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Business assistants- best questions when interviewing?

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snowbank

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I'd like to make a short list of questions to weed out people before I go through interviewing a lot of people who've sent resumes. What are some good questions I could use to narrow my search?
 

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snowbank

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bump.

anyone have any ideas? i have a number of resumes and literally no idea where to start. i'd like to have a mini list of questions to ask that would help me find the better people in the group.
 

Inphinity

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What sort of responsibilities will they be expected to undertake? Sorry maybe it's me but I'm not quite grasping what the role is you're interviewing for - so I'm struggling to come up with suggestions :(
 

Rawr

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Ditto, are they going to run your biz for you?
 

snowbank

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What sort of responsibilities will they be expected to undertake? Sorry maybe it's me but I'm not quite grasping what the role is you're interviewing for - so I'm struggling to come up with suggestions :(

Basically looking for an administrative assistant.(not a secretary) Someone who can help when projects need to get done, can help in the day to day aspects of the business that change from day to day. Not looking for someone to just answer phones/emails, looking for someone who'd be able to get involved/get things done when they need to be. I've never interviewed people for positions but I'm sure I can ask certain questions to help weed out some people who wouldn't cut it, I'm just not sure he best questions to ask.(was going to send out to everyone so I didn't have to make 100 calls, and then call the top 5 or 10 people.)
 

MattThomas

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Jan 16, 2009
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I think looking for someone who is a self starter and takes initiative is always important. So asking some questions "tell me about a time when you..." where the best answer would be one where the interviewee took charge of the situation.
 

LightHouse

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I am no expert here only little experience in hiring, but in this day and age weed out those that are well over qualified. no need for college education as those applicants typically want to leave for something better asap. those type of things... but as with any staff, know where you stand with laws on hiring/firing, what you can and can not say, whats sexual harassment, etc (not saying you will do the wrong thing) but all need to be defined so there's no accidents and lawsuits
 

Inphinity

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"What interests you most about this role?"
"What strengths can you bring to this role?"
"What are your weaknesses?"
"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
"How do you handle pressure / frustration / setbacks / challenges etc?"
"How would your friends / coworkers describe you?"
"What do you expect from this role / company?"
 

Sid23

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One of the most important questions to ask...in my opinion.

"Tell me about a time you had a conflict or issue with another employee, your boss, etc and how you went about resolving it."

Really shows you how someone handles conflict and interpersonal relationships. Very important for "fit" when looking for someone to work with.
 

AroundTheWorld

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If I told you I needed to reduce the expense in this business, how would you go about accomplishing that task? (Handing them a copy of the expense portion of your monthly PL statement.

Imagine we are looking at purchasing a new property, but we need to get a hold of the covenants and zoning information. How would you go about getting that information for me?

Imagine that you are preparing checks for my signature. You notice the phone bill is extremely high this month. What do you do?

A customer calls, and is irate because of x, y, and z. What do you say to the customer?

The ( gate / door / website / computer) breaks. What do you do? How do you handle it?
 

AroundTheWorld

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Also, make a part of the application process via email, part by phone, and party in person. This lets you experience their communication skills in each of these areas.
 

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AroundTheWorld

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We considered it, but decided to go with someone local instead. VERY VERY glad we did... It would be impossible to get some of the work done with a VA. A lot of our stuff simply requires having a butt in the seat.

A lot of our other stuff is "could" be done virtually if we juggled, but it is better in person.

We did try out a Virtual Bookkeeper, but in the end, decided to go w/ local on that too.

We hired someone . . . that lasted for about 2 months. She just couldn't manage to get herself to work on time and every day.

Hire #2 is working out beautifully. (She is skilled in Quickbooks too, so that is a big plus.)

Hire #1 - $8 / hr.
Virtual Bookkeeper - $35 hr. (later, negotiated down to $25 hr)
Hire #2 - $10 / hr.
 

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