Searching for a job isn’t easy work. You’ve likely spent many hours creating your resume, writing cover letters, and scanning job boards for opportunities.

When you finally get a call to interview for a receptionist position, be prepared with answers to these 10 essential interview questions:

Table of Contents:

  1. How do you manage your workload when it’s really busy?
  2. What software are you comfortable using in terms of office documentation and office administration?
  3. What do you think is the most essential quality for a receptionist to have?
  4. Do you have experience with multi-line phone lines?
  5. What’s your typing speed and error rating?
  6. Have you applied for any other job opportunities?
  7. Tell me about a situation where you had to handle a difficult customer.
  8. Tell me about a situation where you had to handle a difficult customer.
  9. How do you keep yourself organized?
  10. What sets you apart from other candidates that we’re interviewing for this position?

1. How do you manage your workload when it’s really busy?

When answering this question, it’s great if you have some prior work experience to speak to, but busy times in your academic life can also support a good answer. Your interviewer wants to hear about how you dealt with competing priorities and deadlines:


“During my last semester, I was managing five courses, and three of them had final exams scheduled over the same two days. I also had assignments due during that time, so I had to prioritize and be extremely organized. I set out a work schedule ahead of time so that I could ensure all my time was being used effectively.”


2. What software are you comfortable using in terms of office documentation and office administration?

As a receptionist, you’ll be expected to be familiar with most of the Microsoft Office suite at a minimum. It’s good to mention all the software you’re proficient with including any specialized software for accounting, communications, and calendar management.

Here’s an example answer:


“I have experience using the full Microsoft Office suite, including Access, and I also have experience with some specialized software like Outlook and Google Drive.”

As a follow-up, you can ask what systems the company uses and mention any experience that you have or if you plan on learning any of those systems.


3. What do you think is the most essential quality for a receptionist to have?

Receptionists keep the office running smoothly and are often the primary contact for the company. Your answer should reflect these skills and any others that were outlined in the job description:


“A great receptionist has excellent organizational skills, is a valuable resource that employees can count on, and has a positive and friendly attitude at all times. A receptionist is the first face of the company that many clients will see, so it’s vital to make a great first impression.”


4. Do you have experience with multi-line phone lines?

This is a fairly straightforward yes/no question. You either have the experience, or you don’t. If you haven’t used multi-line phone lines before, try to have an answer that encourages the interviewer that it’s something you can easily learn like this:


“I haven’t had the opportunity to operate multiple phone lines, but I am confident I would catch on pretty quickly. I’m very willing to take training in advance of my start date if I am selected for the position.”


5. What’s your typing speed and error rating?

Again, this is a very straightforward and typical question that you should know the answer to as a prospective receptionist. If you don’t know, try to speak to your typing skills and experience along these lines:


“I haven’t assessed my typing speed recently, but I’d be happy to take an online assessment and send you the results after our interview. I believe my typing skills are very strong since I’ve typed up countless academic assignments. I’m also very detail-oriented and ensure my work is always carefully proofread and edited.”


6. Have you applied for any other job opportunities?

The key to answering this question is to be honest, but make the interviewer feel like their company is your number one choice.

Here’s how:


“Yes, since I’m currently not employed, I am actively pursuing a few different opportunities. However, a position with your company is my number one choice based on your corporate values and the diversity that this role offers.”


7. Tell me about a situation where you had to handle a difficult customer.

With this question, your interviewer is looking for confirmation that you’ve been in uncomfortable situations before and that you’ve been able to approach them confidently and find a resolution. Learn how to utilize the STAR method to answer behavioral questions.

Keep it positive like this:


“In my part-time retail job, I had a customer who was disappointed in the color options and became very loud and aggressive. I maintained a calm voice so as not to escalate the conflict, and I politely explained that we would notify him as soon as new inventory arrived. He calmed down and left satisfied.”


8. How do you or would you manage confidential information?

As a receptionist, you’ll have access to private information. Your answer should reassure your interviewer that you appreciate the sensitivity of confidential information and are confident in keeping that information when pressed for it:


“I would make sure that confidential information couldn’t be easily seen by visitors on my desk. I would not give out personal or private information to anyone unless the individual has authorized it in advance. If the person requesting the information were insistent, I would try to verify that they’re authorized to receive it, but without that confirmation, I would not give it out.”


9. How do you keep yourself organized?

The receptionist is the glue that holds the office together. You have to be organized not only for yourself but also for others. Your interviewer wants to be reassured that if they pick you, nothing will slip through the cracks. Put them at ease with an answer like this:


“I am naturally a very organized person. I have certain systems like my calendar for making sure I’m always on-time for commitments, and lists to make sure that I get everything done each day. I love keeping documents separate so that files are always handy and never get mixed up.”


10. What sets you apart from other candidates that we’re interviewing for this position?

Now’s your time to shine! Don’t be modest. Take this opportunity to sell your interviewer on why they should select you. Highlight some of your personal strengths or work experience that you might not have had a chance to cover.

Here’s how to sell yourself:


“If you select me for this position, I would wow you with my organizational skills and the amount of work I can handle. I love putting out fires and solving problems for people, and I think that would make me a great receptionist.”


Landing an interview for your dream job requires a lot of time and hard work. Make sure you can put your best foot forward by rehearsing your answers to these 10 essential interview questions.

Original article : https://www.careermatch.com/job-prep/interviews/10-essential-receptionist-interview-questions-and-answers/


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