What questions should you expect in your receptionist interview? How to make a good impression? And what actually decides the winner at the end?
How to prepare well, and walk away with a coveted job contract? We will try to answer all of these questions on our website that specializes only in receptionist interviews. Written by Matthew Chulaw, experienced interview coach, and Amanda Seizling, hotel recruiter and consultant.
Current situation in the job market: More than thirty people submit their application for every job opening for a receptionist advertised in the United States. The competition has increased in the recent years, and therefore it became difficult to get this job. You can still succeed, but you need to know what matters and what to expect.
What to expect in an interview?
Recruiters typically prepare personal, behavioral and technical questions for you and for other job candidates. Personality tests (or other forms of testing) are also applied, especially if you try to get a job of a hotel receptionist. Let’s have a look at the questions.
List of the most common interview questions for receptionists
Note: Clicking a question will direct you to a separate page on which we analyze the particular question, explain why the interviewers use it, and offer you a few sample answers. However, we suggest you to firstly finish reading this page, so you will understand all the nuances of receptionist interview. Practicing the answers to the common questions would be useless without this knowledge…
- Why do you want to become a receptionist?
- What do you plan to accomplish on this position?
- Why do you want to work as a receptionist here, and not in other hotels (companies)?
- This job is repetitive. What would motivate you to do it well every day?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What would your former colleagues say about you?
- How would you characterize the key responsibilities of the receptionist in our hotel (company)?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
- Can you work with MS Office? What other software do you work with on a regular basis?
- What characterize a good receptionist from your point of view?
- Why do you think people should decide to stay in our hotel (do business with our company)?
- How would you rate an importance of a receptionist, if we talked about overall impression of a guest?
- Imagine a guest tried to start relationship with you. How would you react in that situation?
- Can you work night shifts? Would you mind working twelve hours a day?
- What languages do you speak? Tell me something in Spanish.
- Imagine a client calls, wanting to book twenty rooms for forty people. But we have only ten rooms available. What will you do?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Why should we choose you and not another applicant for this position?
- If a guest accused you of a bad service, what would you do?
- When are you able to start?
- Do you have any questions?
Interviewers understand the importance of a good receptionist for every single business. Receptionists represent the first line of contact with every guest, as well as every person who calls the company.
Therefore they observe a lot of things while talking to you in an interview. . . . Are you a good listener? Do you keep an eye contact? Do you smile when talking? Do you speak to the point? Can they hear enthusiasm in your voice?
They watch all of that and even more. If you want to succeed and get a job of a receptionist, you will need to work on your non-verbal communication. Becoming a good companion and a good listener should be your goal.
Attire matters, or not?
Many people believe that attire plays little role in receptionist interviews. Some other candidates consider an attractive dress, or even a tooth-some one a right choice. Who is right? What should you actually put on?
The dress that corresponds with the dress code of the company will be your best choice. You should visit the place prior to your interview (if that’s possible) and see yourself what the receptionists wear. Do they wear trousers or skirts? What about their neckline? Do they wear any accessories, or not? Make notes and stick to it when choosing your own attire. Hiring managers will then consider you as a good fit for their working environment.
What to say at the end?
Twenty-five tough interview questions, thirty competitors, difficult role play and your stress in an interview… Definitely it’s not easy to get a job of a receptionist. If you want to read a step by step guide on how to succeed, have a look at our Receptionist Interview Guide. You will find multiple brilliant answers to all twenty-five tough interview questions, role play examples (with solutions), and winning interview strategies. Thank you, and good luck!
Amanda Seizling & Matthew Chulaw