The problem: how do you know whether you’re getting a good assistant or a bad one? Do you even know what interview questions you should be asking?
How to Hire the Right Assistant for You
If you don’t need your assistant to work on-site—some practices don’t—you may be fine using a service such as Upwork or Indeed.
If you do, though, you’ll probably have better luck writing a local ad and using word-of-mouth (and that means telling everyone you know that you need some help).
So what do you ask when you find interested candidates?
3 Questions You MUST Ask Potential Assistants
Before you settle on a few finalists, communicate with everyone at least once via email and by phone.
“You might not want to select someone who puts smiley faces in their e-mails,” says Joan Burge, author of Become an Inner Circle Assistant. “You have to put time and effort into it if you want to get the right person. The idea should be to get a very good match, a person who will stay and grow with you.”
Then—and only then—can you narrow down your choices so you’re not spending hours on end conducting interviews.
Your main goals should be to hire someone who’s a problem solver, who has leadership experience (such as in volunteer work or participation in some sort of professional organization), and someone you can really “click” with.
Then, make sure you ask:
1. Why do you want to work here, and what appeals to you about this job?
2. Why did you leave your last position? What would’ve convinced you to stay?
3. What comes to mind when you think about this type of work?
Ideally, you’ll have plenty of other questions (such as whether they’re familiar with the software you use, how good they are at coming up with creative solutions, and typical interview questions)… but these three will give you a great idea whether they’ll be a good match for you and your practice.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever hired an assistant? What qualities did you look for? Have you ever been an assistant? I’d love to hear about what makes your job easier—and what types of people you’d rather work with—so please share your thoughts on my Facebook page or on Twitter.