An interview for an office manager position is a specific type of interview. Managing not only the people but also the day-to-day business of the office is a skill an office manager must have. But differences exist among office manager positions. Some businesses may require an office manager to focus mainly on managing personnel, while others may emphasize the day-to-day business of the office. Research the position you are interviewing for, and provide the answers that best match the style of office management required by the company.
When you cite examples during an office manager interview, provide detailed and specific examples. Instead of saying that you have hired "more than 20 people" include the exact number of hires you have made. Be prepared to discuss specific challenges that you faced as an office manager and how you overcame them. Some examples could be relocating an office, dealing with a legal issue in employment or reorganizing your office to meet government regulations.
Concentrate on Management
When answering questions, gear your answers toward management situations. If the interviewer asks for management background, do not cite examples from before you became a manager. Reference challenges that managers have, such as hiring, cost management and supply maintenance for the office.
Research the Management Position
Not every office manager's position is the same. Research what the office manager is expected to do while working in this position. Some resources you can use are the job description, employees you know who have worked for the company or someone in that position with the company. Research the company online, and search articles and its website for information on challenges you think you might face as an office manager for that company. Address these issues when you provide details and previous experience during your interview.
Discuss Your Management Philosophy
Do not leave the interviewer wanting more information at the end of your interview. Make clear what type or types of management styles you like to use. If you are a cheerleader for your employees and believe heavily in positive reinforcement, make that clear during the interview process. If you prefer to have a hands-off approach except when necessary, mention this as well. This will help you avoid being offered a position with a company where your management style would result in short employment due to philosophical differences on management style. During the interview, find out what styles have worked successfully in the past within the company. If it doesn't match your style, indicate you can adjust your management style, only if you truly are willing to do that. Remember, you are interviewing the company just like the company is interviewing you.
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