm the non-negotiables. This way, you will know very early on if any candidate is not a good fit. We don’t want you to spend any unnecessary time or energy talking to someone who won’t work out in the end. The second set focuses on hiring soft skills. We never skip over these types of interview questions for a virtual assistant. This is where you get into the heart of things. 

Want help outsourcing & hiring virtual assistants? We make it easy! Learn More, Speak w/ an Expert, or Request a Callback



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