The most common receptionist interview questions are those that attempt to assess both the job candidate's existing experience, as well as the specific skills that he or she possesses for the job. These might include questions regarding the type of software the job candidate has used, the type of office machinery that he or she is familiar with, and the amount of words that he or she can type per minute. Receptionist interview questions may be accompanied by a typing test, since it is very important for an office receptionist to be able to type quickly without making a great deal of errors.
Other receptionist interview questions will likely be similar to questions found at any other job interview, regarding work experience, skills, and examples of how the job candidate handled a stressful situation. The interviewer will likely want to know how many other people the receptionist worked with in a previously held office job, how he or she went about resolving any conflicts, and the ability of the job candidate to multi-task and complete a number of different tasks accurately at the same time. An interviewer might also ask the job candidate to assess his or her own strengths and weaknesses.
Organizational skills are also important receptionist interview questions. The receptionist might be responsible for receiving and opening mail or maintaining a filing system; some offices may need a new receptionist to actually create a filing system. A job candidate who can give specific examples of performing this type of work in the past will often be a leading candidate for a job. In addition, interpersonal skills are important, such as the ability to answer the phone pleasantly or consistently present a polite, friendly demeanor when greeting people coming into an office, so this is important for a receptionist to demonstrate in an interview.
The most common receptionist interview questions typically involve the job candidate's ability to use the different items found in the office, such as a fax machine, scanner, copier, and computer. It is expected that anyone interviewing for an office position will possess computer skills, and familiarity with software that is often used in an office. This may include budgeting and spreadsheet software, word processing software, or slideshow presentation software, just to name a few. Depending on the nature of the office, other specific skills or expertise with certain computer programs may be requested; this information is helpful to determine prior to the interview so that one can be well prepared for any potential questions.