1. Please tell us something about yourself.
This is a very common question that you can expect at every interview. It is not something that is only specific to this role. The interviewer is actually looking out for a starting point to begin your interview.
To answer it effectively, you can talk about your professional experience, achievements, strengths, and last but most important why are you here for the interview today.
A very important thing to do before being interviewed for a front office or receptionist’s position is to know the qualities desired in a person taking up this position.
Some of the most important ones being:
i. Pleasant personality coupled with excellent mannerism,
ii. Excellent communication skills,
iii. Calmness to manage multiple things and unpleasant situations,
iv. Physically fit body with a strong memory,
v. Excellent co-ordination and Problem solving skills,
vi. Ability to anticipate the needs of guests and willingness to go above and beyond the role.
If you are managing a front desk/ receptionist’s position at a hotel, you also need to possess excellent knowledge about the local area and an ability to be a good reference point for your guests.
To answer this question, you can say something like, “I possess a 3 years of experience as a Front desk executive for XYZ hotel. The hotel caters to the international guests which needs me to be at the best of my manners while dealing with the guests from different cultures. I possess an ability to stay calm in unpleasant situations and solve them to everyone’s satisfaction. I possess excellent communication and co-ordination skills.
A large number of our guests come from Middle East which needs me to be very fluent in Arabic language.
I see that you have a requirement for a Senior Executive to handle the Front desk activities for your new set up. With the type of background I possess, I believe I’m a good fit for this position.”
2. What makes you interested in working at the front desk/ reception?
The Front desk staff is the face of the company or brand or hotel you are working for. To answer this interview question talk only about your skills and qualifications. If you possess a degree in front desk management, you can say something like –
“With a degree in front desk management, I possess excellent communication skills. Also, I find myself quite effective in dealing with people, solving their problems and I’m always able to find ways to go above and beyond my duties. I get to make a good use of all these qualities in a front office position which makes me interested in this department.”
3. What do you know about us?
This question is an opportunity to demonstrate that you did prepare for this interview and are interested in this role. Read about the company where you are going to be interviewed, their core business, anything for which they have been in news recently etc.
A good preparation will give you a good start for the interview.
4. What do you like most about being a front desk executive?
After you have answered Question no. 2 in the way we suggested, the interviewer won’t ask you this question. However, if they skip the earlier one and come to this, you can talk about some results you see at the end of each guest checking out.
For e.g. interaction with people from different background, positive feedbacks, the happy faces and the learnings from every problem.
A sample answer to this question could be something like – “As a receptionist managing the front desk, I get to interact with guests from different backgrounds. When they check out and leave a positive feedback for us and the hotel, it gives us an immense satisfaction of a job well done. Many a times, we do face problems with some guests and every time we solve a new problem, it gives us a sense of achievement too.”
5. Can you tell me about your routine at work?
Apart from the skills required to do your job, this question tests your
i. Organization and co-ordination skills
ii. Time management skills
iii. Energy levels at the end of the shift
A front desk executive is expected to co-ordinate with various departments, multi-task and still be energetic to welcome the guests coming in while your shift is about to end.
To answer this question, you can say something like, “I start my day by making a ‘to do list’ and assign myself with tasks on a priority basis. I then go through my mail box and make sure that each mail is read and answered and proceed accordingly with the tasks from the “to-do list”.
Working in a front office requires me to deal with a lot of guests and co-ordinate with a lot of colleagues but it is extremely important for us to have high energy levels intact till the end of the shift. I keep myself refreshed with reading the books I love and working on my physical fitness at home.”
6. How important is anticipating the needs of a guest and taking an extra effort to meet them?
Anticipating the needs of a guest and meeting them even before they ask you for help goes a long way in making you and your hotel a success.
Follow this up with some examples when you anticipated a guests needs and fulfilled them even before they could think of them.
For e.g. “Some days back a family came to us as guests. They had a little baby and an old granny with them. As soon as they entered the hotel, I realized that the granny won’t be able to walk through the long corridor to her room. We immediately arranged for a wheel chair without them even having to ask for it. We also arranged for a bottle warmer and some fresh milk to be delivered for the baby.
The guests were really touched by this and left an excellent feedback for us online. In fact, they did refer a few more guests to us”.