7 Office Manager Interview Questions (And Answers)
Updated 14 March 2023
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If you are applying for a management-level job at a company, it is advisable to make thorough preparations for your interview. You may find it easier to differentiate yourself from other candidates, increasing your chances of achieving career progression. By following this guide, you could learn more about the type of question you are likely to answer. In this article, we explain how office manager interview questions differ from those asked in entry-level interviews, before providing seven example questions and answers.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
What Are Office Manager Interview Questions?
Office manager interview questions can vary from those asked at an entry-level interview. In this situation, an interviewer might ask more niche questions, focusing on how you might manage different scenarios, such as workplace disputes or the loss of a client. As an office manager, you are responsible for overseeing an entire business or department, whereas junior colleagues manage their duties. As you are critical to the business' functioning, it is important that interviewers can test if you can make informed decisions under pressure. By answering these questions effectively, you can prove that you are well-suited to this career.
Related: How To Prepare For A Job Interview
7 Examples Of Office Manager Interview Questions And Answers
The section below details seven questions that you can answer in an interview for an office management job, alongside sample answers:
1. Why do you want to be an office manager?
In the early stages of an interview, the interviewer may ask you to explain why you are interested in securing a management job, besides financial gain. In response, it is advisable to detail experience that you have built up earlier in your career, before relating it to this role. By taking this approach, you present yourself as a diligent and ambitious individual, willing to constantly develop your own skills to succeed. You could then more easily impress your counterpart, setting a positive tone for the rest of the interview.
Example: "I hope to become an office manager as I view this role as an opportunity to further improve my skills as a leader of people. For the last four years, I have worked as the assistant manager at my current company, where I carried out senior administrative duties on my boss's behalf, such as evaluating colleagues or scheduling shifts. In this role, I have learned about how to balance colleagues' interests with those of the business, to build a more productive and cooperate workplace. I feel that I am suitably experienced to advance to a management-level role as a result."
Related: How To Answer: "Why Do You Want This Job?" (With Examples)
2. How are your soft skills suited to a management career?
By asking this question, the interviewer aims to learn whether your personality fits the responsibilities of the position. As office managers oversee a team of colleagues, it is important to highlight abilities that make this task easier, such as organisation, leadership or good communication. You can also mention examples of how you use these skills in your current job, so that the interviewer can understand how you apply them to help their firm.
Example: "I feel that I hold several soft key skills related to the position of office manager offered by India Graphic Design Ltd. For example, I am a strong communicator who understands the importance of honesty at all levels of a firm. In my current role as assistant manager, I act as a node between managers and junior colleagues, conveying corporate decisions to the office in a constructive manner. I also feel that I am a strong organiser, as I can delegate tasks without micromanaging, trusting colleagues to work productively without supervision."
Related: 17 Self-Regulatory Skills Interview Questions
3. What are your career goals?
By asking about your career goals, interviewers want to find out whether your ambitions match the business's commercial goals. In this situation, it is useful to be clear yet considerate, stating your long-term ambitions without presenting this job as a mere route to later success. You may then find it easier to persuade the firm that you can contribute to its commercial growth, increasing your chances of securing the role.
Example: "Last month, I finished my Grade 5 Business Logistics course, earning a distinction grade in the process. I chose to earn this certification to learn more about managing the logistics process, so that I could build up a career in this field. I feel that the Logistics Manager position offered by ND Construction offers me a chance to build on this progress, by managing complex business projects as leader of a team of logistics experts."
Related: How To Answer The Interview Question: “What Are Your Career Goals?” (With Examples)
4. What office management tools have you use in the past?
As the interview progresses, the interviewer may start asking technical questions to test if you can fit into the firm's existing work arrangements. One such question may involve office management tools. In this situation, it is important to detail any tools you currently use at work, outlining their features and productivity benefits. By doing so, you can show the interviewer that you are a technologically adept person who can easily adapt to a new workplace.
Example: "In my current job, I use Asana to schedule routine tasks. I find this tool to particularly useful, as it allows colleagues to place their activities onto one digital work board. This means that we may keep track of one another's progress before offering help to those who are struggling. You can also set time-limited group goals to chart overall progress on a large project, boosting overall productivity, as we can cooperate for mutual benefit. I am also familiar with WordPerfect, which I use to share important Microsoft Word documents with colleagues more quickly."
Related: A Guide To Workload Management Tools (With 8 Examples)
5. Are you an effective administrator?
If your interviewer asks this question, they want to know whether you can properly file key information, such as financial data or sensitive files. In your response, it is important to detail any administrative tasks that you perform in your current role, alongside measures you use to keep relevant information safe. By taking this approach, you can reassure the interviewer that they can trust you to manage their organisation's routine affairs.
Example: "In my current role, I oversee administrative tasks on behalf of the manager. As a result, I recognise the importance of properly filing and categorising company data and documents, to make sure that it remains secured against unwarranted access. In this role, I file the business' tax returns, using financial data from sales receipts and costs to calculate our obligations. To make the process easier, I file this information on digital spreadsheets, categorising it according to several factors, such as date or item. To prevent data theft, I create passwords to regulate access to documents."
Related: Writing The Objective For An Office Administrator Resume
6. How might you handle a dispute between colleagues under your supervision?
In the latter stages of the interview, your counterpart may shift towards scenario-based questions to assess your practical skills. One question could concern managing disputes between colleagues. In this situation, it is important to emphasise what strategies you might use to resolve a dispute, to prevent it from escalating into a more harmful situation. You can then prove to the interviewer that you are mature enough to resolve the dispute amicably.
Example: "As a supervisor for XYZ Engineering, I have built up experience in resolving disputes in the workplace. In a conflict scenario, my first instinct is to separate the colleagues involved from their dispute, asking them to join me for a private conversation. By acting as an arbiter, I feel that I can remove the emotion from the dispute, allowing colleagues and myself to reach a more rational outcome. In this conversation, I ask both sides to explain their point of view, to see if a compromise is possible."
Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? Using This Practice At Work
7. If a client considers moving to another supplier, how might you persuade them to stay with our organisation?
By asking this question, the interviewer hopes to assess if you can take effective action in a business crisis. In response, it is important to outline how you can try to persuade the client to reconsider by dissecting their issue before offering a potential solution.
Example: "If a client told me that they wish to switch to a new supplier, I might arrange a face-to-face meeting with them to discuss their issues. At this meeting, I might initially ask them why they are considering leaving, to determine which element of our service they are unhappy with. After identifying the factor influencing their decision, I might ask colleagues if we could offer improved terms. If they can disclose any offers received from other firms, I may also ask if we could match it. If they remain unconvinced, I may finish by thanking them for their custom."
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