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Important Traits You Should Look For When Hiring an Office Manager

great office manager
Jill Wells
For Clients

A good Office Manager needs both hard and soft skills to be great at their job. When looking at candidates for an Office Manager role make sure to choose one that can execute all areas of office management.

What are the vital Office Manager’s strengths and weaknesses should you keep an eye out for? The following guide answers this question as well as several qualities to look for during the interview process.  Read on to learn more about what to look for when hiring an Office Manager.

Office Manager Strengths and Weaknesses

When hiring an Office Manager, there are many things to look out for. Some strengths to look for are people skills, excellent organisational skills, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. A good office manager knows how to prioritise tasks, lead a team, communicate well with others, and stay calm under stressful situations.

Try to avoid candidates who show signs of weak management and leadership skills. Some weaknesses to be wary of are a tendency to blame others, take credit for their team’s work, or complain about their former workers and co-workers.

The following section covers 6 excellent qualities to look for whilst conducting interviews for an Office Manager position.

What are the Qualities of a Good Office Manager? 6 Things to Look for in the Interview

Are They Optimistic?

Do they show optimism when they speak about their job and workplace? Having a positive attitude is important for an Office Manager, as they not only manage tasks but people. A negative outlook from an Office Manager can sour the mood of the office, decreasing productivity.

Consider asking them questions about their career goals or even personal goals. Ask them what they like and don’t like about their current job. Give them room to speak freely and express themselves. You should be able to ascertain by the answers they give if they generally have a positive outlook or a negative outlook. Make note of candidates who have optimistic outlooks.

Are They Good at Planning Ahead?

Planning and managing time wisely are important skills for Office Managers to have. Does the candidate think about the future, whether that be tomorrow, next week, or next year? Do they know how to prioritise tasks so that the most important things are put first?

Skills like avoiding distractions, prioritising certain tasks over others, not getting stressed under pressure, reassessing priorities, and adapting to change when needed are all signs of an Office Manager that knows how to plan ahead.

Ask the candidate questions that allow them to showcase these skills and listen carefully to their responses to see if they are giving concrete and genuine examples.

Do They Have Strong Interpersonal Skills?

Soft skills like communication and interacting with others are paramount in a good Office Manager. It is important to be able to communicate well with their superiors as well as those they manage. Interpersonal skills like communication, non-verbal communication, listening skills, conflict resolution, and empathy are all signs that a candidate has strong interpersonal skills.

Do They Show Strong Leadership?

There is a reason questions about leadership are common in job interviews. Office Managers must be able to lead others. Asking questions like “Can you describe a time when you demonstrated leadership” gives the candidate a chance to showcase their past management skills.

Pay attention to their answers. If they can give clear, detailed answers about times they lead their team through a difficult situation, or how they inspired their co-workers to persevere, then take note of that. Beware of candidates that seem to blame shortcomings on others, as this is a red flag for poor leadership skills.

Do They Know how to Foster Collaboration?

An Office Manager needs to not only be a team player but to encourage and help grow an environment for teamwork in the office. Ask them questions about how they would encourage teamwork and manage workflow in the workplace. Give them some room to express themselves and listen carefully to their answers.

If they speak positively about working with others, they likely have strong teamwork skills. Even better if they can list specific instances where they describe their team working together to accomplish a common goal. You can tell from their responses whether they would help foster collaboration in the workplace or not.

Are They Understanding and Flexible?

Office Managers are not just in charge of tasks in the office, but also people. A good Office Manager must be flexible in order to meet the demands of their job, whether it be a difficult task or the needs of a worker.

Office Managers are required to have a wide range of skills and must be flexible to meet the ever-changing demands of a growing business. Office Managers often train workers for different roles, hence must be knowledgeable in a variety of areas. Different kinds of tasks need to be executed and, sometimes priorities change, so they must be able to adjust quickly. They must also be able to handle the changing needs of their workers also.

Ask questions like “How do you work with people who have unique personalities?” or “How do you adjust to changes you have no control over?” See how they answer and take note of candidates who indicate they would have no trouble being flexible.

Final Thoughts

A good Office Manager will display traits such as optimism, time management, people skills, leadership skills, collaboration skills and adaptability. Sourcing high-quality candidates with these necessary skills is not an easy task, however, it is necessary if you wish to secure a good Office Manager. Consider having candidates take a psychometric test to assist you to source the most qualified candidate.

Consider partnering with a recruiting service to shortlist the best candidates for your current opening for an Office Manager.  At WellsGray Recruitment, we’ll help you find the best and most qualified candidates to fill your roles. Visit our website for more information about our services or contact us to get started finding the best candidates today.

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