5 Qualities to Look for in a Good Receptionist

5 Qualities to Look for in a Good Receptionist

What defines a good receptionist?

It’s important to know these qualities because your receptionist plays a significant role in your company. They set the tone for your customer service, and provide the first impression for your business.

And as we’ve said before, great customer service is key to making more sales, getting more referrals, and a whole host of other important things.

So, what qualities make a good receptionist? That’s what we’ll talk about today.

1. Positive Attitude

A person’s attitude will always shine through. So, it’s crucial that your receptionist has a positive attitude. This will affect how he/she responds to different situations – good, stressful, and everything in between.

So, what are signs of a positive attitude?

  • Stayed in positions for longer than four years and haven’t had more than 3 jobs in a five-year period
  • Talk positively about past jobs and employers
  • Are willing to take responsibility and refrain from blaming other people

When interviewing potential receptionists, ask questions that reveal these types of signs, and you’ll have a better idea of their attitude.

2. Organization

You receptionist needs to be able to develop processes on the fly to stay on track and focused. That way, they’re prepared for the unexpected (which often happens in a crazy business environment).

They should also be able to keep files, phone numbers, and their work area organized, so they don’t lose important documents.

So, how can you tell if a receptionist candidate is organized? You can start by asking how they prefer to set up calendars and contacts.

3. Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking isn’t exactly the greatest thing for focus, especially on very creative jobs. However, the ability to multi-task is essential for receptionists.

They will undoubtedly have to handle multiple tasks at a time. It’s simply the way the job works.

One minute they may be working on a spreadsheet, and the next, they may be answering a phone call and taking a message.

They must be able to do this with poise, even amidst stressful situations.

So, how can you tell if a receptionist candidate is poised and can multi-task?

· Ask how they’ve handled a stressful situation
· Assess whether or not they can stay calm under pressure

4. Tech-Savvy

A good receptionist is proficient with basic technology. They know their way around a spreadsheet as well as industry-specific software.

They can update your social media if needed, and create documents in Microsoft Word. Also, they will easily make call transfers, use fax machines and copiers, and handle a complicated phone system.

How can you tell if your receptionist candidate is tech-savvy?

  • What tasks if they’ve handled in previous jobs
  • What technical software they’re familiar with
  • Ask about a time they’ve had to learn a new software

5. High Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent people have empathy, can handle their emotions, and can manage the emotions of other people.

All of these skills are key to being a good receptionist. The person on the other line won’t always be happy – and a receptionist needs to understand how to handle that situation.

If they have low emotional intelligence, they may get offended easily, lose their cool, and/or leave the caller feeling angry and frustrated.

But if they have high emotional intelligence, you’ll see the opposite effect.

Here’s what you need to ask your receptionist candidate to see if they have high emotional intelligence:

  • Their biggest weaknesses (this will show their self-awareness)
  • What motivates them
  • How they would handle a particular situation involving other people
  • How they handled a problematic caller in the past


Your receptionist isn’t often the “first touch” prospects, and customers have with your business. When your receptionist has these qualities, you’ll make a great first impression and set a positive tone.

Need help finding a receptionist with these qualities? Our virtual receptionists have all of these qualities, and more! Check them out if you haven’t already.

What other qualities do you think are important in a good receptionist? Let us know in the comments below!