You’ve made the decision to hire a virtual COO — congratulations! Now you can begin searching for and vetting potential candidates, and it’s imperative that you’re thorough in this process. A COO can make or break your business, so you need someone who’s going to set you up for success and know where to spend their time to maximize results. And it’s never fun to fire someone and start the process all over again, so you want to be sure to get this right the first time.

Here are the most important qualities (and questions to ask to feel them out) in a potential virtual COO:


Any COO has to be extremely organized, but this is especially important for a virtual COO, who is likely supporting multiple businesses while also running their own. Your COO must have organizational tools and processes in place before you begin working together, or you might find that work doesn’t get done on time (which is frustrating on all sides).

Questions to ask:

  • What tools do you use to keep your work organized?
  • What do you do when you have an overwhelming amount of work to get done?
  • What do you do when you’re going to miss a deadline?


Is the person you’re hiring committed to your business? Are they committed to their own career? You don’t want to hire someone who’s just testing out the waters, so make sure this isn’t their first rodeo. And you want to make sure that you’re a good fit. Do they want to work with you because they truly believe in your business, or just because they need the cash flow? Make sure it’s the former for a successful relationship.

Questions to ask:

  • Tell me why you’ve chosen to create a career as a virtual COO.
  • What is there about {your business} that attracts you to working with us?
  • How long have you been doing this work? What do you love about it?


A virtual COO must, if anything, over-communicate. Make sure that you’re hiring someone that is going to proactively ask questions and follow up. The purpose of hiring a virtual COO is to take things off your plate, and you won’t get that value from someone that you’re constantly having to follow up with.

Questions to ask:

  • How often do you send status updates?
  • Are you accustomed to communicating asynchronously?
  • What methods of communication do you typically use with clients?


Is this someone who can truly level up your business? Do they know the resources, decision-makers, and customers that you need to get in front of? Feel out if your virtual COO is a networking virtuoso, and make sure that they know how to follow up with connections and maintain relationships beyond the schmoozing.

Questions to ask:

  • Do you know someone who can handle {legal, advertising buys, etc.}?
  • What are your favorite networking events?
  • What are your relationships with former clients and employers like?

Need to get connected with a virtual COO who has all the connections? Meet Laura, the founder of Global Front Room.


Your virtual COO is going to have a lot on their plate, and they’re bound to run into barriers. Are they the type to jump over them, go around them, or sit down and cry? Your new team member needs to have tools in their kit to help them overcome challenges and periods of overwhelm.

Questions to ask:

  • Tell me about a significant obstacle you’ve overcome for a client.
  • Tell me about a significant obstacle you’ve overcome in your own career.


Of course, you need to make sure that the person you hire is someone you can get along with. Make sure that your vetting process looks at more than just credentials on a resume. If you’re a straight-laced CEO, you don’t want a virtual COO who’s wearing shorts and sandals while relaxing on the beach. And if your dirty sense of humor and saying f*ck all the time is what gets you through the day, make sure your new person gets your jokes and understands the power of a good swear word.

Questions to ask:

  • What do you do for fun?
  • What values drive your work?
  • How do you handle it when you don’t get along with a co-worker?
  • What type of culture are you looking for in a business?


A virtual COO is going to have a lot of responsibility and access to sensitive parts of your business. A breakdown in trust between you and your COO is going to have a negative impact on your business, and you don’t want to risk that. Make sure this is someone you can delegate to and that the relationship can be as “set it and forget it” as you like.

Questions to ask:

  • How do you keep my information confidential and secure?
  • Are you accustomed to working with sensitive information?

Value add

You need someone who’s going to go above and beyond, especially in a role that can encompass so many different tasks and aspects of your business. You want to know that your virtual COO is going to truly add value to your business and that you’re not going to feel like you’re throwing money out the window when you get their invoices.

Questions to ask:

  • Do you have any case studies that detail what you’ve accomplished for past clients?
  • What goals and metrics will we start with when we begin working together?

Solves problems

As cliche as it might sound, you need someone who’s going to think outside the box. A COO is going to be faced with lots of problems to solve, and you want to make sure they can do that independently and successfully.

Questions to ask:

  • What do you do when Plan A doesn’t work out?
  • Tell me about a time you had to approach an issue from a different perspective to get it solved.

Got a fire to put out? Give Global Front Room a call. We’ll bring the fire extinguisher.