What to Look for in a Distant Assistant

What to Look for in a Distant Assistant

Finding the right person for the job empowers your business to grow efficiently. Each distant assistant job candidate comes with a unique skill set to offer. But there is more than meets the eye.

Promising resumes don’t tell everything. A bad hire can be just around the corner if you are not careful. You need to find somebody who not only has the expertise but also matches your needs and personality.

What to look for in a distant assistant? Here are three things to consider in your search:  

1. English Communication Skills

Distant assistants often work with people from different countries. It is part of their responsibility to stay in touch with them through email, chat or phone call. This requires DAs to be effective communicators in the global language, English.

English allows them to connect and exchange ideas. Excellent communicators would find it easy to read, write and speak in English. They also would not have difficulty comprehending topics, messages, and instructions directed to them.

Otherwise, misunderstandings result in varied situations including project delays.  

Related: Cross-Generational Conversation in the Workplace

2. Online Work Essentials

Distant assistants are known for the resources they use to complete their jobs. Basically, they need a strong internet connection to carry out everyday tasks. Specialized distant assistants, such as graphic designers and video editors, need their expert tools and software.

On the other hand, general distant assistants learn the tools assigned to them from the get-go. These often include collaboration and scheduling software, VoIP phone system and Google Suite.

A backup connection and a laptop are also handy especially during emergencies, such as power outages. Without these resources, distant assistants will find it challenging to work with anybody online.

Related: What is a Distant Assistant

3. Personality

Distant assistants, like everybody else, have different ways and reasons for communicating or expressing themselves. Their distinct personalities contain both their strengths and weaknesses, which may or may not be compatible with yours.

The question is whether they complement the culture that you are trying to build in your business. “Each group has a certain mix that brings out different facets of who you are. It isn’t that you are trying (to be different) but because they bring out those different facets,” says leadership guru Arthur Carmazzi on why people behave differently.

The work environment has an influence over a person’s ability to make proper decisions for the business. Carmazzi continues, “Fundamentally, if we can understand the environments—how all the stuff works—we can refine our own ideal parts and create our own model to lead and create culture.”

Personality tests can be used to recognize those ‘different facets’ in distant assistants. There are no right or wrong answers. The tests tell how they interact with others and can help to understand what they need to succeed.


There are many applicants vying for a distant assistant position. With the globalization of the outsourcing industry, the talent pool continues to grow and with it comes an increase of competent individuals looking to work online. So when looking for somebody to hire for your business, review the three things to look for in a distant assistant.

At the end of the day, you want to work with somebody that you are comfortable with. It isn’t all about what tasks they can take off your workload. It is about establishing professional relationships—and you want to make it work.

Looking to hire a distant assistant? Get started with a free consultation at Bottleneck Distant Assistants.

Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.


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