Securing a job interview is a crucial step in the journey to finding a new role. But there’s a long way to go between confirming your interview and being offered the job, particularly for a competitive position like an Office Manager.
Preparing for your interview is essential. Interviewees who come prepared are much more likely to create a positive impression on the interviewer.
Here at Oriel Partners, we want to support you in taking your next step on the career ladder. To do that, we’ve prepared a list of common Office Manager interview questions and how you should approach answering them.
Common interview questions for Office Managers
1. How do you keep yourself organised?
Organisational skills are fundamental when it comes to being an Office Manager. How you manage and prioritise workloads will help determine how effective you are in your role.
Here the employer is looking for someone they can trust to manage workloads.
Answer: “I start with a clear schedule for the week and month ahead. This schedule covers the tasks I want to complete and goals I wish to achieve in that time. Then, I prioritise tasks and delegate them to the respective team members.
Throughout the month, checking in on the team’s progress is essential. I hold regular meetings with team members to ensure goals are met. I also try to have spare capacity in my schedule. This helps avoid stress and gives more time for tasks that need extra attention”
2. How do you create a positive team environment?
A positive workplace creates happy workers, which leads them to be more productive and satisfied. A positive team environment is essential to an Office Manager’s role. The interviewer here is looking for someone who can keep their employees' spirits raised.
Answer: “From my experience, I know how important it is to give staff the best support possible. Regular communication with staff helps to find any issues that may occur either with assigned workloads or conflict between staff.
I believe it is best to resolve issues quickly so that staff are happy and motivated in their roles. This, in turn, leads to improved staff performance and a positive team environment.”
3. How do you manage conflict in your staff?
Conflict in the workplace is a common occurrence that many people have faced at some point in their careers. If conflict is not dealt with, it can fester and escalate. The role of an Office Manager is to help overcome any conflict that occurs.
Answer: “When dealing with conflict, I first encourage people to talk amongst themselves to see if they can iron out any differences. Often workplace conflict arises from a lack of communication.
Once work colleagues discuss their issues, they often come to an understanding and resolve the matter themselves. I would intervene if this fails or they feel uncomfortable having a one-on-one chat.
Firstly, I would speak to them separately to understand the roots of the conflict. Then I would have a meeting to encourage dialogue and straighten out the problems.
Conflict in the workplace can lower productivity and morale, so I would aim to stop any conflict in the workplace as soon as possible.”
4. What is your understanding of the Office Manager role on offer?
Here is a test of whether you have thoroughly read the job spec and understand the position that has been advertised—touch on what has been asked of you in your answer.
Answer: “The role requires me to lead a large team which I do in my current role, where I manage 20 people. That role requires me to organise team meetings, manage workloads, and promote synergy across departments.
I have the experience required to perform such duties and excellent working knowledge of the tools necessary, which will allow me to be successful in this role.”
5. What is your favourite part of being an Office Manager and your least favourite?
Here it is essential to be positive. The least favourite part should not be a core part of your job. We would recommend saying something that is relatable but ends on a positive note.
Answer: “My favourite part of the job is working closely with others. I love to work within a team. I am a people person with great communication skills who loves helping others do the best job possible. My least favourite part is sometimes things can get a little stressful. However, I find when you are highly organised and work hard, stress can be overcome and minimised.”
6. How do you maintain the confidentiality of information?
Office Managers will have access to confidential information regarding the company, employees, and client data. Keeping access to such sensitive information is vital. Here the employer will want to know that you show signs that you are trustworthy.
Answer: “In a previous position, I had access to confidential information. I always ensured that data was safely stored using our secure internal systems. Paperwork was safely disposed of, first by shredding and then disposing of it in designated paper bins.
Data was only shared with designated staff members, and company or client information was not discussed outside work. Once an employee shared confidential information, I reported this to my manager due to the seriousness of the data breach.”
Come with the right attitude to an interview
It's not just knowledge and experience that leads to a successful interview. It is also how you present yourself that will help get you the job. Some managers quickly decide whether you are the right fit for the company.
According to the BBC, recruiters will often decide within 30 seconds whether they want to hire you or not. So making a great impression counts. Here are some tips to help you make a great first impression.
Everyone loves a nice person. From the moment you enter the building, be nice to everyone, and make polite, friendly conversation with everyone you come across. When people warm to you, your chances of being hired increase.
Enthusiasm really helps when it comes to interviews. Showing a strong, genuine interest in the Office Manager role will help you look more desirable for the job. Interviewers are pleased when someone shows passion, and your excitement can rub off on them, making them excited to work with you.
Positive mental attitude
Having a positive mental attitude is very important. It’s natural to be nervous, but going into the interview feeling positive will help to quell those nerves. When you’re nervous, you often can suffer from mental fog, which sometimes means the answers given are not as good as they could have been.
We suggest that to quiet the nerves, come well prepared for the interview and read the job description thoroughly. Find something relaxing to do before the interview to take your mind off things.
Wait for the interviewer to mention the salary
Many interviewers do not take kindly if your main focus is all about money. We suggest waiting for the interviewer to bring up the subject, which usually occurs towards the end of the interview.
To prepare, we suggest salary benchmarking for the role of Office Manager, so you know what salary you would expect for that role.
Listen carefully to the interviewer
It is essential to understand the questions asked. Interviewers don't want to sit for your answer if it doesn't answer their question. Ask for clarifications if needed, and take your time. Try to answer the questions concisely.
Looking to Become an Office Manager in London? Oriel Partners Can Help You!
Here at Oriel Partners, we have a hard-working and dedicated team to help you on your next step on the career ladder. We have a large selection of Office Manager job opportunities and would be keen to talk to you. Contact us on our website or call us on 0207 101 9229.