Interview

23 Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a receptionist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A receptionist is the first person that a guest or client sees when they enter your place of business. As the first and often most visible employee, the receptionist is responsible for creating a positive first impression of the company.

Receptionist interview questions will vary depending on the company. However, most questions will focus on your customer service skills, your ability to handle multiple tasks at once, and your knowledge of the company’s products and services.

In this guide, we will provide you with a list of common questions that are asked in a receptionist interview, along with sample answers. We will also provide tips on how to prepare for your interview.

Why do you want to be a receptionist?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your motivation for applying to their open receptionist position. They want to know that you are passionate about the role and understand what it entails. When answering this question, try to emphasize the ways in which you are well-suited for the job. Explain why you are excited to be a receptionist and how you will contribute to the company.

Example: “I want to be a receptionist because I love interacting with people. I am always eager to help others, and I am confident in my ability to answer questions and solve problems. I also enjoy being organized, and I know that receptionists need to be detail-oriented. I am excited to help this company grow, and I am confident that I can make the receptionist role my own.”

What do you enjoy most about working as a receptionist?

This question can help the interviewer understand what motivates you and how you see yourself fitting in with the company culture. Your answer can also help the interviewer understand whether you would enjoy working at the company. When answering this question, try to focus on the positive aspects of being a receptionist and how you can contribute to the company.

Example: “I enjoy helping people. When I’m answering phones, I can make sure that everyone who calls in gets the help they need. I also enjoy being able to multitask and help the company run smoothly. I feel like I’m a great communicator, so I enjoy being able to use my skills to help others.”

Do you prefer to work independently or in a team?

This question can help interviewers learn more about your personality and how you may fit in with their company culture. If you are applying to a company that values teamwork, you may want to mention that you enjoy working in a team. If you prefer to work independently, you may want to mention that you are comfortable working on your own.

Example: “I enjoy working in a team, but I am also very comfortable working independently. In my previous position, I worked with a team of five other receptionists. We all had our own responsibilities, but we also worked together to cover for each other when someone was out sick or on vacation. I also enjoy helping others, so I often helped my coworkers when they were busy with a task.”

How do you manage stress at work?

When answering this question, it’s important to show the hiring manager that you can manage stress in a way that doesn’t affect your work. This is especially important for receptionists, who often have a lot of responsibilities and need to be able to focus on their work.

Example: “I find that I can reduce stress by taking a few minutes to myself. I’ll go to the bathroom or outside for a few minutes and take some deep breaths. I also find that talking to someone can help me reduce stress. I’ll ask my coworker if they have a moment to talk, and we’ll discuss whatever is on our minds. This helps me feel less stressed and more focused on my work.”

Why are you interested in working for this company?

Employers ask this question to see if you did your research and understand what they do. They want to know that you’re genuinely interested in their company and how you can contribute to it. When you answer this question, try to show that you’ve researched the company and have a clear understanding of what they do. If you’re applying for a job at a small company, it’s also a good idea to mention how you can help them grow.

Example: “I’m interested in working for this company because I love your mission. I’ve read about your work with the local school district and think it’s amazing that you’re helping students learn about technology. I’m excited to be a part of this team and help you continue this important work.”

What appeals to you about this role?

Employers ask this question to see if you’re a good fit for their company culture. They want to know what you like about the position and what you can offer them. Before your interview, make a list of things that appeal to you about the role. Focus on the job’s benefits and perks, as well as the company’s mission statement.

Example: “I’m passionate about helping others, so I love working in a receptionist role. I also love that this company is a family-owned business, so I know I’m helping to support local business owners. I’m excited to be a part of a company that cares about its employees and the community.”

Are you comfortable answering phones and talking with people?

This question is often asked to gauge your communication skills. Employers want to know that you are confident and can speak clearly and concisely. They also want to know that you can handle a high volume of calls and direct them appropriately. In your answer, show that you are comfortable with phone calls and can speak clearly. Explain that you can handle a lot of incoming calls and direct callers to the appropriate person.

Example: “I am very comfortable talking on the phone. I have worked as a receptionist for the past three years, and I have answered phones for a large company. I am used to talking with people of all ages and backgrounds. I can speak clearly and concisely, which helps me answer questions quickly. I also have a knack for remembering names and faces, which helps me connect with people on the phone.”

Do you have experience using any customer relationship management systems?

Customer relationship management systems are software programs that help receptionists keep track of customer information, schedules and other details. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience using this type of software and to see if you have any specific experience with the system they use. If you do have experience using this type of software, share what you know about the system the employer uses. If you don’t have experience using a customer relationship management system, explain that you are willing to learn.

Example: “I have used several different customer relationship management systems in the past. I am comfortable using any system that helps me keep track of important information and schedules. I am also comfortable learning new systems as long as I am given enough time to practice.”

In what ways has your previous work experience prepared you for this role?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how they relate to the role. This question is also a way for employers to see if you have the skills and experience they’re looking for in a receptionist. When answering this question, think about the skills and qualities you have that you know are important for this role.

Example: “In my previous role as a receptionist at a law firm, I learned how to communicate with many different types of people. I also learned how to use a variety of software and systems that I know will be helpful in this role. I am also familiar with how to use a phone system, which is essential for this role.”

Do you have experience working with scheduling software?

This question can help employers learn about your computer skills and how well you can use software to help you perform your job duties. When answering this question, you can describe your experience with scheduling software and how you use it to help you organize your work.

Example: “In my previous role as a receptionist, I used a scheduling software to help me keep track of my daily tasks. The software helped me see who was available for appointments and who was already booked. It also helped me see when I could take breaks and when I could take lunch. I find that using scheduling software is helpful because it helps me stay organized and on track with my work.”

What would you do if you had to refuse someone entry to an office?

An interviewer may ask you this question to assess your problem-solving skills and your ability to remain calm under pressure. Your answer should show that you can remain calm and polite in such a situation.

Example: “If I had to refuse someone entry, I would remain polite and explain that the office is closed. If they insisted on seeing the person they wanted to meet, I would explain that I cannot let them in, but I would be happy to take a message. I would also offer to call them as soon as the office opens and give them the opportunity to speak with the person they want to meet.”

How would you handle multiple calls at once?

This question can help interviewers see how you handle multitasking and prioritize your work. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific time when you handled multiple calls at once and how you managed to do so effectively.

Example: “In my previous role as a receptionist, I often had multiple calls at once. I learned that the best way to handle this was by using a call queue system. I would answer the first call and then transfer it to my coworker. After that, I would answer the second call and then transfer it to my coworker. This allowed me to take care of all of the calls without missing any information or causing any delays.”

What strategies would you use to stay organized?

This question can help the interviewer learn about your organizational skills. Your answer can also show them how you plan your day and prioritize your tasks. To answer this question, you can describe a strategy you use to stay organized and give an example of how it helped you.

Example: “I use a calendar app on my phone to keep track of my daily schedule. This helps me manage my time and stay on top of my tasks. For example, I used this strategy when I was working at my previous job. I had a lot of different tasks to manage each day, including answering phones, greeting visitors and scheduling meetings. Using my calendar helped me stay on top of my work and complete it all each day.”

How would you make visitors feel welcome?

The interviewer may ask this question to see how you welcome people and make them feel comfortable. Your answer should show that you are friendly and welcoming to all visitors. You can mention a few ways you can make people feel comfortable, such as greeting them, introducing yourself and asking how they can help them.

Example: “I would greet visitors as soon as they walk in the door. I would smile and say ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’ to make them feel at ease. I would also ask how I can help them and introduce myself. If they need to fill out forms or have questions, I would be more than happy to help them with anything they need.”

How would you ensure information confidentiality?

The interviewer is likely to ask you this question to evaluate your ability to keep information confidential. This is an important aspect of a receptionist’s job, and you should demonstrate that you understand the importance of this task. In your answer, explain how you would keep information confidential and how you would ensure that you do not share confidential information with others.

Example: “I would ensure information confidentiality by ensuring that I do not share information with anyone who does not need to know. I would also ensure that I do not leave information out in the open where others can see it. I would be sure to shred all confidential documents before disposing of them, and I would be sure to keep my conversations with others confidential unless they are authorized to know.”

What would you do if you made a mistake?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you respond to challenges in the workplace. Your answer can also show the interviewer how you handle responsibility and how you learn from your mistakes. In your answer, try to show that you are willing to take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them.

Example: “If I made a mistake, I would first apologize to the person I made the mistake to. Then, I would try to fix the mistake as soon as possible. If I couldn’t fix it right away, I would find out when I could fix it and let the person know. I would also make sure to document the mistake so that I could learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

How would you handle a situation where you needed to get approval from multiple people to complete a task?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you interact with multiple people in the workplace. Showcase your communication skills and ability to collaborate with others by giving examples of how you worked with multiple people to complete a task.

Example: “In my last role, I needed to get approval from three different managers to approve a client’s request. I scheduled a meeting with all three managers at the same time to discuss the client’s request. This allowed me to get all the information I needed from the managers and helped me avoid having to schedule multiple meetings with each manager.”

Would you be willing to take phone calls outside of normal business hours, such as for after-hours emergency calls?

If an employer asks this question, it’s likely that they want to know if you’re willing to work overtime. In your answer, be honest about your willingness to work overtime and explain why you’re qualified for the position.

Example: “I am happy to work overtime, especially when it’s for the benefit of the company. I am a hard worker and I know that my dedication to my job is one of my greatest strengths. I am also a night owl, so I would be happy to take after-hours calls as needed. In fact, I have experience doing this in my current position, where I regularly answer calls after hours.”

How would you respond if someone was rude to you?

This question can allow you to demonstrate your interpersonal skills and how you handle conflict. It can also allow the interviewer to see how you would respond to a situation that may occur in their office. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to give an example of a time you encountered a rude person and how you handled the situation.

Example: “I would respond by remaining calm and polite. I would try to diffuse the situation by remaining calm and asking them to calm down. If they continue to be rude, I would ask them to leave the office and call security if they do not comply. I would also report the incident to my supervisor.”

What would you do if you saw two employees arguing in the office?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you handle conflict and how you can use your communication skills to diffuse a tense situation. Use your answer to highlight your conflict resolution skills and your ability to remain calm in a tense situation.

Example: “When I see two employees arguing, I would first make sure that everyone in the office is safe. Then, I would ask both employees to step into my office for privacy and explain that I am there to help them resolve their conflict. I would listen to both sides of the argument and try to help them come to a compromise. If they are unable to come to an agreement, I would ask them to take a few minutes to think about their compromise and then meet again.”

How do you see yourself progressing in a secretary or receptionist role?

This question can be a great way to show your interviewer how you view your career and how you want to grow within the company. It can also show them how you view the receptionist role in relation to your future goals. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about the skills you have developed in your current role and how you want to apply them in the future.

Example: “I see myself growing in this role for a few years before moving into a managerial position. I have always enjoyed working with people and helping them, so I think I would enjoy being a manager and helping my team succeed. I also think I would enjoy being able to work on projects that are more challenging and allow me to use my problem-solving skills.”

What might you do to improve your skills as a receptionist?

Employers might ask this question to see if you’re open to learning more about your job and how you can improve your skills. They might also want to know if you’re looking for opportunities to advance in your career. In your answer, try to show that you’re willing to learn more about your job and that you’re motivated to advance your career.

Example: “I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills as a receptionist. I would start by researching the latest software that can help me do my job more efficiently. I would also ask my coworkers for tips on how I can improve my receptionist skills. I’m always looking for ways to improve my communication skills and become a better problem solver.”

Do you have any questions for me?

This is your chance to show the employer that you are interested in the job and want to learn more about it. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the company culture, the receptionist job description or the company’s expectations of you.

Example: “I have a few questions. First, I noticed that your company has a unique dress code. I am wondering what you expect from receptionists in terms of clothing and makeup. Also, I noticed that you have a lot of clients who come in for appointments. I am wondering how you ensure that clients are taken care of in a timely manner. Lastly, I am wondering if you have any tips for me to improve my receptionist skills.”

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