A receptionist’s position in an organisation is vital. As well as being the first point of contact for clients, their job is to provide exceptional customer service and assist in helping the business run smoothly. That’s why employers look for individuals with the skills required to shine in the role.
Whether you’re looking for your first receptionist role or are a seasoned professional searching for a new opportunity, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s look at the skills required to succeed as a receptionist and the duties you can expect.
What does a receptionist do?
In the words of Mary-Kate Williams from All Top Reviews:
“Receptionist job duties are not too difficult for someone with relevant experience, but they can take a while to learn for those who haven’t had a job like this before.”
With this in mind, it’s essential to understand the role when preparing for your interview. Key responsibilities of a receptionist include the following:
1. Front desk
You’re likely to spend most of your time at the front desk and be expected to perform various front desk duties. This includes welcoming visitors and arranging visitor badges before directing them to where they need to go or introducing them to your colleague(s).
2. Customer support
Customer support responsibilities include taking phone calls, replying to emails promptly, and receiving and sorting mail. You’ll be expected to answer, screen, and forward incoming phone calls and direct visitors to the right person or department.
3. Office organising
You’ll support the office manager by helping to maintain the office, checking office equipment and ordering supplies. You may also be responsible for maintaining office security and communicating with the security guards if needed.
4. Calendars and bookings
Today’s receptionists are tech savvy.
If you’re a temporary receptionist, you’ll have to get to grips with different phone systems and be responsible for managing calendars. You may also be tasked with scheduling important meetings and arranging travel and accommodation.
5. Administrative tasks
Receptionists are famous for being adept at multitasking. You may be responsible for photocopying, transcribing, filing, keeping records, and sorting and distributing paperwork.
Check out our receptionist job description template to learn more about receptionist duties.
Receptionist skills to look for
Good receptionists can work independently but also need top-notch problem-solving and interpersonal skills. They’re known to be excellent at multitasking and time management. Key receptionist skills that hiring managers look for include the following:
As the business’s first point of contact, you should always conduct yourself professionally. More corporate environments may require you to wear a uniform, while creative settings may opt for a more smart-casual approach.
Either way, good receptionists speak professionally and are well-skilled in active listening. Any customer-facing experience is valuable: it will demonstrate that you’re used to providing customer service and are comfortable communicating with clients directly.
2. Able to multitask
Receptionists can juggle the demands of their role efficiently while ensuring that the front-of-house operation runs smoothly. In an interview, you might be asked to provide a scenario where you’ve had to prioritise tasks to ensure they were completed on time.
3. Pays attention to detail
Paying attention to detail is a must-have skill for receptionists, especially when it comes to booking flights and following company processes. Exercising this skill will help ensure that nothing gets missed, even when you’re busy!
4. Is a team player
Soft skills are essential too. Receptionists often work with senior and junior staff members, so treating everyone fairly is important. In your interview, you might be asked to provide an example of a time when you had to work as part of a team to assist others or complete a task.
5. Friendly and personable
Being welcoming is key. The reception area is often a hive of activity, and having a friendly person at the desk helps to maintain a positive office culture. You should have excellent communication skills and be able to interact with people from all walks of life in an approachable way in person and via video or phone call.
Apply for a receptionist role at Oriel Partners
If you’re looking for a receptionist role, we’re here to help. Oriel Partners offers temporary, contract and permanent reception roles across all industry sectors. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and find out more.