Can You Work with MS Office? What Other Software Programs Do You Work With?


Receptionist is working on a PC

Times have changed. Each and every receptionist works with a computer on a daily basis. An ideal applicant for this position should have a sound knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Decent computer intelligence is virtually a must as well, since people who possess it won’t struggle to learn new programs.

However, the simplicity of the question should not puzzle you. Your answer should be longer than just few words. You should elaborate on with explanation and details of your experience.

Sample answer

I have been working with MS Word and Ms Excel for eight years, at school and at work. I can do pretty much everything in Word, and I can create good charts and presentations in both Excel and PowerPoint. On the top of that, I have an experience with various scheduling and booking programs, such as Booking Pro and Best Scheduler. I believe to have enough experience to learn any programs you may use here.


Practical test – a surprise

Many hotel chains and specialized recruitment agencies will try to asses your knowledge of MS Office (and your trustworthiness) with a practical test. They may ask you to retype some data and format it according to the instructions they provide. This simple exercise will help them to assess many things:

  • Your writing speed
  • Methodology of work
  • If you can actually work with MS Office and use its functionality efficiently
  • If you are stressed, or composed and calm while completing the task

If you said that you had been skilled with MS Office and then failed to accomplish the task, they would not hire you. They would doubt everything you said because of that. Therefore, I suggest you to either practice with MS office prior to your interview, or say that you work with the programs sometimes, but do not consider yourself an expert. Little lapse in a practical test will be quickly forgotten in such a case.


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