There are some essential skills for a receptionist who wants to get hired in an office environment and succeed in the job. Interpersonal skills are by far some of the most important; since the receptionist will be interacting with a number of different people every day and representing the company, it is absolutely vital that he or she is friendly and professional. In addition, the ability to multi-task is also very important, since receptionists may be busy answering phones, emails, and talking to people in person at any given moment. The ability to use office equipment such as phone systems, computers, and fax machines are essential skills for a person in a receptionist position as well.
The bulk of a receptionist's job will involve answering phones and assisting people who walk in to a business, regardless of the type of business it is. As a result, interpersonal skills and good communication abilities are some of the most important skills for a receptionist. He or she should have a pleasant phone voice and demeanor, and always be friendly, polite, and professional. The ability to engage people in conversation is important as well, in addition to extensive knowledge about the business in order to answer questions quickly and accurately.
Multi-tasking abilities are also important skills for a receptionist to have. Most receptionists will be very busy throughout the day, answering ringing phones, attending to people who come in the office, and performing other office duties on the computer. Many are also responsible for tasks such as scheduling meetings, ordering lunches, or preparing certain reports. As a result, these multi-tasking abilities go hand in hand with excellent organizational abilities. A receptionist should be able to stay organized and on top of certain tasks without constant reminders or instruction from superiors in an office.
In addition, certain general office skills for a receptionist are also necessary to have. Receptionists and office assistants should know how to use multi-line telephone systems, computers, and certain types of office software such as word processing and spreadsheet programs, and other tools like a copy machine and fax machine. Most receptionists should be able to type a certain number of words per minute, and possess a high attention to detail to catch mistakes. In certain areas of the world, multilingual receptionists are highly sought after to provide great customer service to the entire customer base. Certain employers might require other skills in the job listing, but these are the most common.