Pre-employment tests for Receptionists

Receptionists

As the first point of contact at a company, receptionists often serve as de facto "brand ambassadors" for an organization. As such, receptionists wield a great deal of power. Despite the importance of the role, however, turnover is a persistent challenge in front desk positions at many organizations. Pre-employment tests can help reduce turnover in front desk staff by helping companies make more informed hiring decisions.

Job responsibilities for receptionists include greeting customers, screening phone calls, keeping appointment logs, and sometimes assisting with security functions. Given the visibility of the job, hiring managers typically look for receptionists who are pleasant, efficient, and firm when necessary. Previous experience in a similar role can be beneficial, but most training can be done on the job — provided the applicants have basic job readiness skills such as good oral comprehension and expression, and written communication skills. Applicants should also have a robust understanding of the company, especially for niche industries.

Depending on the organization, advancement into other clerical and support positions may be possible for those initially hired as front desk staff. Receptionists can also count on a good deal of job security, as their services are consistently needed. The job field is expected to expand at a healthy clip over the next decade, especially in fields such as healthcare, where familiarity with specialized terminology will be an asset for receptionists.

As interaction with others is a central part of a receptionist’s role, personality tests can be very useful predictors of job fit for front desk staff. The Employee Personality Profile (EPP) contains a benchmark designed specifically for assessing receptionists, which highlights traits that have been linked to success in these roles. Since basic skills are also crucial for success in a receptionist position, employers also use the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) to ensure that new hires for this position can communicate clearly, pay attention to detail, and possess basic math and verbal skills.

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Fast Facts

Rank in HireSelect:
10 out of 1,100

Median wage in U.S.:
$27,830/year or $13.38/hr

Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
14%

Number employed (2014): 981,150

Education level of Receptionists:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top 5 Skills and Abilities to Look For in Receptionists

  • Oral Comprehension
  • Oral Expression
  • Active Listening
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers

Top 3 Tasks for Receptionists

  • Operate telephone switchboard to answer, screen, or forward calls, providing information, taking messages, or scheduling appointments.
  • Greet persons entering establishment, determine nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations.
  • Transmit information or documents to customers, using computer, mail, or facsimile machine.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor