Important Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

a picture of business professionals interviewing for a Receptionist role and conducting an interview

Here are receptionist interview questions and answers. Receptionists are in charge of running a company's or organization's front desk. Employers often seek friendly and well-organized people when hiring for this role. They will most likely ask you many questions during your interview to assess your aptitude for a receptionist role.

A hiring manager placing a receptionist job will look for candidates who have clerical experience, office management experience, and can can assist with duties in an ad-hoc manner.

Applicants should use their previous job as a basis for their upcoming receptionist job interviews. Plan ahead by preparing stories that describe how clerical tasks got managed and completed.

What makes a good receptionist?

Those who can prioritize work, multitask, and manage time well will be the most successful receptionists. The job can be stressful at times, and experts must maintain their composure at all times.

The ability to handle multiple tasks in addition to the primary responsibilities. Hiring managers want to see experience handling multiple line phone systems, office systems, computer software, and having a generally positive and friendly personality to be the first face of the company that guests see.

receptionist interview questions

Qualifying receptionist interview questions

Employers may learn more about your personality and interest in a receptionist position by asking the following common questions:

  • What would your former boss say about you?
  • What makes you want to learn more about our company?
  • What piques your interest in this position?
  • What qualities do you look for in a good receptionist?
  • What aspects of the clerical job pique your interest?
  • In terms of office jobs, what are your most vital assets?
  • What are your most significant flaws when it comes to office work?
  • What are your impressions of the job we do?
  • Do you have experience with Microsoft office suite?
  • What are your computer skills?
  • How do you stay on top of industry trends?
  • Do you love interacting with customers?

Questions about your background and experience

These questions can assist an employer to learn more about your professional experience and background:

  • Which products and software do you have the greatest expertise with?
  • Describe how you keep yourself organized.
  • What qualifies you to work as a receptionist?
  • What services or goods did your prior employer provide?
  • Have you worked in a fast-paced setting before?
  • Tell me about a time you had to manage office equipment.
  • When was the last time you relied on technology to assist you with administrative tasks?
  • What tactics do you employ to correct your errors?
  • Do you know how to use spreadsheets to obtain data?
  • What methods do you employ to prioritize your tasks?
  • What methods do you use to deal with stress?
  • What is your typing speed?

In-depth questions for receptionists

These questions delve more into how you'd handle this situation:

  • How would you go about making a positive first impression on clients?
  • What methods might you employ to soothe a tense visitor?
  • How would you go about planning a business trip?
  • What would you do if a customer entered the office when the phone rang?
  • What would you do if a customer failed to show up for their appointment 30 minutes late?
  • On days when you have to work long hours, how would you keep positive?
  • What would you do if one of your coworkers didn't follow the company's rules?
  • How would you handle a stressful situation involving a coworker and a client?
  • What would you do to make a high-profile customer feel at ease?
  • Do you want to learn how to utilize more administrative software?

Receptionist interview questions and sample answers

When preparing for your interview, use these interview questions and example responses as inspiration:

  • Do you consider yourself to be a people person?
  • Give three reasons why you are qualified for this job.
  • Describe an instance when your multitasking abilities were put to the test at work.
  • How would you safeguard clients' privacy?

Do you consider yourself to be a people person?

Because receptionists are the first persons clients see when they enter an office, it's critical that they make a positive first impression. Employers ask this question to discover how you connect with new individuals. Show that you are a social person who enjoys assisting people in your response. Explain that your purpose is to make a customer feel at ease.

Example

"I went into this field because I like collaborating with people. I have a natural ability to connect with strangers and make them feel at ease. As an extrovert, I derive my energy from others, making working with new people all day pleasant. I would strive to make everyone who enters the office feel welcome in this position. I'd accomplish this by greeting them politely and asking what they require."

Give three reasons why you are qualified for this job.

Employers need a receptionist who is friendly, organized, and detail-oriented. Consider which of your personality qualities and professional experiences assist you in your position while answering this question. This question may get asked to see whether you have relevant traits or experiences. Describe how each of the three reasons distinguishes you from other applicants.

Example

"The first reason I am the best candidate for this position is my dedication to providing excellent customer service. I believe it is critical for a receptionist to make clients feel welcome and to be accessible to answer any questions or comments they may have. The second reason is that I have three years of administrative assistant experience. Many of the skills required for this receptionist position were developed during this time, such as attention to detail and organization. Last but not least, I enjoy working with people and will make a positive first impression."

Describe an instance when your multitasking abilities were put to the test at work.

During the busiest times of the day, receptionists can get extremely busy. Employers ask this question to check if you've managed numerous projects at the same time. Consider a time when you had to prioritize your work. Describe how you managed to get everything done while attending to clients.

Example

"The leadership team at my former work took a break for a special lunch meeting. Throughout the conference, I was inundated with requests for them. Since they asked me to take messages, I devised a color-coded system to keep track of everything. Despite the high-pressure environment, I was able to service all of their clients without interrupting their conference."

How would you safeguard clients' privacy?

When working as a receptionist, you may encounter sensitive information such as addresses, credit card details, and social security numbers. Employers want to know that you have the common sense and experience to safeguard this information. Describe the procedures you would take to keep such information secret in your response. Do into account all of the measures you'll need to take.

Example

"I make sure I'm the only one who sees sensitive material when I'm working with it. I always destroy any information I record, such as a phone number or credit card number. Similarly, when making important phone conversations, I am always mindful of who is in the vicinity. Because I've worked in the field of cybersecurity before, I always make sure to work on safe servers and use complex passwords on all of my accounts."

How do I prepare for a receptionist interview?

Always perform a mock interview in advance. Read the job description. And research the company. Start on the right foot by smiling and shaking hands with the recruiting manager. During the interview, make an effort to look them in the eyes and engage them directly. Practice talking clearly and calmly: Answering phones and communicating with clients is essential for being a successful receptionist.

What is the best answer to "Why should we hire you" for a receptionist?

Best example answer:

Your organization is searching for someone with management experience and strong interpersonal skills, based on what you've stated and what I've learned through my own study. My background fits well with it, ensuring that I am the best candidate for the job.

What are your weaknesses as a receptionist?

Patience, organization, public speaking, being excessively sensitive, distributing responsibilities, and specialized programs are examples of shortcomings and weaknesses (if they aren't relevant to the profession).

What are your strengths as a receptionist?

When considering an answer, think upon the following. A receptionist must, of course, have outstanding verbal communication skills. Active listening and excellent customer service abilities are also required. A skilled receptionist can efficiently link customers and visitors with the appropriate workers and manage fundamental customer service issues and requests.

Preparation Resources

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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