Ready to Use a Virtual Assistant? 24 Questions to Ask Before Hiring

Ready to use a Virtual Assistant? Great. Once you have shortlisted your potential candidates think about the questions you are going to ask.

Now, don’t skip this step. It’s really important that you take the time to get on the phone or Skype with prospective VAs. By talking to them, you’re going to be able to tell if there’s a ‘connection’ or not. And asking these questions will give you a better idea of where they stand on different things and whether they love what they do or not.

Here are 24 questions to ask a VA before hiring them:

1. How long have you been in business?

2. What target market do you serve?

3. Where are you located? (What time zone more specifically)

4. What hours do you work?

5. Do you work after hours or on the weekends?

6. Is there an extra charge for rush projects?

7. What is considered a rush job?

8. What is the turnaround time on projects I send?

9. Do you have others on your team? (More specifically, what if you get sick or your computer crashes – do you have a backup plan so my work will still get done on time?)

10. Do you have client references? May I contact them?

11. How soon can I expect you will respond to an email/voicemail from me?

12. How do you do your invoicing? (Specific day of month?)

13. What payments do you accept?

14. Do you require me to sign a contract? If so, what does it entail? (Specifically, does that ‘bind’ you to working with them for at least 3 months before being able to end the working relationship?)

15. What is your preferred form of communication?

16. Out of everything you do for clients, what is your favourite?

17. Do you charge for time we spend emailing or on the phone?

18. What is your availability?

19. Do you invoice upfront or after projects are completed?

20. What software/computer programmes do you use?

21. Do you have a confidentiality agreement?

22. Will my work be sub-contracted to someone else?

23. What security measures do you have in place?

24. What do you charge? (How is time billed – 15 minute increments, per project, etc)

You might be thinking, wow that’s a lot to ask. But keep in mind you have every right to ask these questions and even more. It’s not only for your benefit, but the VA’s as well. Just as you’re ‘interviewing’ her (or him) to see if she will be a good fit for you and your business, she’ll also be able to get a feel for whether you would be a good fit for her. And you don’t have to ask them all if you don’t want to. Maybe after a few questions you’ll know right away if will work or not. Ask as many or as few questions as you feel you need to, to be able to get a good feel for who she is and how she does business.

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to tell the VA yes or no once you’re finished the consultation. Let her know you’ll be in touch within 24 hours (or however long you feel you need to finish the rest of your calls and to make a decision). Of course, follow your gut and if you talk to someone that you gel well with, whose personality you love, and whose skills are exactly what you’re looking for, then by all means go ahead and sign up right away. Just don’t feel pressured to sign on the dotted line immediately.


iOS 11 Update: What’s In Store for iOS App Developers?

Each year Apple reveals the latest version of iOS at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple has schedules its WWDC 2017 in June. The company is expected to showcase iOS 11 at its next annual developer conference. But many bloggers, app developers, and market analysts have already started speculating the changes Apple would include in the next version of its mobile operating systems. Based on the news stories and blogs posted on various websites the developers can gather information about the rumored features of iOS 11. Each news story or blog further describes the rumored features of iOS 10 based on information collected from various sources.

7 Rumored Features Apple may Include in iOS 11

1) iCloud Voicemail

At present, iCloud Voicemail is in beta stage. But Apple is expected to include iCloud Voicemail officially in iOS 10. The feature aims to bridge the gap between emails and voicemails. The users can take advantage of iCloud Voicemail to send and receive voicemails more efficiently. At the same time, the feature will enable them to read the transcribed message simply by tapping on a button. Hence, the users can now receive messages without reading their voicemails.

2) Improved Maps App

The upcoming version of iOS may come with an updated and redesigned Maps App. Apple uses a fleet of drones to make the redesigned Maps App provide more relevant direction and information to users. It further improves the maps service drastically by using the indoor navigation features. The team at Apple will collect a variety of information – if a road is under construction, changes made to a road, and the street signs – quickly and efficiently based on the information collected through drones. They will further include the updated information in the Maps App continuously to provide more relevant and updated information to users.

3) New Video Sharing App

Apple may make it easier for users to share videos by including a new social media app in iOS 10. The social media app will help Apple to compete with popular social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. In addition to allowing users to record and edit videos, the new video sharing app will also enable them to apply filters and drawings to the video clip. The users will have option to share the video clips with their friends through popular social networks. Apple has further included a number of advanced features in the video sharing app to enable users to record, edit, and share video clips in less than one minute.

4) Dark Mode

Apple has already included dark mode in iOS 10. But the users lack the option to enable dark mode while using iOS 10. iOS 11 will enable users to enable dark mode on their iPhones or iPads just like Apple TV.

5) Siri with Natural Sounding Voice

Each new version of iOS comes with an improved Siri. The updated version of Siri helps users to perform specific tasks and gather relevant information through voice commands. iOS 11 is expected to come with an updated Siri that sound more natural. Hence, the users will feel like interacting with human beings while using the updated version of Siri. The users can take advantage of the feature to toggle between light background and dark background seamlessly.

6) Option to Check Availability of Contacts

Based on a patent application filed by Apple, many analysts believe that iOS 11 will enable users to check if a contact is available or not. The feature will further help the user to identify the current location of a contact and operating status of his device. Apple can further simplify the process of checking the availability of a contact by embedding these details into Contacts App.

7) Group Facetime Calls

At present, Facetime supports one-on-one video calls. Hence, users frequently use third-party apps like Skype and Facebook Messenger to set up group video chats. Apple is expected to release iOS 11 with an improved version of Facetime that will enable users to make group video calls. The updated version of Facetime may allow users to make calls to five users simultaneously. But the users will still have option to share their screens with other users.

Many analysts believe that iOS 11 will make about 8% of apps in Apple App Store obsolete. As the upcoming version of iOS will be available only to devices with 64 bit processors and software, over 200000 apps will soon become obsolete. Hence, the iOS app developers have to rewrite and update a large number of apps to make them relevant and take advantage of the new features provided by iOS 11. However, the developers can confirm the rumored features only after Apple unveils iOS at its WWDC in June.