Receptionist Interview Questions

A receptionist greets clients.

You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, and this is especially true when it comes to presenting the correct image of your business to prospective and first-time clients and customers. That is why selecting the right employees to cover your reception desk is so important. Asking the right receptionist interview questions, along with writing and posting a comprehensive receptionist job description is an important step as you look to recruit and hire the right candidate for this important administrative position.

The demand for receptionists is expected to remain steady for the next decade, except in healthcare, where the need for polished, well-organized professionals with the customer service skills to make a good first impression on visitors, vendors, patients, customers, and clients is expected to grow. These roles can be especially difficult to fill because they require skills such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, and effective written and verbal communication, which are some of the capabilities many employers are most likely to cite when asked about the skills gap between what they need and what candidates possess.

The questions below are designed to help you identify candidates who will present a poised, polished, and professional impression on visitors to your workplace while at the same time contributing to your organizational workload by completing such administrative tasks as database management, scheduling, and correspondence. Some of these questions are particular to the role of receptionist while others are appropriate to ask of candidates for any administrative role to determine suitability for such tasks as addressing client concerns and questions and deescalating difficult situations efficiently and safely.

Receptionist Interview Questions That Reveal Professional Experience

These questions can also be adapted for recent high school or college graduates by framing them around administrative skills they may have acquired in a classroom setting or previous part-time role.

  • What were your responsibilities in your most recent administrative or receptionist role?
  • How many people did you interact with daily in your most recent role?
  • Do you have any administrative support experience?
  • What management style helps you to be your most productive?
  • How do you create a good first impression for clients or customers?

Interview Questions That Assess Work Style and Values

These sample receptionist interview questions determine how closely the candidate’s work style and core values align with your company’s values and mission.

  • Can you tell us about a time you helped a client that you’re particularly proud of?
  • As a receptionist how do you endeavor to represent the values of your employer to the people you greet?
  • Based on what you know about our company, what makes you a good fit?
  • How do you stay organized when you’re juggling multiple projects and deadlines?
  • Can you describe the top three characteristics you look for in a manager?
  • What three qualities do you think an ideal receptionist should have?
  • What strategies do you use to address mistakes?

Interview Questions That Reveal Technical Skills

Given the pace of technical advancement and the wide range of platforms and applications used in today’s administrative settings, it’s better to use these technically focused receptionist interview questions to assess candidates’ aptitude and adaptability than to gauge applicants based on which systems they have direct experience using in past administrative roles.

  • What office administration software systems and applications are you familiar with?
  • What office equipment have you used in previous jobs?
  • What security protocols did you follow in past roles?
  • How have you used technology to complete administrative tasks in your previous roles?
  • What office technologies do you have training or experience using?

Interview Questions That Reveal Soft Skills

Unlike hard skills, soft skills are evergreen, strengthening over time with the potential of providing long-term value for your organization. These receptionist interview questions can help you gauge valuable attributes in spheres such as customer service and effective communication.

  • What do you enjoy about interacting with the public?
  • What are your strongest customer service skills?
  • What do you think are the most important elements of business communications, such as phone calls and emails?
  • What would you do to deescalate a difficult situation with a customer?
  • How do you keep yourself motivated when you are working alone?

Hoping to Welcome Your Next Customer-Facing Employee to Your Team? Start With the Right Job Post

You can’t ask the right receptionist interview questions if you’re not attracting applicants with the skills you need. A job listing from Monster can help extend your reach and find the perfect first contact for potential customers and clients.