Generally, employers look for receptionists with good interpersonal and communications skills, such as a clear and articulate speaking style, good phone manners and technical knowledge. Receptionists usually have outgoing personalities; as the front end of offices, they greet customers with courtesy and a smile. They often have good organizational and time management skills as well, as receptionists handle fast-paced tasks such as scheduling and keeping track of appointments.
Employers often search for receptionists with a neat appearance and calm disposition. Receptionists interact with a diverse group of people every day, and must remain calm and pleasant, even when dealing with difficult customers. Good receptionists also bring to their offices a knowledge of technical tools and programs, like computers, fax machines, printers and other office machinery. Some receptionists, especially those working in financial or medical offices, should have experience using industry-specific software.
Receptionists, as the first people others see upon entering a facility, should show enthusiasm for their companies of employment. Receptionists ideally know the routine and emergency safety and security procedures of their companies, and enforce them as necessary. Receptionists generally possess excellent written and verbal communication skills too. They interact via phone, email and in person with customers as well as internal staff members of all levels, including executives.