9 Front Office Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Updated 23 March 2023

Successfully passing a job interview for a front office position may require showcasing your communication, customer service and organisational skills. Questions interviewers may ask typically depend on the front office role you are applying for. Researching and preparing possible front office interview questions before the interview can help you incorporate examples of your career skills into your responses. In this article, we review a list of nine front office interview questions and provide sample answers to help you secure a job.

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9 Front Office Interview Questions With Sample Answers

During an interview for a front office position, you can expect many types of front office interview questions that aim to evaluate your knowledge and interest in the role. The interviewer may seek to test your soft and hard skills. Here are nine interview questions employers may ask, together with example answers:

1. Can you talk about a time you handled an upset customer?

As front office executives handle different customer types, employers often seek candidates who can remain professional even when a customer is upset or unpleasant. By asking this question, they may wish to assess if you can handle challenging workplace situations. Make sure your answer reflects your professionalism and confidence.

Example: In my previous role, a guest became extremely rude and angry when the hotel could not honour the reservation because of a technical glitch. Despite the guest's attitude, I remained calm while addressing their concerns. After listening to their complaint, I offered an alternate solution and gave them another reservation. This helped me build a strong and positive relationship with the customer. I even avoided future conflicts from occurring. As I was able to handle the situation by thinking carefully and quickly, I ensured the person had a seamless experience.

Related: Top Receptionist Interview Questions With Some Sample Answers

2. What office management tools are you familiar with using?

Front office executives typically use scheduling software or other tools to perform their duties. Interviewers may ask this question to evaluate your experience using these tools. Ensure your answer reflects your familiarity with these tools and provides an example of how you used them in your previous role.

Example: I have been working as a front office executive for the past three years, and I have vast experience in using scheduling software and other office management tools. In my previous role, I scheduled meetings with the help of a calendar application. I also used accounting software to track monthly expenses and invoices. Finally, I regularly use various communication software to streamline communication with clients and colleagues.

Related: What Is An Office Administrator? (With Skills And Salary)

3. How do you handle a situation where a customer calls and asks to speak to a colleague who is currently unavailable?

As a front office employee, you may handle customer calls and direct them to appropriate colleagues. Interviewers may ask this question to assess how you would handle such situations. Make sure your answer demonstrates your thought process. Mention you would take messages from customers who cannot wait.

Example: If a customer calls and asks for a specific colleague who is unavailable, I would first apologise for the inconvenience. If the customer requires immediate assistance, I would transfer the call to another employee who may assist them. If they want to speak only to one particular employee, I would ask for their contact information and let them know I would pass their message on as soon as possible. In the meantime, I would follow up with the employee to ensure they receive the message.

4. What experience do you have working with suppliers? What process do you follow for initiating contact with new suppliers?

Front office employees may work with vendors, such as cleaning services and delivery drivers. Through this question, interviewers may want to evaluate your experience working with suppliers and your capability of initiating contact with new vendors. Explain the steps you take when contacting a supplier.

Example: Yes, I have experience working with suppliers. The process I follow while initiating contact with new suppliers is researching them and their services thoroughly to determine whether they are an ideal fit for the company. If I feel they are suitable, I contact them via email or phone and explain what services I am looking for. I schedule a meeting if there is an opportunity to meet them in person. During my initial conversation, I establish a professional relationship and ensure all expectations are clear. Then, I continue communicating with them to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Related: 7 Experience Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

5. What is a front office employee's most important skill set?

Interviewers may ask this question to determine if you have the skills to succeed in the role. When answering, share both your soft and technical skills. It might be helpful to relate these skills to the job description.

Example: The most important skill of a front office employee is communication. The role requires communicating with employees, customers, suppliers and other people who walk into the office. I am an excellent organiser and can efficiently multi-task, which helps me manage my time. I also believe that my strong phone skills and the ability to remain calm and friendly during stressful situations are key for this role.

Related: Interview Question: 'What Did You Like Most About Your Job?'

6. Can you make decisions when your supervisor is unavailable?

Working in this role may require making decisions in the absence of your manager. Interviewers may ask this question to evaluate your ability to make independent decisions. Ensure your answer reflects your experiences where you made autonomous decisions without consulting your manager.

Example: Before making any decision, I usually consult my manager. But in my previous role, there was an instance where I personally made a supplier-related decision because my manager was on medical leave. Before deciding, I assessed the situation objectively and recollected my manager's previous instructions. I made sure to choose a supplier who fulfilled the company's requirements.

Related: A Guide To Decision-Making Style (With Types And Examples)

7. Do you prefer working in a collaborative work environment?

In this role, you often work with other employees to ensure clients have a positive experience. Interviewers may want to assess how well you work in a team and communicate with your colleagues. Give examples from your previous job to show your ability to work collaboratively.

Example: Yes, I have experience working in a collaborative environment. I am an excellent communicator who enjoys collaborating to complete tasks. In my previous job, I worked with the entire team to ensure smooth front office operations. I regularly brainstormed ideas for improving the front desk's efficiency and customer service. As I worked in collaboration with the marketing, finance and operations departments, I know how each of these departments functions. This experience taught me the importance of working in a collaborative environment and its benefits for the company. Because of this skill set, I am suitable for the front desk role.

Related: 11 Ways To Collaborate With Your Team (With Benefits)

8. How do you prioritise tasks at work?

Front office professionals often handle several tasks at once, from answering phone calls to interacting with customers face-to-face. Through this question, interviewers may want to learn how you approach your job duties and evaluate the process you follow to complete them. Ensure your answer reflects your experience of managing your time and prioritising work.

Example: As I am a highly organised employee, I prioritise my work by creating a checklist for every task requiring my attention. The checklist I create helps me ensure I complete all my job duties. I focus on prioritising customer-facing tasks. I let my managers and supervisors know I require help when I get overwhelmed with work. Rather than completing every task independently, I accept my colleagues' help. As a result of these strategies, I constantly receive high ratings on my performance.

Related: Hard Work Vs Smart Work: Definitions, Comparison And Tips

9. What work responsibilities did you manage in your last job?

Interviewers may ask this question to ascertain that you can perform the tasks front desk employees typically perform as a part of their job. Employers may not provide all the job responsibilities in the job description, but they may expect you to complete them. When answering, give a detailed description of the tasks you undertook in your previous jobs and mention how they benefitted the company you worked at.

Example: In my previous job, I worked at a hotel's front desk and my primary responsibility was greeting and responding to guests over the phone and in person. A part of my job responsibilities involved handling client reservations, check-ins and check-outs. I even acted as a communicator between the guests and hotel staff. As I worked in a fast-paced environment, I sometimes resolved guest issues when my manager was unavailable. I was able to manage guests while providing a superior customer experience.

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