Listen carefully. The candidate needs to demonstrate the ability to multitask, as a Front Desk Agent needs to perform numerous tasks concurrently.
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.
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.
Employers want to hear about more than the hard skills you've listed on your resume. Think about the job description as well as what you've learned about the hotel's culture, mission and current needs. Then use your response to emphasize your compatibility and ways you will use those skills to help them tackle their challenges.
When presented with situational interview questions like this one, it's important to create a clear and concise answer that describes the problem you encountered, the steps you took to address it, and the ultimate solution. Stay positive and show that you learned something from the situation whenever possible.
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.
Not all guest problems can be solved. Hotel employers want to hire someone who can empathize and remain professional even when they're faced with an impossible task.
A Front Desk Agent needs to assist guests by providing them with general information. The potential hire needs to demonstrate this ability.
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.
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.