According to Lehigh University's Library and Technology Services department, a receptionist should answer the phone at the second or third ring. Answering the phone too quickly may catch the caller off-guard, while waiting too long may make the caller upset.
The phone should always be answered with a friendly greeting and a pleasant tone to put the caller at ease. A good receptionist also listens without interrupting to gain an understanding of the nature of the inquiry and make the caller feel valued. If they must be placed on hold, the receptionist should first ask for permission and should always avoid making them wait for long periods.