Happy Saturday! Saturday mornings are my absolute favorite time of the week.You can sleep in and still have a day ahead of you, or you can wake up early and be the most productive you can be. It’s up to you and that feels wonderful to me. Personally, I like to use this time to sip on the biggest and slowest cup of coffee and read up on the industry, news and more. Making some time for yourself during the week really makes a difference.
I’m hoping all of you are able to make time for yourself during the week to relax, meditate, do your favorite hobbies, see friends or just veg out. Since starting my own venture, I’ve seen how badly it can go if you don’t take a moment to rest – sickness, overwhelm, burn out, even outright quit. And that’s why I feel it’s even more important for people who do have a lot of their plates (aka you busy musicians), to be able to delegate some of those tasks to someone they trust.
I believe this idea is starting to take hold of musicians trying to do it all by themselves. Gone is the romantic notion to say that you hustled and bustled to the top with no ones help. In my eyes, that’s simply not true. You have influences, mentors, coaches, leaders and assistants set up to assist you and help you reach your goals.
The top three questions I get when I talk about what I do are:
“What does a VA do for a musician?”
“Where do I find a VA for a musician?”
“What questions should I ask when interviewing a VA?”
I’ve shared every week what a VA does for a musician, and also have shared resources on where you can start your search for your own (check out and read through my blog for those posts here), but I have yet to brush the subject on what to ask when interviewing a potential VA for yourself.I believe that you want some passionate about the industry itself, but also has the balance of knowing how to keep a musician balanced and organized.
Here are a few questions to include in your interview to find the best candidate for you.
1) Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you want to be a Virtual Assistant for a musician?
I’d like to know this because this is where they have the opportunity to express passion for music or interest in what the industry is about. A little spark in their response is really good.
2) What music platforms do you have experience with? Reverbnation, Bandcamp, CD Baby, (fill in any sites that you like to use on the regular).
They are going to have to have a good idea of what needs to be managed on a day to day basis. If they don’t have experience, ask them if they have heard of it or if they feel they could learn it quickly.
3) Have you ever worked with a musician before? If so, what did you do for them? If not, why do you want to work with a musician?
Find out if they have experience working with a musician. Also, you can ask about the genre the musician was in, considering a hip hop artist will need a different sort of skill set from their assistant than from a bluegrass singer.
4) What is one way you went above and beyond for someone you’ve worked for? In what way to you exceed what was expected of you when assigned a task?
This will tell you how driven and how much of a go-getter they are. In this industry, it’s constantly changing and it’s not easy. You’ll need someone on your side pushing along with you.
5) What can you do to help me stay organized and on schedule?
You’re hiring this person to help you keep organized and keep you on track. Find out more about how they work and if it would work well with you.
6) Tell me a time that you weren’t sure how to complete a task that was given to you. How did you handle it and did you get it done?
Get a sense of what they would do or say if you gave them a task they had no idea how to do. See if they would take the extra effort to research and find the answer on their own, or just turn to you for answers. You’ll want someone who will try to figure things out on their own and THEN come to you with questions if they are still unsure. This shows drive and the extra effort they would make while working for you.
And then, be sure to take this extra step: Find a couple scenarios you know that will happen on the job and ask them what they would do or suggest in that situation. For example, you would like them to send an email to a few presenters introducing yourself and interest in their venue/festival, so ask for a writing example of that very scenario and see what they send back.
These questions will help you learn more about the person, how they work, why they want to work with you and will give you a better sense of if you will work well with them.
Remember, all new team members will have a learning curve, however, you want the V.A. that will give their best effort, whole heartedly. After all, this is your career and life that you are working so hard to enjoy!
Go out there and ask the right questions to find the right V.A. for you.