Reception jobs are, more often than not, appropriate for those who are more extroverted by nature. Their natural chattiness and willingness to meet people along with the variety that comes with working in such administrative positions usually suits them quite well.

Skills needed for a receptionist job.

People in receptionist jobs can be found in a variety of work settings and for different establishments including hospitals, schools, and hotels. For the most part, few will request formal qualifications, but they indeed exist within the field and some employers are beginning to show preference towards them (such as the Level 1 Certificate in Business Administration). However, there are indeed skills that need to be developed for success in the role.

What really matters in receptionist jobs?

Besides having the friendly, outgoing personality that is often associated with a receptionist, they will need to have exceptional written and verbal communication skills. An occasional assertive personality may prove itself to be useful as well; particularly when dealing with difficult individuals or customers.


Having a professional and conservative appearance is one of the most essential parts of gaining a receptionist position. After all, receptionists and administration staff are often the “face” of the business, which means they must reflect the core mission of the business itself. Often, this will call for a smart and tidy appearance both in personal grooming and clothing. However, this is largely dependent on the employer's own approach to business and some may have more tolerance towards certain unprofessional traits, like visible tattoos and piercings, in comparison to others.

Calm personality

In addition to dealing with the occasional angry customer, they will generally need to have calm personalities to get through the working day. Administration staff often undertake quite hectic routines and this can become very stressful over time. Having the ability to stay calm and organised is one of the key traits of a successful receptionist.

Basic IT skills

Today's world is one that's built on IT and this means receptionists will need to have a working command on modern software packages, like Microsoft Office. This can usually be gained with experience but employers are increasingly showing preference to candidates who come well equipped with qualifications showing their proficiencies in software packages; knowing that they will be able to get straight to work right away. This includes the MOS qualification from Microsoft, which is often held as the industry standard.

Follow safety procedures

Being able to follow basic safety and security procedures and being able to apply them to practical, live situations is also important for receptionists since they will usually become stewards during issues like fire drills or other security issues. Being able to keep the public safe will score favourably in the eyes of employers. Holding advanced qualifications in first aid, CPR, and similar documents should always be mentioned in a CV where applicable.

Using office equipment

Even though today's office is becoming more technologically advanced with more developed IT packages and equipment, office personnel will still often need to know how to operate devices such as switchboards, fax machines, and photocopiers. While these are increasingly being phased out for more automated digital solutions, they will still be regularly featured in today's office and personnel who are able to handle these pieces of equipment effectively will be given priority over those who have not been exposed to them.

An interest in the organisation

Personnel should always have a key understanding of the business at large to discuss around the interview table: this is standard business etiquette. However, those who are able to align the interests of the organisation to their own personal interests will likely show more passion when being interviewed and this will reflect more favourably. This, of course, is largely dependent on candidates bringing the right skill set to the table, but it may very well be the deciding factor that interview panels require in order to select the right candidate for the job.


In addition to the general hectic approach of the day affecting the receptionist's general demeanour, it could also come through clearly within their workspace. Receptionists will need to keep their area as tidy as possible, which will help promote good workplace safety and general control over their daily tasks.