Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

The receptionist interview questions you can expect are likely to be a challenging mix of behavioral-based interview questions, questions that explore your skills and experience and questions that evaluate your motivational fit with the company and co-workers. 

Graphic illustration of receptionist at work with text "receptionist interview questions and answers"

Use our sample interview answers and guidelines to impress as the right receptionist job candidate.

Receptionist Interview Questions - skills and experience

1. How many calls did you take on an average day in your last job?

2. What sort of people did you interact with on a daily basis?

Highlight your ability to handle multiple calls and diverse customers while remaining professional and composed.

3. What sort of inquiries did you have to handle?

Describe the type of information you were expected to provide and to whom.

  • Emphasize how you used your knowledge of the company and it's services to respond efficiently to these queries.
  • Discuss the steps you took to find out information when you didn't have it readily to hand.

4. What were your primary responsibilities?

This is your opportunity to highlight your suitability for the job.

"I was responsible for handling a wide range of calls, dealing with everyone who entered the company, providing information to customers, answering queries, providing general administrative support to the company and monitoring the reception area"

Make sure you cover what is required by the potential employer for the receptionist job opportunity.

Receptionist Job Description

5. What computer skills do you have?

Describe your level of proficiency in the various programs you have worked with such as MS Office.

  • Give an indication of the type of documents you have created.
  • Refer to the office equipment, including telecommunication systems, that you are familiar with.

6. What are the most important skills for a receptionist?

Articulate your understanding of the role of the receptionist - you are the "face" of the company and play a critical role in the customer's perception of the organization.

Some core competencies for this job are:

  • communication skills
  • the ability to handle stress
  • problem-solving
  • teamwork

Other characteristics such as;

  • dependability
  • punctuality
  • integrity

are essential.

Receptionist Skills

7. What are your strengths as a receptionist?

You can find a comprehensive list of employee strengths here. Highlight your strengths as they relate directly to the job opportunity.

8. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

Mention one or two areas of weakness and discuss what you are doing to improve on them. This list of weaknesses and sample weaknesses interview answers at interview question weaknesses will help you.

Behavioral  Receptionist Interview Questions

1. Tell me about a recent situation where you had to handle a difficult customer?

Communication is key to this answer. Discuss your ability to listen closely, to ask the right questions to be able to understand and meet the customer's needs. Customer service behavioral interview questions

Communication skills interview questions

2. Describe how you organize your tasks for the day?

The ability to plan and organize your tasks for the day is key to successful job performance.

Discuss how you prioritize your tasks each day to meet deadlines and demands.

  • What systems do you use to schedule and keep track of your activities?
  • What resources do you make use of?

Receptionists deal with many different demands. In your answer show how you are able to adapt to meet changing priorities and to multitask. 

Good time management interview questions and answers

3. Tell me about a tough problem you had to sort out recently.

Focus on how you were able to identify and analyze the problem in order to come up with possible solutions. What information and resources did you use to understand how to resolve the situation?

Problem-solving behavioral interview questions

4. Can you give me an example of where you used your initiative in your previous job?

Provide an example of where you came up with a better way to do something or made a recommendation for improvements in the current system.

  • What changes have you implemented?
  • How have you gone beyond the confines of your job description?

How to Answer behavioral interview questions

Receptionist Interview Questions - motivation

1. Why do you want to work as a receptionist for this company?

Make good use of your background research on the company to answer this question. Find a couple of specific reasons why you are interested in the organization. For example:

"Your company has an outstanding reputation for providing excellent products and customer service. I would like to be a part of this and, as a front-line receptionist, contribute to your standing in the industry"

More Sample Answers

2. What do you like and dislike about working as a receptionist?

Start with what you enjoy about the job and make your answer relevant to the duties involved in the position you are applying for.

Examples include:

  • meeting and dealing with diverse people
  • using your initiative to assist people
  • providing a high level of customer service

Your dislikes should not relate to the job opportunity requirements.

  • Avoid complaining about working conditions such as overtime and the office environment.
  • Stay away from criticism of co-workers, your managers and customers.

The best way to handle the dislike question is to refer to the absence of something in your previous job such as the lack of opportunity to use your initiative or make decisions.

Receptionist  interview questions, Tell me about yourself

Illustration of a female receptionist sitting at a reception desk with text "Tell me aboyt yourself"

This is one of the most common interview questions and one of the hardest to answer.  It is tricky to know exactly what information to provide to the interviewer.  There are 5 key criteria that receptionist job candidates need to take note of when answering the "Tell me about yourself" interview question:

1. Focus on your skills, strengths and experience that relate directly to the receptionist job opportunity, ask yourself the question "What makes me a great candidate for this job?"

2. Keep your interview answer concise and to-the-point, the interviewer does not want to hear your life story or all about your family, they want to know why you are a suitable candidate for this receptionist position. They also do not want you to simply paraphrase your resume.

3. Highlight relevant accomplishments and achievements. Be specific with recent, concrete examples.

4. Include a reference to how the job opportunity and company align with your career aspirations, priorities and values

5. Be aware of how you come across, your communication skills, body language and your confidence. Tell me about yourself  is often the first question asked in your receptionist interview so you need to make a good initial impression.

It is important to prepare for this receptionist interview question beforehand in order to give a pertinent and valuable answer. Here is an example interview answer to Tell me about yourself : 

"I have 5 years experience working as a receptionist at 2 large companies, both with over X employees and a high volume of daily calls and visitors. My responsibilities include taking calls and messages, dealing with clients, organizing meetings and preparing various types of correspondence. I am recognized as an efficient and well organized receptionist who is detail oriented and provides accurate information to all stakeholders. I have proven skills in managing multiple demands and successfully completing tasks by deadline. I particularly enjoy the challenge of interacting with a wide range of people and my professionalism and positive approach have been commented on by many people at my current employer. I am looking for an increased area of responsibility to further challenge me and to take the next step in my career. This opportunity seems to be exactly what I am hoping for."

Tell me about yourself sample answers

Expect common interview questions in your frontline receptionist interview

interview questions

Top 10 Interview Questions

interview questions

Behavioral Interview Questions

interview questions

Hard Interview Questions

Common Interview Questions and Answers

Receptionist interview questions to ask the employer

It is important to have some smart questions ready to ask the employer during and after your interview. Asking good questions shows a level of professionalism and interest that employers look for in job candidates.

This complete list of good questions to ask will help you draw up your own list of questions.

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