Your receptionist is the face of your company. Every new and current client, job candidate and employee, vendor and visitor interacts with them. Because these impressions are so critical, it goes without saying that having the right person in the role of receptionist is a top priority.

Questions to Ask

When hiring a receptionist, you need to find the optimal combination of technical and soft skills in someone with the personality to bring your company culture to life. Here are some helpful interview questions:

  • What do you know about our company? It’s important for a receptionist to be able to answer questions about your organization. Plus, a candidate’s level of knowledge about your company shows how well they’ve done their research before coming to their interview.
  • What role does a receptionist play in a customer’s first impression of a company? Through this question, you can not only be sure the candidate thoroughly understands the position they are applying for, but also learn more about their philosophy of work.
  • Tell us about a situation where you needed to manage an individual who was upset or angry when they approached the reception desk. This type of situation is inevitable. You need a receptionist who can think on their feet and keep a level head as they handle stressful or difficult conditions.
  • What would you do if a person called and asked to speak to someone who wasn’t available to talk to them? Your goal is to assess a candidate’s skills at managing people on the phone. Are they confident about their communication abilities? Do they sound like they enjoy handling people on the phone? Are they adept at rescheduling calls?
  • What do you feel a receptionist brings to a company’s culture? Cultural fit is absolutely critical. As you have this conversation, see if a candidate understands that fact and how they would be representing your organization if hired. Do they have any ideas to improve company culture?
  • Have you successfully handled sensitive or confidential tasks in the past? How do you manage company communications in a secure way? Be sure candidates understand the importance of discretion – when they can and cannot divulge information and how to comfortably manage tricky political situations that may arise.
  • What types of software have you used in previous jobs? You can ask the same question about messaging systems, calendar programs, phones, office machines and computer applications, such as Microsoft Office and industry-specific software. Overall, you want to assess a person’s technical knowledge about all the tools they’d be using as your receptionist.
  • What do you do to keep up in a fast-paced work environment? This helps you to gauge a person’s organizational skills and ability to prioritize tasks and responsibilities, as well as staying calm and professional under pressure.
  • How did you add value to your last company? Try to elicit specific responses about increased revenues, reduced costs and saved time. Also, look for intangible benefits, which are so important in a receptionist. If their personality made a positive impact on the whole office atmosphere, that’s a huge plus.

The PrideStaff Modesto team of staffing experts can help you find and hire the receptionist and support staff you need – whether those needs are temporary or full time. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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