5 questions for a good Office Manager interview and how to anwser
You’re a recruiter, you’re hiring an Office Manager for your company and as it’s the first time, you don’t know what questions to ask during the interview? Otherwise you are an Office Manager yourself and you’re soon going for an interview, and you wish to get ready? In any case, you’re at the right place: here are 5 questions for a proper Office Manager interview and how to answer.
1. How do you manage remaining organized when you get requests from everywhere ?
When one is an Office Manager, it’s better to be organized and prioritize one’s tasks: requests burst forth from all directions. If you’re a recruiter, you need to make sure the person in question possesses organizational skills.
If you’re a candidate and one asks you a question during an interview, clearly point out the methods that you wish to use, to remain organized and not be overwhelmed:
“I use a to-do management tool (Trello for example) to record all kinds of requests. Simultaneously, I use the Eisenhower matrix to prioritize my tasks and work on value added tasks. Have you heard of this?”.
2. According to you, what is an Office Manager’s role ?
The role of an Office Manager varies a lot depending on the company, one can’t stop repeating this. However, this question helps understand the vision of the candidate but also grasp the requirement of the company, in terms of Office Management.
A good response to this question needs to take the job ad into account (of course, this is where one can find the best hints), and highlight the skills the company is looking for. It could go something like this:
“An Office Manager keeps an eye on the proper functioning of the office, and this concerns several aspects. The latter takes care of billing, some accounting, communication with clients, ordering office stationary and working on the well-being of the collaborators. This person is the cornerstone of the company, the latter makes sure that the collaborators work smoothly”.
3. According to you, what are the skills an Office Manager requires ?
We’ve just seen, in order to be an Office Manager, one must be organized. Depending on the person, knowledge in accounting, billing, handling suppliers etc.…is required. But the most important are definitely the soft skills: communicate well, like exchanging with one’s collaborators, be proactive, find alternative solutions to resolve the toughest problems…
As a candidate, your response to this question needs to lean on the skills which are highlighted in the ad, but you need to also put your soft skills in the limelight:
“I think it’s important to have a good foundation in accounting and have knowledge on daily tools like Microsoft Office or Slack. But most of all, it’s important to plan one’s tasks, manage time properly and pay close attention to the well-being of one’s colleagues”.
4. How do you handle confidential information ?
An Office Manager can access an enormous amount of information. But mostly confidential information, like the salary of collaborators, contracts with clients etc.…If you’re a recruiter, you need to make sure that the person in front of you will be able to handle such confidential information in a professional manner.
If you’re a candidate, you need to reassure the recruiter and show the latter that he/she can trust you, when it comes to maintaining confidential information:
“I try to secure all the confidential information on my computer with a password, as much as possible. At the end of the day, I make sure I tidy my office so that no confidential document is lying around. Moreover, before giving out any potential confidential information to someone asking for it, I make sure that the person is authorized to obtain the information”.
5. Do you like working in a team ?
Even if an Office Manager works alone at times, the latter works with everyone in the company. Therefore, it is important for the Office Manager to be at ease with his/her team. An Office Manager can’t really be efficient if he works in a corner, without maintaining good relations with all the collaborators.
If you’re a candidate, the best way to show that you know but also appreciate working in a team, is to give a concrete example:
“During my last experience, I had to re-organize offices, after the arrival of new collaborators during a period of shape increase. For this kind of project, it’s important to understand the needs of each person, in terms of organizing spaces. Therefore, I had to collaborate with all the teams, in order to offer the most adapted solution to my collaborators”.