Office Managers coordinate the overall flow of an office and support the needs, efficiency and safety of office staff through essential administrative and financial tasks. Their role spans over several office necessities including the maintenance of a pleasant work culture, developing resources, tools and initiatives for employees, organizing/booking meetings, ordering office supplies, managing office technology, budgeting and payroll among others. Performing this role requires excellent organizational and problem solving skills as well as the ability to multitask and collaborate with others.
Core skills for Office Managers
How to effectively interview Office Managers
While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as an Office Manager in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in an Office Manager role will go a long way in helping you decide.
But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions?
The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates.
At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the Office Manager role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral and situational questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created an Office Manager Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process.
Example interview questions to ask
Describe tactics you use to efficiently keep track of project files, employee paperwork, budgets, project schedules and other important details surrounding company processes.
- Demonstrates logical thinking around filing, organizing and storing information
- Addresses storage objectives (e.g. easily retrievable or stored for compliance?)
- Involves relevant stakeholders and discusses their needs and preferences
- Formulates clear and structured processes and systems
- Discusses implementation and education for the wider team
Imagine the office has rapidly expanded by more than 50 people. Instead of using various suppliers for office supplies, the plan is to select one supplier to cover all the office's needs. How would you choose a vendor?
- Would analyze vendor offerings (items, prices, customer service, shipping, etc.)
- Would research suitable vendors and check recommendations or reviews
- Would select a vendor based on objective assessment and business priorities
- Shares examples from past experience with analyzing and selecting vendors
In your previous/current role, how have you dealt with a small budget or lack of resources? Describe a specific scenario and how you managed it effectively.
- Clearly explains the situation, objectives, challenges, and steps they took
- Revisits expenses, analyzes costs and checks priorities
- Analyzes pros and cons of potential outcomes and solutions (opportunity costs)
- Discusses the results and their impact on the business and stakeholders
- Discusses key learnings and takeaways