A receptionist is the person responsible for providing secretarial, clerical and administrative support to the company; as you might imagine, depending on the industry, a receptionist doesn't only receive telephone messages and fax messages, he/ she also maintains inventories of office supplies, answer public enquiries and much more. Receptionist interviews are complex interviews because the requirements for a satisfactory job performance are high. Many aspirants for receptionists don't consider this information and find difficulties in the interview.
Some requirements include: office administration, knowledge on relevant legislation, policies and procedures, even cultural and political environment. The candidate must have computer skills and control of related software application, great communication skills, problem-solving skills, and must have abilities to handle with stress, and other skills depending on the industry. Personal attributes are also important such as being respectful, honest, trustworthy, responsible, and upright.
However, responsibilities of a receptionist vary from sector to sector; for example: a hotel receptionist needs different knowledge than a receptionist of an organization or a medical receptionist, etc.
Use the following questions and answers to prepare for your receptionist interview:
Receptionist Interview questions
- What kind of education, training and qualifications do you have relating to working on reception?
This question is used to evaluate how trained you are in the industry you are applying for; it can be for dental, medical, hotel, etc. Let the interviewer know your qualifications and how your training helped you on past jobs and experiences.
- Tell me about your skills that would make you a good candidate for this particular job.
You should convince the employer that you are the adequate person for the job, list the skills the company looks for a receptionist and expand them, you can emphasize skills such as multi-tasking, and organization.
- Have you had any negative experiences while doing your previous reception job?
You must be honest in telling about any negative experience at past jobs, anyone has one; on the other hand include to your answer how you handled it and what did you learn from the experience; that can be the positive aspects of your negative situation.
- Have you had any stressful situation while doing your previous reception job?
Be honest when you answer this question, it is for sure that you had an experience that took you to the stress; however it is time to describe the situation and say the decisions you made, also it is important to say what did you learn from that situation. Give specific examples during the interview will help you a lot at the moment of evaluation.
- If a client asks you something you don't know, what do you do to help him/her?
You have to make a detailed research about the company you are applying for, so if you don't know certain answer, you'll know who you can ask for help according to protocol. If you have an experience talk about it and say how did you solve it.
- How do you feel when your coworkers complain and are negative about work?
One must be loyal to the company and the trust of the people hired one, so one must find the situation bothersome, and avoid participating on it, if it is possible try to change the subject of the conversation.
- Do you ever feel overwhelmed with too much work to do?
It is related to the question: Have you had any stressful situation while doing your previous reception job? It is important to be honest, you are not a robot, but you can learn from the experiences so try to give a positive face to the situation.
- What do you feel is the most important skill that is required of a receptionist?
One of the most important skills for a receptionist is to be comfortable with meeting and interacting people from diverse backgrounds; a receptionist should be always of a cheerful and pleasant disposition to any person.
- What would you do if you saw a better way of doing something?
It's a good practice to be observant, it helps you notice when there is a problem or a better way to do something; when you find it it is a good idea to recommend and suggest those ideas it shows your interest in the job, in the improvement of the company and your tasks. If you have found something to suggest to the company you are applying it's a good opportunity to let them know.
Other receptionist interview questions are:
- What type of schedule are you looking to work?
- Would you be available to work extra hours if needed?
- How did you add value to your role as receptionist?
- How do you feel if tasks are left unfinished at the end of the day?