10 Receptionist Interview Questions Managers Ask

Brandi Glass
5 min read
The Most Popular Receptionist Interview Questions You Will Be Asked

Are you a natural people person with a knack for multitasking? If you’re looking for your next career step, you may want to look into receptionist roles. Whether you get a job at a hotel reception desk, at a law firm or in any other office, this position can be fulfilling.

Receptionists can expect to make an average of $31,110 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, to land this type of role, you typically need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. So, why not put yourself forward?

10 Popular Receptionist Interview Questions

Once you’ve applied for this type of position, the next step is prepping for that all-important interview. To give you the competitive edge, let’s take a look at some common receptionist interview questions you may be asked. Here’s our top ten list:

1. What Admin Software are You Comfortable Using?

Being computer literate is important when working as a receptionist. To get a job in this field, you may need to be familiar with the Microsoft Office suite. That includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more.

When the hiring manager asks you this question, you’ll want to be clear about the software you can use and what you use it for.

For example, you could explain that you are confident using Microsoft Excel to track accounts for the business. Demonstrating that you understand the software at hand could help to sell your skillset to the interviewer.

2. Have You Previously Used Multi-line Phones?

Large and small-scale businesses alike use multi-line phones on the reception desk. Honesty is the best policy here. Of course, if you have used these phone lines before, say yes and elaborate on how you’ve used them.

If you haven’t used multi-line phones in previous roles, say so, but show that you are willing to learn. You could say that you haven’t come across them, but that you are a fast learner and understand modern technology well.

3. How Fast Can You Type?

Typing speed is a huge selling point when it comes to receptionists. You may need to take minutes during meetings, type out emails or take notes during calls. A typing speed of between 60 and 80 words per minute (WPM) is the industry standard.

Ahead of interviewing for a receptionist role, take a moment to check your typing speed. There are plenty of websites you can use to test your average WPM. Additionally, you can take online tests that award certificates to prove how fast you can type.

4. How Do You Prioritize Tasks?

Chances are, when you’re working at a busy front desk, you will have a rainbow array of tasks to complete. From managing incoming calls to dealing with scheduling, you may find yourself switching between a whole load of different jobs during the working day.

For that reason, an interviewer will want to know how you prioritize tasks. This is one of the most common receptionist interview questions. When it comes up, show that you understand which jobs are most important and can deal with them in that order.

5. How Do You Work Under Pressure?

As we’ve already mentioned, you’re likely to have a task list as long as your arm. If you work in a busy workplace, dealing with pressure will be a central part of your role.

Some professionals find that they are driven by pressure. If that sounds like you, don’t be afraid to speak up and say so. It may win you some points. Explain how you organize your workload and work best when you are in a fast-paced environment.

6. How Do You Handle Difficult Clients?

Receptionists are the front of the house. That means that they are the first person seen when clients walk through the door. In a perfect world, you would never have to deal with a disgruntled, angry or demanding client. However, we don’t live in a perfect world.

If the hiring manager asks you this question, try to draw on your experience. For example, you could talk about a time when you previously managed a tumultuous situation at work. Your answer should show that you can remain calm and professional in the face of conflict.

7. What Would You Do If You Were Dealing with a Client and the Phone Rings?

Some of the most common receptionist interview questions are scenario-based. Put simply, that means that the hiring manager will present a fictional scenario and ask you how you would act.

This is not a trick question, but you should think hard about how to answer it. When you’re dealing with a client and the phone rings, there are two ways to manage the issue.

You could quickly apologize to the client and take the call, or you could finish your interaction and call the other person back afterward. What counts here is that you show that you can remain calm in this situation while keeping all parties happy.

8. How Do You Protect Confidential Information?

When a recruiter asks you this question, they are really asking about how you follow security protocol. You may have come up against this in former positions and workplaces.

Reflect on your professional experiences and share what you have learned. For example, you may want to talk about the privacy policies or protocols that you have adhered to at other companies.

9. Would You Consider Yourself a People Person?

Oftentimes, receptionists are the public face of the business. When a client walks through the door, you will be the first person they speak to. That interaction truly matters.

If a hiring manager asks you whether you are a people person, you might want to say yes. Instead, elaborate on how you interact with the public, why you think it’s important to be polite and how you make clients feel comfortable from the offset.

10. What Do You Believe Makes a Good Receptionist?

Finally, you may get thrown this curveball. When you’re interviewing for a receptionist role, the hiring manager may want to pick your brain. Should they ask you what you think makes a good receptionist, it’s your opportunity to show off what you know.

You can list some of the top qualities a receptionist should have. These include excellent communication, time management, organization, the ability to multitask and interpersonal skills, among other attributes.

Want to get some bonus points? Try relating each of these skills back to yourself. For instance, you could explain how you personally manage your time or multitask.

Take the Next Step in Your Career

Ready to take the next step on the career ladder? Use these receptionist interview questions as a template for your interview preparation. The more you practice, the better chance you will have of wooing the recruiting or hiring manager when you meet them.

Before you land an interview, you’ll need to apply for receptionist roles in your area. Get started today. It’s important to tailor your resume to each new job position you apply for. Build a resume specific to each new posting now using our quick online templates.