Receptionists are essential employees at all kinds of companies across industries. As the face of the company, they have many responsibilities, so it’s important to find someone with good experience who fits in well with the culture.
The interview is a great opportunity to show your interviewer how you can be a great fit at the company. Nailing the interview is especially important for the receptionist hiring process, so we’re going to give you a few tips on how to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of preparing for a receptionist interview, common interview questions and answers, and a few tips for impressing your interviewer. Keep reading and you’ll be ready to nail the interview and get a job offer in no time.
Preparing for a receptionist interview is a lot like preparing for any other interview, but you want to make sure you let your personality shine through. Here’s a few tips to help you prepare for your interview the right way:
Do your research. The most important thing you can do to get ready for your interview is to research the company you’re interviewing with, your interviewer, and the position.
Ask questions. One of the easiest things you can do to impress an interviewer is come to the interview with questions to ask. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the company and check your fit, as well as show your interest and engagement.
You can ask questions about the job itself, the company culture, or get specific and ask the interviewer about their role.
Review your resume. Make sure you bring a few copies of your resume to the interview. This way, you can refresh your memory and hand one to your interviewer.
Sometimes interviewers don’t have time to reread your resume on the day of your interview, so it’s a nice professional courtesy to bring a copy for them. It’s also good to have your resume on hand so you can refer to it during the interview and refresh your memory on important experiences or skills to bring up.
Build rapport. Getting an interview is a unique opportunity to share more about your experience and why you’re a great fit, but it’s also a chance for you to learn more about the company.
You should take the opportunity to get to know your interviewer so they think you’re friendly, personable, and a good potential coworker. You can also learn a little more about their experience at the company.
Sell your skills. Being a good receptionist requires certain skills that employers will be looking for and asking about. While you’re interviewing, make sure to bring up these skills and talk about experiences that emphasize what you’re good at.
Some skills to talk about include communication, organization, conversational skills, and general computer skills.
Be early. You’ve probably heard the saying “if you’re on time, you’re late.” This is especially true for interviews. Instead of showing up right on the dot, show up to your interview a few minutes early.
This might give you some extra time to build rapport with your interviewer, but it will also show them that you’re responsible, excited, and can manage your time.
Show instead of tell. When talking about your skills, it’s always better to give interviewers examples of when you used those skills.
Instead of telling an interviewer that you have great communication skills, tell them about a time your communication skills saved a project or prevented a catastrophic misunderstanding.
Dress for success. Whether you’re doing a virtual interview or an in-person interview, you should be dressed for the occasion. Dress professionally and try to match the atmosphere of the company.
If you’re interviewing with a more laid-back company, a business casual look is great, or if you’re interviewing with a formal and professional company make sure you dress for the part.
One of the best ways to get yourself ready for a receptionist interview is to review commonly asked questions. This can help you know what to expect when you’re in the interview and you can prepare some of your responses ahead of time.
Knowing what to expect can put you at ease and make you seem relaxed while you’re answering questions, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with all of these common interview questions.
Can you tell me about a time you had to manage a disruptive or upset customer at the front desk?
“Yes, one time a customer was upset about his total bill and thought he was being charged for a service he didn’t receive. I offered to walk him through the bill and explain what each charge was, but he still insisted that he didn’t get the service in question. As a compromise, I offered him our new customer 15% discount, which he was happy to accept. At the end of the day, we were able to resolve the issue and keep him as a customer.”
Are you good at working in a fast-paced environment?
“Yes, I have worked in many different workplaces that require quick thinking and prioritization, like several hotel front desks, a veterinary reception desk, and I spent some time as a server in a local restaurant. I am good at multitasking and juggling competing priorities.”
How important do you think a receptionist is in creating a customer’s impression of a company?
“It’s very important. Usually receptionists are the first point of contact for a potential customer, whether they call or come into the office. Maintaining a professional and friendly environment is necessary at all times to make sure you can do your best to make a good and lasting first impression.”
What would you do if someone called and asked for a colleague who isn’t available?
“I would start by thanking them for their call, then let them know that the person they’re trying to reach is out of the office. I’d let them know that I will tell the person who called and the person will try to get back by the end of the day.”
How do you keep your tasks and priorities organized?
“I like to make a to-do list with short-term goals that need to happen that day or that week, then a separate list of longer term goals. This helps me get everything pressing done while reminding me of things I eventually need to do so I can tackle them when I have a bit of free time.”
Can you work overtime hours?
“Yes, I have very few commitments outside of the normal working hours, but I will need advance notice if I’m expected to work overtime.”
What is your typing speed?
“I am currently at 75 wpm, but I’m always taking online tests to help me improve my speed.”
How many employees were at your previous company?
“I was the only receptionist at a company of 25, including me, at my last job.”
What kind of relationship do you like to have with the office you work in?
“I really enjoy getting to know my coworkers and feeling like we have a working and personal relationship. It helps me better meet and anticipate their needs as well as create a welcoming atmosphere for any customers or external clients that might show up.”
What were your responsibilities at your previous job?
“I worked the reception desk at a veterinary clinic so I was responsible for greeting customers, informing doctors when patients arrived, filling pet prescriptions, organizing and selling bills, and sometimes comforting customers when the vet needed to deliver bad news.”
What kinds of computer skills do you have?
“I am very comfortable working with computers and I am confident using all Microsoft Office applications as well as Google Docs, including spreadsheets. I am also comfortable using project management and scheduling software as needed.”
How do you make a client feel welcomed?
“If I recognize a client, I try my best to greet them by name. In cases where I don’t know the client I always start with a smile, a warm hello, and introduce myself. Once they’ve told me what they need and I’ve addressed their needs, I always ask if there’s anything else that I can do for them before sending them on their way.”
Receptionist interviews can be tough since interviewers are looking to see if you’re qualified for the job with necessary experience and they’re testing your personality.
Here are a few tips to help you make sure you nail the receptionist interview:
Be yourself. The best thing you can do in a receptionist interview is be yourself. You want to let your personality shine while staying professional so you can show the interviewer how you would treat potential guests.
Treat your interviewer as a client. A great way to approach a receptionist interview is to treat your interviewer as if they were a client at your desk. This lets you show off your receptionist skills and give them a glimpse of how you’ll act once you’re hired.
Have examples ready. Be prepared to give anecdotes about your previous work experience so you can show off your skills. Talk about a particularly difficult client or a project you worked on.
Show off your people skills. Receptionists need to have stellar people skills, so make sure you show how you care about helping others, problem solving, and communicating. You need to put your friendly side on display here.