Sample office manager job description and interview questions

office manager job description-500x350Are you looking to hire and need the perfect office manager job description to bring in top talent? Hiring is a lengthy and costly process so it’s best to get it right the first time — and that means bringing the best applicants into the interview process.

In this article, we cover:

  • Details of the office manager job description.
  • Key responsibilities of an office manager.
  • Interview questions and comparison tools for hiring the best office manager.

Office manager job description

Position: Office manager

Salary Range: It’s a good idea to include a salary range for your position to avoid having applicants that might later reject an offer.

Reports To: Who will the office manager report to in your company?

Job description

This job requires you to organize office operations and procedures in an expeditious manner and secure qualified and capable staff to achieve company goals; develop policies and programs for the entire company; and advise senior management on human resources issues. It also requires the ability to plan and implement office systems, layouts, and equipment procurement.

Organizes office operations and procedures in an expeditious manner and secures qualified and capable staff to achieve company goals. Develops policies and programs for the entire company, including organizational development, employee relations, compensation, benefits, safety and health, recruiting, selection, orientation, and training. Advises senior management on human resources issues.

Qualifications & skills

You must be proficient in proposing, publishing, and administering policies; serving as an EEO specialist; and conducting wage and salary surveys. You’ll also need expertise in monitoring unemployment claims and assisting departments with appeals; monitoring Workers’ Compensation claims, and supervising company safety programs. You must also be comfortable in performing multi-faceted projects on a daily basis and have superior interpersonal abilities.

As this is a management position, problem-solving skills are a must as well as punctual time management skills. Being part of the administrative staff, a business office manager will need a versatile skills set that involves anything from communication skills to computer skills–that means the office manager must be proficient with interpersonal skills(i.e., greeting visitors, running meetings, etc.)

The office manager must also be sufficient with filing systems and word processing programs (Google docs, PowerPoint, outlook, Excel, Microsoft office etc.)

Previous work experience preferred.


Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in human resources area is required, as well as specialized training or education in organizational planning, compensation and benefits, OSHA, and federal labor law. Applicants with a high school diploma are considered unqualified for the office manager job position.

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Human Resources area is necessary
  • Specialized training or education in organizational planning, compensation and benefits, OSHA, and federal labor law required.
  • High energy level essential and must be comfortable in performing multi-faceted projects on a daily basis.
  • Superior interpersonal abilities required to function with diverse personalities.

Office manager responsibilities and duties

Below are approximations of the amount of time you’ll spend carrying out key functions of the position.

Percentage of Job Classification Duty
______ % Exempt Plans and implements office systems, layouts, and equipment procurement.
______ % Exempt Proposes, publishes, and administers policies, serves as EEO specialist, and maintains Affirmative Action plan (if applicable).

______ %

Exempt Analyzes and promotes office efficiency.

______ %

Exempt Conducts wage and salary surveys.
______ % Exempt Monitors unemployment claims and assists departments with appeals.

______ %

Exempt Office budget.

______ %

Exempt Coordinates performance appraisal programs with administrative assistant/other office staff members.

______ %

Exempt Supervises company safety program.

______ %

Exempt Creates a pleasant work environment/office environment for employees.
______ % Exempt Keeps management informed by reviewing and analyzing special reports, identifying trends, and summarizing information.

______ %

Exempt Improves the efficiency and effectiveness of office operations.
______ % Exempt Stocks office supplies and maintains office supply inventory/office equipment.

______ %

Exempt Clarify office policies with employees.
______ % Exempt Monitors Workers’ Compensation claims.
______ % Exempt Schedule meetings and provide other similar office services (secretarial work).

______ %

Non-exempt Processes all new employees and all changes of status forms.

Office manager interview questions

Once you bring in great candidates, consider some interview questions for achieving the best results for hiring an office manager. These questions will help you distill the traits or qualities you want out of your office manager using the answers given.

Use a 1-5 rating system to grade the applicant’s answers, and it’s also important to learn from your job seekers. For example, if you’ve never heard of a certain operating system or word processing software, then it might be a good thing to research for future development.

You may also require a cover letter from applicants. Here are a few interview questions:

  • How would you define the position of an office manager?
  • What do you consider to be the most critical role of an office manager?
  • How do you determine whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
  • Company policy requires that any employee involved in a job-related accident must undergo a drug test. A production employee who had a minor accident while driving a forklift refuses to submit to the drug test. What would you do?
    • The best answer to this problem is to find out what had been done in similar cases. If the company always required testing, under those circumstances, there is no problem. If there is even one exception, the policy is probably worthless. An experienced office manager will always investigate before taking any action.
  • An employee comes to you with a complaint that her manager is sexually harassing her. How would you go about investigating the claim?
  • An employee comes to you with a complaint that her manager is sexually harassing her. How would you go about investigating the claim?
    • Investigate and educate are the best answers for questions involving sexual harassment and sexual or racial discrimination. Give special points to the candidates who include a review of company policies and additional supervisory training in their answers.
  • Describe what you have done to improve office operations for your current employer.
  • Have you ever been involved in an appeal of unemployment claims? What was the outcome?
  • What system of checks and balances do you use to ensure that the company’s Affirmative Action plan/performance appraisal program/safety program is operating fairly and legally?
  • Have you had any experience in management technology innovations in the workplace, like video interviewing or telecommuting?
  • What about any hands-on experience with the Internet?

Wrapping up interview questions

Human resources: feel free to add additional questions to the list that may be specific to your operation.

Write an overall impression of the applicant, and give them an average rating of 1-5 for further comparison with other applicants.

You can also give upper management three recommendation choices:

  • Hire
  • Do not hire
  • Second interview

Follow the above formula for successfully hiring candidates for the office manager position. Don’t forget to spread wide when putting out job postings — the more online platforms you use for hiring, the better the candidates you’ll get. We hope this helped you hire the perfect office manager.