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10 Office Manager Interview Questions: [With Sample Answers]

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Managing an office of any size comes with a surplus of responsibilities.

Therefore, knowing what to expect when you go into an office manager interview is hard.

Preparing for these moments can be tiresome as you try to formulate answers to potential questions the interviewers may lob your way.

To help you be in the best place possible leading up to your interview, we have compiled a list of the top ten office manager interview questions.

You can find these, along with sample responses, below.

10 Common Office Manager Interview Questions

There are many questions that an interview panel can choose to ask you.

However, the ones listed below are the most common and, therefore, most expected.

  1. How are you at multitasking?
  2. Tell us about an experience in which you had to delegate responsibility.
  3. Do you have experience supervising others?
  4. What is an essential trait an office manager should have?
  5. How do you manage confidential information?
  6. What will you contribute to the team as an office manager?
  7. Please tell us an area where you have an opportunity for improvement.
  8. In your opinion, what does the role of an office manager entail?
  9. Tell us about a time when you had to manage a conflict.
  10. Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?

In addition to the above, the interviewers may cast a few situational interview questions your way to gauge your response to specific circumstances.

You may also be subjected to several behavioral interview questions as part of the interview.

What Should I Say in an Office Manager Interview?

It’s imperative to remain positive during your office manager interview.

If they ask a question that surprises you or you aren’t sure how to answer, don’t let the distress register on your face.

Ultimately, you want to paint a picture that you are their ideal candidate for the role.

What Skills Are Office Manager Interviewers Looking For in a Candidate?

Being that an office manager is a role that wears many hats, it’s expected that you will have the appropriate skillset and show this during the interview.

Which skills are they looking for exactly?

We highlight those below for your review.

  • Communication Skills: It’s critical for an office manager to have well-established communication skills due to their frequent interactions with staff, vendors, customers, and more.
  • Organization: With all the information and tasks an office manager must take on, their organizational skills must be superior.
  • Attention to Detail: There are many moving pieces to an office manager’s responsibilities daily. Therefore, they must have a keen eye for detail to ensure that nothing falls between the cracks.
  • Customer Service: As an office manager, customer service is at the forefront. Whether internal or external, customer service must be at the center to ensure quality relationships across the board.
  • Anticipatory of Needs: Part of an office manager’s role is to ensure that everything operates smoothly and efficiently. A vital component of this entails planning for things that are coming up to prepare everything ahead of time.

What Traits Are Office Manager Interviewers Looking to Avoid in a Candidate?

Just as there are plenty of traits that interviewers look for in an office manager candidate, there are several that they actively look to avoid.

  • Poor Listening Skills: Those on the interview panel will be able to see your listening skills in how you take in the questions they ask. Be sure to pay strict attention to what they say so you don’t get anything confused or answer incorrectly.
  • Overly Confident: Being confident is great, but being over the top makes it appear that you are compensating for something you don’t have, which is a red flag.
  • Negative Behavior: An interviewer will focus on the negative answers that come in your responses. Be sure not to speak ill of any past employer or job responsibility.

Sample Office Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Preparing for your interview by looking at the common office manager interview questions is only part of the battle.

Additionally, you need to formulate responses to recite your answers appropriately.

How Are You at Multi-Tasking?

Most managerial roles require multi-tasking at some level.

Why This Question Is Asked

Being an office manager comes with a wide variety of responsibilities.

There are many times when you will need to divide your attention in this role.

It’s vital to know how you will handle this in the office.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

It’s essential to address the question by emphasizing that you have incorporated multitasking into your work as needed.

Furthermore, provide a reason why it’s necessary to multitask efficiently.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

When answering this question, do not dismiss its importance.

It’s best to acknowledge that multi-tasking is the name of the game, and it’s something that you must develop to be done efficiently.

Example Answer

“Multi-tasking is a necessary evil when it comes to Office Management.

Everything would go on perfectly in an ideal world, but that’s not real life.

In real life, some situations arise, or there are conflicting deadlines to adhere to.

To fulfill the role in the best way possible, you must put in the work to be able to multi-task optimally.

I have diligently worked to get to the place I am and have seen my efforts pay off in how I can now get through fast-paced days with high-quality work.”

Tell Us About an Experience in Which You Had To Delegate Responsibility?

An essential part of being an effective manager is the ability to designate responsibilities to their employees.

Why This Question Is Asked

A typical responsibility associated with an office manager’s role is supervising others or assigning tasks.

Knowing you have experience with this will help make the transition smoother upon hiring.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You want to portray that delegating responsibility is nearly second nature to you but that it isn’t something you abuse.

Ultimately you want to come across as a team player that takes on your fair share but hands off important assignments to others as well.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Do not make it appear that you are condescending or demanding when fulfilling these necessary job tasks.

You want to show that you are personable and there to help, not that you dictate from your chair or keyboard.

Example Answer

“In my previous roles, I had to delegate responsibility almost daily, as it was my job to assign projects and work tasks to others.

I’ve always put significant effort into choosing the appropriate people for each task based on their strengths, but I have also told them that I am here to help in any way.

During heavy work periods, I have taken on many of the tasks myself to help ease the burden on my staff.”

Do You Have Experience Supervising Others?

Many employers want to know about your prior experience and how it relates to your desired role.

Why This Question Is Asked

With a common task of managing the performance of others being front and center for an office manager, it’s standard for interviewers to ask about their experience around supervision.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Be clear that you have ample experience in this area and pride yourself on being fair but sticking to the procedure.

You want to come across as personable with those on the interview panel but without giving the impression that you aren’t able to be firm when needed.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t come across as an overly strict supervisor, as that will give the impression that you aren’t relatable to those under your supervision.

Example Answer

“Supervision was part of my responsibility in each position I held.

The number varied, but I would typically supervise between 5 to 10 individuals at a time.

I would work to onboard them when they were hired and monitor their work afterward.”

What Do You Think Is the Most Important Trait an Office Manager Should Have?

Great managers all exhibit certain traits, so knowing how to highlight your strengths is crucial.

Why This Question Is Asked

Those on the interview panel ask this question to see what trait you place the most importance on in the office manager role.

Seeing where your opinion aligns with theirs helps them know if you will be a good fit for the position.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

While you want to respect the question and provide an answer that speaks to the most crucial trait, you also want to integrate other skills so that those interviewing you know that you understand their importance in the job.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t offer the information that you can’t pick just one.

Interviewers want to know that you can follow the directions provided, and answering in any other way may make them think you ignore detail.

Example Answer

“I would be lost in an office manager position if I didn’t have sharp multitasking skills.

My skillset has been refined throughout the years so that stressful situations don’t hinder my work.

That said, I think a close second would be communication.

Without clearly laying out expectations and asking appropriate questions to others, the job takes longer and isn’t done efficiently.”

How Do You Manage Confidential Information?

Employers want to know they can trust you with sensitive or confidential information.

Why This Question Is Asked

As an office manager, others routinely trust you with information that is confidential in nature.

These items can vary from credit card numbers to medical knowledge.

Therefore, it is critical for those on the interview panel to know how you manage such data.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Be sure to clarify how vital safeguarding this type of information is and what steps you have taken in the past to secure it in the workplace.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t fumble or get distracted when it comes time to answer this question.

You want those in the room with you to see you as serious and that you thoroughly understand the ramifications of not safekeeping such vital information.

Example Answer

“I don’t take that responsibility lightly when entrusted with confidential information.

I immediately identify a storage area that has multiple stopping points.

Whether this space requires keys and combinations or numerous passwords, I want to have several barriers between the information and others.

When it comes time to retrieve this information, I close off the area, access the data, get what I need, and immediately return it.

I double-check that all security measures are in place before I leave my desk or open my office door again.”

What Will You Contribute to the Team as an Office Manager?

Employers want to know what unique contributions you will make to their team.

Why This Question Is Asked

Those on the interview team want to see how you view yourself.

Understanding what you deem valuable in yourself is a way for them to know how you might fit into the environment.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

This opportunity is one where you can freely talk yourself up.

Lay into your key strengths and assets and include your problem-solving abilities and how they lend themselves to the work environment.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

While it is important to talk yourself up during this opportunity, you don’t want to do it to the point where you come across as cocky or overconfident.

Make yourself sound good but humble at the same time.

Example Answer

“As a member of your team, I know I will contribute wholeheartedly, productively, and efficiently.

My office manager experience has set me up where I am a strong multi-tasker and have a keen ability to pay attention to detail.

My communication skills help because I’m not a person who has to be reminded of what to do, and how I organize my work and surroundings ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.”

Tell Us an Area Where You Have an Opportunity for Improvement?

Employers like to see that you understand the areas of your skillset that could use improvement.

Why This Question Is Asked

This inquiry can be used as a trick question in that the interviewers want to see how you paint any weaknesses you may have.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You don’t want to highlight an area of improvement vital to securing the job and operating the role efficiently.

Instead, you want to bring into focus an area that isn’t of the most severe concern and paint it in a positive light.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

This space isn’t one where you want to air your dirty laundry.

If there is something that is a pertinent task and it’s one you find challenging, this isn’t the time to bring it up.

Example Answer

“I consider myself always to be a work in progress.

I don’t believe that any one person is perfect when it comes to any one subject, and I am no exception.

While I am above average in my skill sets, I think I need to work on telling others no when it pertains to taking on too much.

I love helping my team, but I sometimes agree to take on more than I should and end up feeling like there’s not enough time in the day for everything.”

In Your Opinion, What Does the Role of Office Manager Entail?

It is essential to have your own definition of what the role you’re seeking entails.

Why This Question Is Asked

Those in the room want to hear your response to this question to gauge what you think the responsibilities are for the job to which you have applied.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You don’t want to leave anything out when you are ticking off the different responsibilities an office manager takes daily.

However, you want to emphasize those that take up the bulk of your workload.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Be sure not to ramble when speaking about this topic.

There are many elements to an office manager’s role, which can easily linger in the answer.

It’s best to answer thoroughly but as concisely as possible.

Example Answer

“I feel as though an office manager wears many hats. In one way, they supervise others to ensure that the office runs smoothly and efficiently.

At that same time, they liaison with vendors and clients to keep input and output on schedule.

When an issue arises, they are on the frontlines to resolve it as soon as possible.

Daily, an office manager has to keep communication open, grasp customer service, and be one step ahead of everything.

Additionally, they must delegate and supervise effectively to have a high-quality work output.

At any moment, they need to be ready to drop everything to assist another team member while keeping their workload and deadlines on track.”

Tell Us About a Time When You Had To Manage a Conflict.

Conflicts are bound to happen when people come together in any environment.

Why This Question Is Asked

As a supervisor, you will have times when conflict arises, and you are required to step in to come to a resolution.

It’s an essential part of the interview to know you have navigated these situations in the past.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You will want to walk through a situation that came up at a high level and not with the utmost detail.

Those on the panel don’t need to know the inner workings of the conflict, just what you did to help resolve the issue.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

It’s important to avoid bringing personal details into the answer.

Refrain from commenting about the person’s history of issues or bringing in any names.

You need to focus on what you did to bring closure to the problem, not give details on a former colleague’s performance evaluation issues.

Example Answer

“I once had an issue arise where one another’s work habits challenged two staff members I was supervising.

While one had her role in the process down to a science, the other was newer at the job and took longer to complete her assignment.

The veteran staff member was left waiting for long periods to move on to the next part of the assignment, and tensions rose.

After learning of the issue, I spoke with each person separately and let them express their frustrations.

We then came together and realized that this provided an opportunity for collaboration that we hadn’t seen before.

Going forward, our veteran member acted as a mentor for the new staff member, and their relationship became stronger by the day.”

Do You Prefer Working Independently or as Part of a Team?

Working as a team or independently are two critical skills to embrace.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question is another one that is posed as a bit of a trick inquiry.

Those interviewing you want to see if you strongly prefer one over the other to see how you will blend into the team.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Your answer should make a case for both ways of working.

To do so, you need to highlight the advantages of both forms without favoring one over the other.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Do not answer this question by picking one over the other.

You have a 50% chance of getting on the panel’s bad side by doing so.

It’s best to highlight the situations where each form of working is best.

Example Answer

“Throughout my years of Office Management experience, I have seen the value in both working methods.

I can’t say I have a preferred style because my preference lies in whichever route brings the most quality result.

Whenever I can effectively work with the broader team, I do so because I appreciate the different levels of expertise that come into the fold and the experience it provides for all involved.

However, I have also seen times, especially with data entry, where it is best to entirely focus on the task at hand and leave less margin for error.”

Other Common Interview Questions You Could Be Asked

While those listed above are at the top of the list regarding office manager interview questions, it doesn’t mean there aren’t others.

Below we list a few more questions interviewers ask.

How Do You Handle Stress?

Stress is an inevitable side effect when a lot is happening in a busy office.

Why This Question Is Asked

At one point or another, you can expect to be up against stress in your work.

During your interview, your prospective employer will want to know how you deal with that emotion.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You always want to give the impression that you are calm when faced with stress.

This sentiment can happen by providing a glimpse into what you do to destress when the moments arise.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Do not indicate that you have resorted to anger or outbursts when faced with stress in the past.

No employer wants to hear you run to the bathroom and scream when the going gets tough.

Example Answer

“Being an office manager means that stressful situations frequently arise, many of which are out of your control.

However, I naturally see myself as a calm person, and it takes a lot to ruffle my feathers.

I tend to take a lot of deep breaths, turn on relaxing music and get back into the right mindset to continue moving forward.”

What Sets You Apart From Other Candidates?

Employers want to know why you think you are the right candidate for the position.

Why This Question Is Asked

Those on your interview panel will want to see what you believe makes you unique.

There is a significant pool of candidates for many jobs, and they want to get an idea of what makes you the perfect choice.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Pick your most vital attribute and talk it up as if you are the resident expert in that skill set.

At the end of your answer, you want them to think that nobody can do the job better than you.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t choose to highlight frivolous things that don’t bear any weight on the job itself.

Example Answer

“What sets me apart from other candidates is the fact that I rise to the challenge time and time again.

I pride myself on putting in the best day’s work I can every day. In my eyes, we are all works in progress, and I embrace that sentiment.

I will never back down from a learning opportunity as it makes me a better version of myself.

Walking through the doors, I focus on bringing my best self to the office and performing to the best of my ability.”

Why Should We Hire You?

Employers want to understand your confidence level.

Why This Question Is Asked

Like the previous question, this one will gauge your confidence level and see if you think you can fulfill the position.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Put your best foot forward in your answer and highlight your best attributes and how they can positively contribute to the team.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Be sure to take this question seriously.

From time to time, people try to insert a joke in this type of response, but it’s not set out to be taken in any other way but seriously.

Example Answer

“When you hire me to be your office Manager, you also get my 15 years of experience in the field.

As your office Manager, you will get the highest level of dedication and a keen eye for detail, multi-tasking, and organization.

I have expertly executed many highly confidential and time-sensitive tasks without hesitation and will rise to any challenge you throw my way.”

Describe Your Work Ethic

Nearly all employers want their employees to exhibit a strong work ethic.

Why This Question Is Asked

Your prospective employer is asking this question as a way to understand your mindset going into a job.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

It’s essential to emphasize loyalty, dedication, and pride in your response.

These words resonate with others and help them to see where you are when it comes to being a part of a team.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Don’t launch into a narrative about work ethic being instilled in you from the first day of your life.

Many people immediately talk about family values, but interviewers are looking for a unique answer.

Example Answer

“My work ethic and my internal sense of pride are directed by myself.

When I lay my head down at night, I can rest easy knowing that I have put my all into my responsibilities and haven’t cut corners to get there.

As an individual, I am hard on myself when I don’t achieve the desired results, so answering to myself gives me a high work ethic that I am proud of.”

What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

Understanding where you fall short is essential to improving in those areas.

It also gives you a great reason to delegate those tasks to someone more able to handle them.

Why This Question Is Asked

Interviewers will try to get you to admit any fault in your work style to see who you are and how you will relate to the team.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Choose a trait that can you can spin positively.

When you do this, you are owning up to something that is a work in progress but actually has you looking like a top employee.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Do not provide an answer that paints you as a poor choice of candidate.

Even if you have traits that aren’t up to par, you don’t want to disclose that unless you can do so with a positive spin.

Example Answer

“To be honest, I struggle with being a perfectionist.

I feel sick when I submit a project and later discover an error or typo.

Because of this, I spend far too long triple and quadruple checking my work.

I know that time can be better spent helping my team, but I often fear submitting a critical error and having it reflect poorly on myself and my colleagues.”

Additional Tips for Office Manager Interviews

Knowing which questions will be asked is only part of preparing for an office manager interview.

Below we list additional tips to ace your interview.

How Do You Prepare for an Office Manager Interview?

To present your best, review all the questions and formulate answers for each.

Practice answering these multiple times, even in front of the mirror.

What Should You Wear to an Office Manager Interview?

You must always pick the right outfit for your interview.

The style of dress needs to be business professional.

This attire means a suit, neutral-colored blouse, skirt, or ironed trousers.

How Should You Introduce Yourself In an Office Manager Interview?

First impressions are crucial.

Therefore, you must greet each interviewer separately, maintaining eye contact and a firm handshake.

What Questions Should You Ask at the End of an Office Manager Interview?

Those on the interview panel aren’t the only ones who should be asking questions.

Asking questions to end the interview shows that you are interested in the position.

1. What Does a Typical Day Look Like for an Office Manager in Your Company?

Asking these questions shows the interviewer your interest level in the company and the position you seek.

2. Are There Opportunities for Advancement?

Asking questions about opportunities for advancement shows the employer that you are ambitious and strive to improve and grow constantly.

3. What Are the Next Steps?

Asking questions about the next steps in the hiring process shows a level of confidence and interest in the role.

It also shows that you like to be prepared ahead of time for what comes next.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating all possible office manager interview questions can be a challenge.

Below we list some of the top inquiries received about the position.

What is the most important priority for an office manager?

As an office manager, it’s critical to have flexibility in your workday to be attentive to the various things going on at once.

This area is where multi-tasking comes in handy, as well as attention to detail and communication.

What staff makes the office manager’s job the hardest?

As an office manager, you work alongside all staff to ensure everything runs efficiently.

While one type of staff doesn’t make the position more complicated, it all boils down to your relationships in the office and the level of customer service and communication.

Wrapping Up

The position of an office manager comes with various tasks and moving pieces, many of which can overlap.

Therefore, when applying for the job, you will be confronted with office manager interview questions of all types.

This article helps identify the most common questions during an office manager interview and provides sample responses.

After reviewing the information above, you will be better prepared and ready to rock your interview.

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