Office Managers play an essential role in the overall operations of businesses. They act as the face of the office for visitors and perform or oversee all of the administrative tasks that keep offices running smoothly. If your business is currently in need of an Office Manager, here are a job description template and some sample interview questions to aid you in the hiring process.
What is an Office Manager?
An Office Manager is an employee that supports and manages your office operations. This can include handling day-to-day tasks like greeting visitors, processing mail, and taking phone calls, similar to other administrative staff of secretarial roles. However, it also usually includes larger strategic activities like developing office policies, boosting the office culture, and hiring.
Office Managers may also have supervisory duties such as hiring and supervising office support staff and managing office budgets (such as the general administrative budget, office celebration budget, or catering budget). The scope of the role can vary based on the size of the organization. An Office Manager in a large company may have several direct reports and high-level responsibilities, while an Office Manager for a small business may not have any subordinates.
Office Manager job description template
The Office Manager will organize and oversee all of the day-to-day office operations. The Office Manager will greet office visitors and create a positive and welcoming first impression. They will also create office policies, handle supply orders, schedule meetings and perform other administrative tasks to maintain the efficiency of the office. The Office Manager will hire and supervise office support staff as needed. The ideal candidate will have strong organizational and communication skills.
Develop and implement office policies and systems
Maintain office efficiency by inventorying supply levels, ordering office supplies and equipment, and supporting office operations
Greeting visitors as they enter the office
Provide administrative support to company leadership
Support human resources activities including hiring and onboarding
Supervise additional office staff
Manage the office layout and setup workspaces for new hires
Take calls and schedule meetings as needed
Review company data reports and summarize findings for leadership
Coordinate with the IT department on office equipment issues and needs
Manage office budget and pay invoices
Coordinate with vendors for office catering, supply, and service needs.
Plan office activities such as holiday parties, team building activities or special events.
High school diploma or equivalent
Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field preferred
2-3 years of verifiable work experience as an Office Manager, Administrative Assistant, or in a related role
Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint
Strong interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities
Excellent time management skills
Office Manager interview questions
Here are some helpful questions to ask when interviewing candidates for an Office Manager role.
1. What do you view as the most important responsibilities of an Office Manager?
Ask this question or some variation of it helps you better understand how the candidate views an Office Manager’s role and duties. A lot of people don’t understand the difference between a Receptionist or Office Assistant and an Office Manager. It’s important to ensure that candidates understand the key Office Manager responsibilities and the core purpose of the role, including the management and strategic aspects of the role.
You can also rephrase this question to ask about what they view as the most important qualities of an Office Manager. Ideally, an Office Manager candidate should be enthusiastic about creating a great work environment for employees and growing a great office team.
2. What office management software tools have you used in past roles?
This question helps you scope out the candidate’s computer skills. The ideal Office Manager candidate should have strong computer skills. However, a candidate having prior office administration experience doesn’t always guarantee that their computer skills are up to par.
A lot of offices are still using outdated software or more manual practices even though there are new software options available that may be more efficient. Digging into exactly which programs they used in past roles can help you understand their level of familiarity with the programs that your company uses and their overall technical abilities.
3. How do you handle office conflict?
Office Managers play an important role in building and maintaining a pleasant work environment. When there is a conflict between office staff members, it is important that the Office Manager understands how to handle it in a positive and productive manner. Dig into how the candidate communicates with staff to resolve conflict, how they keep morale high when employees are frustrated due to changes or going through a high-stress busy season, and how they address disagreements regarding office policies.
4. How do you manage shifting priorities and assignments?
One of the biggest challenges that come with an Office Manager role is managing a large number of ongoing priorities and shifting focus as needed. Office manager duties generally include some larger ongoing projects along with day-to-day stuff like troubleshooting office problems and assisting visitors. As such, Office Managers need to be able to manage a variety of tasks and quickly shift responsibilities when someone needs help or something goes wrong in the office.
The purpose of this question is to learn more about how candidates manage a large number of ongoing tasks and adjust their priorities as needed. The ideal candidate will have strong time management and organizational skills and won’t be discouraged by unplanned changes or business needs.
5. What was the biggest challenge that you encountered in your last role? How did you handle it?
This question provides candidates with an opportunity to showcase their problem-solving skills. You want to select an Officer Manager that is ready to take on challenges and navigate them effectively. There are a variety of great answers that candidates can provide. For example, they may discuss how they experienced a challenge and then built a new office policy or process to address it, how they handled a difficult client request, or how they kept the office upbeat and positive during a difficult time such as during covid.