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How to Get a Job as a Receptionist

Aside from basic computer knowledge, candidates should have strong interpersonal skills. "A positive attitude and a friendly disposition are essential elements that employers seek in a solid candidate," says Rosalind Redrick, executive director of the National Association of Professional Receptionists. "Organizational skills and the ability to prioritize reception duties, as well as dependability and punctuality, are a must." Skills that make applicants even more attractive include knowledge of a foreign language or sign language, business education and computer hardware and software skills.

Interview Questions Submitted by Real Receptionists

"What do you do when there is a lull at work? What do you do to stay active?" - Razorfish Receptionist Candidate (Austin, TX)

"What changes or ideas to you have to make workplace more efficient?" - Clerical Medical Receptionist Candidate (Location Unknown)

"What would make you the best choice for this position?" - Embassy Suites Receptionist Candidate (Norman, OK)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility poor Low
Stress Level fair Average
Flexibility poor Below Average

What is the Job Like?

Standard office hours are the norm, Redrick says. "Many companies adopt a split-shift policy for their front-office personnel, dividing the front-desk responsibilities into morning and afternoon shifts." As a first point of contact, she notes, stressful situations may arise. Some positions entail very repetitive tasks and are particularly suited to people with positive, supportive attitudes. Receptionists are likely to work in very visible locations that are usually comfortable and attractive, to make good impressions on visitors. Nearly a third of receptionist positions are part-time, so applicants should make sure they understand whether healthcare and other employee benefits are offered for their position.

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Last updated by Evan Taylor.

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