A receptionist greets clients, answers phone calls, mails letters and emails, and carries out a wide variety of secretarial tasks. Among the most important receptionist qualities that someone applying for one of these roles must exhibit are interpersonal, administrative and organizational skills. Additionally, a receptionist should be adept at using basic word processing software and various types of office equipment.
Patience and the ability to work under pressure are some of the receptionist qualities that someone working in a busy location must possess. In many instances, receptionists are the first representatives of a company that outside clients get to meet. Therefore, people in these roles have to handle customer service problems. Additionally, while a receptionist can take messages or perform work on behalf of other people, no one diverts clients away from the person in this role and some people struggle to maintain high levels of customer service when faced with larger numbers of clients.
Aside from managing schedules, a receptionist may have to set appointments and keep track of messages, mail and emails on behalf of several other people. Therefore, good organizational skills are among the receptionist qualities that are of paramount importance. People employed in these roles often use daily checklists, diaries or calendars in order to keep track of information and tasks. Many successful receptionists manage their daily schedule so that complicated tasks are taken care of during slow times of the day while less complex issues are dealt with during busy periods.
Typically, people employed in administrative roles have to use email systems, internet websites and word processing packages. While some of these programs are commonly available and used by many businesses, others are in-house systems that have been tailored to the needs of a particular firm. The desired receptionist qualities as detailed in job postings often include technical ability and a willingness to learn how to use new systems and types of software.
A receptionist employed at a doctor's surgery or another kind of medical facility must be able to quickly gather potentially critically important information from physicians and patients and coherently pass that information onto other relevant parties. This individual must be able to communicate easily and clearly both over the telephone and in person. Errors made by receptionists can prove costly in many different industries, so an eye for detail and the ability to type or relay information efficiently without making mistakes can be essential receptionist qualities.