37 Job Interview Questions for the Back Office (Plus Sample Answers)
If you are applying for back office jobs, you may be wondering how to improve your chances of getting hired. Studying the most common questions asked at back office job interviews could help you prepare for your own. If you can answer these questions well, you can show that you are good at administrative tasks. This article has a list of 37 back office job interview questions and a few sample answers to help you get ready for your own.37 Job Interview Questions for the Back Office
Here are some general questions that interviewers may ask to learn more about you and how you work:
- What do you do really well?
- What do you think is your worst trait?
- What about our company makes you want to work for us?
- Show how tasks in the front office and tasks in the back office are different.
- How do you keep everything in order?
- Tell me about your last boss and how you got along with them.
- Why should I hire you and not someone else?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Tell me how you handle disagreements.
- What is the best thing you’ve done at work?
- How much money do you want?
- Do you mind sitting for long periods of time every day?
Questions about your past and present
Even though there are many entry-level jobs in the back office, most employers prefer to hire people who have worked in administration before. Here are some questions that interviewers might ask about your background and past work:
- How many years of school have you gone through?
- Do you have any professional certifications?
- Tell me what you’re going to do to make your career better.
- Tell me about your favourite thing you did behind the scenes.
- How long do you typically stay at one job?
- Tell us about what you know.
- What do you do when your boss says something to you?
- Do you find it easier to focus on one task at a time or to do more than one thing at once?
- How well do you think you can use a computer?
- Tell me about the market research you know.
- What software did you use at your old jobs?
Many interviewers also want to know about your work ethic and experience, as well as your skills that are related to the job. Here are some detailed questions that will test how much you know about back office work and how you deal with different situations:
- Share some of the best time-saving keyboard shortcuts you use.
- What would you use to communicate at work if you could only use one tool, and why?
- Tell me about a time you and a coworker had different ideas.
- Tell me about a change you made to a back office that made it work better.
- What would you do if you did something wrong at work and your boss didn’t notice?
- How would you make a spreadsheet to keep track of a business’s costs?
- Tell me about a time when you had trouble focusing at work.
- How would you deal with a hard-to-understand vendor on the phone?
- What would you do if you lost important information about the payroll at work?
- How would you spend your ideal day at a back-office job?
- Sample answers to questions about the back office at a job interview
Here are some common questions and answers about the back office:
1. Tell me what you know about our company.
People who work in the back office do administrative work for a lot of businesses, from accounting firms to medical offices. Employers often pick people who have worked in the field before because they know the lingo and can do their jobs faster and on their own. Try talking about work experience that is related to their field to show that you know something about it. Even if you haven’t worked in their industry before, you can still talk about skills like communication and organisation. Try to show that you’re open to learning something new. It’s possible that this is the most important thing you can do.
Example: “I used to work at a doctor’s office, so I know a little bit about the medical field. I had to talk to insurance companies and type up notes about how patients were cared for. Before my last job, I worked in different fields, but I picked up skills that helped me get ready to work in a medical office. I’m good at managing budgets and keeping track of how much each employee gets paid, for example. I’m ready to learn anything I haven’t already learned at work.”
If you work in a back office, how important are people skills?
The back office is where most administrative tasks are done. This job requires a lot of people skills, even though you don’t talk to clients very often. Employers like to hire people who can get along with others and take feedback from their bosses in a positive way. You can also talk to vendors and tech support teams more easily if you are good with people. Think about giving examples of how active listening, negotiating, or solving conflicts helped you do your job better.
Example: “I’ve found that doing back-office work often requires me to use my people skills. When I work with other people, I can avoid misunderstandings and meet deadlines. I remember when my boss told me and a coworker to rearrange the files for the company. We didn’t agree on the best way to reach this goal, but I was determined to find a way to make things better. We were able to find a middle ground and come up with a better way to organise files because we were good at actively listening.”
What skill would help you do your back office work that you wish you had?
One goal of this question is to see if you can figure out what skills are best for this job. People who work in the back office often need better communication and organisation skills, but you can choose any skill you want to improve. Try to focus on how you’re trying to get better instead of what you don’t have.
Example: “When I first started working, I found it hard to talk on the phone with vendors. I was always surprised by how easy it seemed to other people. I decided to get better at this skill because I knew it was important to keep good relationships with suppliers. I took calls whenever I could, and when I did, I tried to be clear. I’m proud of how much I’ve improved and how much I’m still working on this skill, even though I still get nervous when I talk on the phone.”
4. What do you do when you have a lot of work to do?
Employers often want to see how you handle a lot of work, which is common in back office jobs. Try to give a positive answer by saying you like challenges. You can also say which tasks you do first, how you do them, and what you do to make sure everything is done on time.
Example: “Even though some candidates might be afraid of having a lot of work, I like to be busy. First, I look at all the tasks and decide which ones are the most important. I put efficiency first, but I also think it’s important to pay attention to the details if you want high-quality results. If I get too much work that I can’t finish in a certain amount of time, I let my boss know so they can re-assign if they need to.”