5 Common Front Desk Receptionist Interview Questions & Answers

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: March 06, 2023
5 Common Questions For Front Desk Receptionist

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The job search takes patience and tenacity. After putting together an eye-catching resume and a strong cover letter, you are faced with the initial interview. It is crucial that you stand out during the face-to-face and that the hiring manager sees you are not only serious about the job but are also a good fit for the company. Competition for a position can be fierce, and you need to make a good first impression. Whether you have years of work experience or you are a recent graduate, it is necessary that you prepare for the interview.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to anticipate the questions that will be asked of you. Some of the inquiries will be general in nature, such as “why should we hire you?” or “what are your strengths?” Other questions will be tailored to the specific position that you are applying for. Make sure that you have done your research about some of the common questions and are prepared with proper responses. The following are some typical front desk receptionist interview questions and answers to help you wow your interviewer.

Pro Tip: Just as some questions are tailored to a specific roll, your resume should be tailored to a specific role as well. Our resume builder helps you customize your resume to match with any job.

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Questions That You May Have About Front Desk Receptionists

1. What are the qualities of a good receptionist?

A good receptionist is detail-oriented, comfortable with juggling multiple projects simultaneously, organized, and an excellent communicator. Since receptionists need to be familiar with telephone systems, having that experience and a pleasant telephone voice is critical.

2. What do you wear to a receptionist interview?

What you wear to a receptionist interview depends on your industry. For example, a receptionist at a law firm would dress differently than a receptionist at a tech company. Look at the company’s website to get a sense of their dress code, or ask your contact in recruiting about the proper attire. If all else fails, business casual is the safest bet.

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3. What do you do when you are a receptionist?

Receptionists answer phone calls and handle visitors. They also manage the company directories, and give instruction to visitors and vendors when requested. Often they accept packages, order office supplies, and restock the kitchen at their place of work. Your industry and the company you work for will determine any additional receptionist duties.

4. Why is a receptionist important to an organization?

Receptionists are the first face most people see at an organization. As a result, their job is to manage communication from external sources, including vendors, visitors, and other office staff. Doing your job well as a receptionist requires a variety of hard and soft skills, but being organized. and friendly are critical

These common front desk receptionist interview questions and answers should help better prepare you for your next interview. A successful face-to-face will help ensure that you are asked back for a follow-up interview.

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5 Front Desk Receptionist Interview Questions & Answers

Describe your previous duties as a receptionist

I have had a couple of different receptionist jobs and feel that I have experience in a wide variety of duties. Some of the major responsibilities included answering multiple phone lines and directing calls or taking messages, scheduling and confirming appointments, welcoming customers and communicating with them about their needs, and maintaining records and an efficient filing system. Other duties included entering data, handling mail and email, and copying documents.

On average, how many people did you come in contact with on a daily basis during your last position?

In my last position, I worked as a front desk receptionist for a very busy chiropractor who also employed a massage therapist, a physical therapist, and an acupuncturist. Among all of the appointments for the different providers, I came into contact with an average of 75 people daily and interacted with around 100 when you take into account phone calls with current and prospective patients.

What computer programs are you comfortable and familiar with?

In my last position I used ChiroFusion, which is web-based practice management software. I have used Outlook for many years and am very familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel. I used PowerPoint to prepare for presentations in another receptionist/assistant job, and I have also used Clearslide and SlideDog. I have been around computers much of my life, and learning new programs is enjoyable and comes easy to me.

Discuss a situation in which you had to multitask

My last position presented the most opportunities to learn how to juggle multiple things at one time. One day in particular stands out for me, and that was the day the practice hit a record number of visits. Among all of the providers, the practice saw 130 patients and clients between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. My main job was to check people in, direct them back to the correct provider, take payment, schedule for future visits, and answer the phone. I was also in charge of checking new patients out, which consisted of scheduling a series of visits and explaining insurance benefits. I always did my best to be friendly and give my attention to the people I had face-to-face contact with while still answering the phone, and I saved the paperwork for after-patient hours.

How do you deal with high-stress and high-pressure situations?

In my experience, good customer service skills go a long way when dealing with high-pressure situations. My past jobs have helped me become more confident in dealing with people and to stay calm even when things get crazy. Communicating with customers is very important, whether it is in person, through email, or over the phone. Most people are very understanding when you apologize and explain what is going on or why the wait is taking so long. I have also learned how to delegate during busy times. For example, in my chiropractic receptionist job, I would ask the billing manager to help answer phones or answer insurance questions during high-volume periods.

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