Our last post was about how to hire your first virtual assistant! We covered how to write a clear job description, how to figure what you can afford, and how to prep for a good interview.

So what happens after people start applying and you have 40 gazillion applications to review… or what seems like 40 gazillion anyway 🙂

Well, hopefully, if you asked the right questions in the application, they will be super simple to vet through.

First, write out a list of deal breakers – the things that just won’t fly in your business. For some it’s typos – especially when the posting is for a proofreader!! For others it’s location – you need someone US based and the applicant is overseas. Now set those applications to the side.

Next, for the remaining applicants, create a comparison document using a spreadsheet or even a piece of paper. I like to list each person’s name, rate and strengths, and also make any notes that come to mind on their experience and personality.

I use that to narrow it down to my top 3-5 applicants and then I spend some time doing additional research on their website and social media profiles (I wrote more about that here). Look at their testimonials page and see who they’ve worked with in the past. You might want to reach out to them to ask about their experience.

Reviewing their online profiles is also a great way to verify the accuracy of the information in their application. If they put 10 years of corporate experience on their application but their LinkedIn profile only shows 4 years, then you know that’s a red flag. If you find a disconnect like this, it doesn’t mean you have to disqualify them right away, but it’s definitely a talking point during the interview. Remember, the internet isn’t always accurate, but if something doesn’t add up you’ll want to address it.

The final step is to interview your shortlist with the aim of really getting to know each applicant. Make them feel comfortable so they can open up to you and give you the information you need to make a decision. You want to be friendly, but don’t shy away from asking questions or addressing concerns. Don’t leave the interview feeling confused or unclear. Dig into each answer so that you feel confident making a decision!

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