Michael Frash
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Interview questions for receptionist: a guide to get the job
Last updated: June 25, 2022
Michael Frash
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Interview questions for receptionist: a guide to get the job
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You’ve worked hard at crafting the perfect resume, applied for a few gigs, and landed yourself an interview for a job as a receptionist.

But now you’ve realized that raises a whole other question:

What’s going to happen in the interview?

And, most importantly, what kind of interview questions is your hiring manager likely to ask?

Being thoroughly prepared for your interview is the best way to ensure success and make sure you leave a great impression.

With that in mind, we’re going to explore 39 of the most common interview questions for receptionist positions, as well as a few pointers on preparing for the interview.

What kind of questions should you expect at a receptionist interview?

Job interviews are important for job seekers like you because they give you an opportunity to sell yourself and provide reasons why you’re a great fit for the role (beyond what you can say in your resume or cover letter).

Consider, for example, that the standard resume is only one page:

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In order to make a great first impression, it’s important to understand what the hiring manager is looking to get out of the interview process.

First, they’re looking to find out just how well you fit the job description. The experience and skills listed on your resume only get recruiters so far, so you should expect that they’ll dig a little further here.

Second, recruiters want to know if you’re a great fit for the company, not just for the job.

This means they’ll ask questions about your character and personality, such as how you’ve handled tricky situations in the past.

They may also want to know more about your aspirations for the future and how you see this receptionist job fitting in with your long-term career goals.

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So, with this in mind, what are the most common receptionist interview questions to prepare for?

General interview questions to expect

Job interviews can be stressful for applicants, so recruiters tend to start interviews with a few general questions before digging into behavioral questions or ones related specifically to your abilities.

Initial job interview questions to expect include:

  • What made you apply for this role?

  • How would your co-workers at your previous job describe you?

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • How did you hear about this job?

  • What are your greatest strengths?

  • What are your greatest weaknesses?

  • Tell me what you know about our company.

  • What kind of work environment would you describe as your ideal fit?

  • Why did you leave your last job?

Receptionist-specific questions

After covering a few general questions and answers, you should expect the hiring manager to move into questions about being a good receptionist.

Questions about your work experience:

  • What makes you a good fit for this receptionist job?

  • Why do you want to work as a receptionist?

  • What would you do if a client showed up for their appointment 20 minutes late?

  • What methods do you use to prioritize work?

  • Do you have experience managing and routing multiple phone lines?

  • What do you think makes a great receptionist?

Questions about your skills:

  • Are you comfortable using Microsoft Office programs such as Outlook and Powerpoint?

  • What problem-solving strategies do you like to use?

  • How would you describe your communication skills?

  • Do you know what your typing speed is?

  • What are your top three soft skills?

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Questions about your work style:

  • How do you cope with multitasking?

  • Tell me how you stay organized on a daily basis.

  • How do you manage stress?

  • What strategies do you use to stay upbeat as the face of the company?

These are all pretty general receptionist questions. Let’s look at some questions related to specific receptionist positions.

Interview questions for a medical receptionist

Common interview questions for medical receptionist positions include:

  • Why do you think you’d be a good medical receptionist?

  • Tell me about your experience in health care.

  • What do you imagine a typical day at this practice looks like?

  • What would you do if a patient presented with severe shortness of breath?

Interview questions for a hotel front desk worker

Common interview questions for hotel front desk positions include:

  • How would you deal with an angry customer?

  • Tell me about your previous experience in hospitality.

  • Are you competent in any other languages?

  • What makes you a great hotel front desk receptionist?

Interview questions for a dental receptionist

Common interview questions for dental receptionist positions include:

  • Tell me about your experience working in dental offices.

  • How would you go about managing appointments at this practice?

  • What would you do if a patient called with a dental emergency and our practice had no availability?

  • How would you let a customer know that a dentist has to cancel an appointment?

3 most important receptionist interview answers to practice

Let’s take a look at the three most important interview questions that you will likely have to answer in a receptionist interview.

You should practice answering these questions so that you are prepared for them.

1. What makes you a good fit for this receptionist job?

With this question, the interviewer wants to know how well you understand the requirements of the job and whether you know how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

Answer this question by describing your understanding of the job description and matching those requirements to your own experience and skills.

2. How do you manage stress?

Receptionist jobs can be stressful, so the interviewer wants to know how you might cope with that.

Don’t just answer by saying that you don’t get stressed. Everyone gets stressed sometimes — answer by clearly explaining what you do when you need to destress.

Maybe that’s talking it out with your boss. Maybe it’s taking some time to yourself. Whatever works for you is what you should answer.

3. Why should we hire you?

The best answer for this receptionist interview question is to describe what separates you from the rest rather than by reiterating what simply qualifies you for the role.

Perhaps that’s your strong time management skills or your ability to multitask efficiently without becoming stressed.

How do you prepare for a receptionist interview?

Follow these steps to prepare for your receptionist interview:

  1. Study the job description

  2. Do some research on the company

  3. Prepare your interview outfit — dress to impress!

  4. Prepare answers for the above questions

  5. Practice in front of a mirror, and watch your body language

  6. Make sure you know your resume inside and out

  7. Test your technology if your interview is virtual

For more tips on preparing for your receptionist interview, check out our article: “How to prepare for an interview: 7 tips to get that dream job.”

Practice makes perfect

There are many questions you might get asked at your receptionist interview.

The main thing is that you go into the conversation prepared. That can mean putting together some sample answers to common questions and rehearsing with a friend, family member, or even just on your own.

There is more to acing your interview than having good answers prepared, though. Check out our guide to learn more: “5 tips for a successful interview.” To find a receptionist job near you, check out our job board.

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