Curious how an actual email job interview looks like?
Virtual work is not your traditional office setting. Everything is non-traditional, from the hiring process to interview to the work itself and payroll. Everything you got used to in a real office setting will be given a little shake up. During the interview process, 95% of the employees will go through Skype interviews or any conference software. This is to, of course, overcome the distance barrier of employer to employee. Also, most of the employers prefer to interview by email. This is a chance for them to throw in questions prior to the actual face-to-face interview. Likewise, this is to gauge the applicants how well they write in English.
To be an efficient VA
You must at least be adept in the four cornerstones of the English language: reading, speaking, writing, and listening. Parang sa IELTS or TOEFL pero hindi naman kailangan super magaling ka. There are a lot of VAs I’ve worked with that are actually good with conversing but when the employer asks them to craft an email or write a marketing material, hindi kaya. Or magaling sa written English pero mahina sa pakikipagusap in English. Ako naman, minsan nabubulol pa rin or hindi ko maintindihan kausap ko (Ambulol mo, Girlie! is my usual exclamation to myself after I speak to anybody in English, especially by phone, sabay tawa).
Most people will advise you to focus on your strengths, like if you’re good at written English, then be a chat or email csr. Or if you love talking, be a sales outbound caller. That is the usual case. I, on the other hand, advised people to hone their weaknesses to increase their value as a virtual worker and be adaptive to any tasks or department you will be assigned to. Likewise, the possibility of an increased salary is inevitable with that strategy.
Still a Newbie
I considered myself fairly a newbie when I started in my current job almost a year ago. Despite the fact I knew already a bit of how online collaboration tools work and the VA works, I am still stumped. Stumped by the fact that I am not yet knowledgeable with everything in the online world. So when I applied for my current job, I did my usual introduction and selling points on how I will be a perfect VA for his company. The kindest owner of the company I’m working at now replied back with an email containing these questions. This, my friends, is an actual email interview questions I had.
For your reading pleasure, I’ve put my own thoughts in italics. It’s like what am I thinking back in 2016. I’ve also crossed out a few private information. Put yourself into my shoes and practice rin kayo on how you’ll answer these questions.
The Actual 2016 Email Questions
Thank you for your excellent application. I have some further questions for you if that’s OK?
1 – I notice you have some experience in the medical field. Are you looking for 1 x full time position or will this work be alongside other work? (Worried ako pag tinatanong ako na galing ako sa medical field. If someone applied with tech experiences, of course it will be a no-go for me.)
2 – I see you have knowledge of VoIP, which is great. Do you have a VoIP phone at home? (Good thing I have VoIP knowledge, whew!)
3 – Do you have any creative or sales writing experience? Part of this job will be to write product descriptions for our website. (At that time, I have no idea how to do this although I know how to write articles in English. Kabado na naman ako.)
4 – Can you do basic image editing like cropping and resizing? (Patay na naman! MS Paint lang ang alam kong gamitin. Di ako marunong mag Photoshop, huhuhu!)
5 – Do you have any experience or knowledge of WordPress? (Wala po. Alam ko lang name nya, waahh!)
And it goes on…
6 – Do you have any experience or knowledge of WooCommerce or any other eCommerce platform? (Wala po talaga. First time ko marinig yan. Paano ba to?)
7 – What hours would you be available to work i.e. times? Ideally I am looking for somebody to work 9am-5pm UK time. (So, it’s 4 pm to 12 mn sa atin. Bigay Niyo na po sa akin to. *praying)
8 – Do you have any experience giving telephone support over the telephone, or answering the telephone and taking messages? (Eto po ang definitely.)
9 – I see your desired salary is (
salary I’m asking) per month. Initially I am not looking to pay this much, but if you are successful and the company makes enough money this could increase. Are you flexible with your salary requirements to start off with? (Most employers are always negotiating an experienced VA’s salary. Of course, we have to meet halfway para masaya lahat.)
Want to know how I managed to tackle his questions? Despite the fact that I have no experience on the qualifications he’s looking for, I still got hired? Read my answers plus my tips on the continuation of this article, My Actual Email Interview Part 2.