You do not need any higher education, or relevant experience, to apply for a job of a receptionist. Logically it often happens that the people who apply have similar background: graduated from high school, experience with basic jobs or no experience, often still studying. It is not always an easy task for a hotel manager to decide who they should hire. Of course, a skilled recruiter will ask each candidate a variety of situational questions, and even let them do some tests, and will eventually make a decision. But this is not a common picture from the majority of receptionist interviews. Most often than not they won’t be sure, and may ask you for help. So why should they hire you?

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include on my list a variety of answers, for people with and without experience, and also for a variety of strengths and attitudes to live and work. Hopefully you will find at least one that makes sense to you. Adjust it slightly, and use it in your next interview for a job of a receptionist. You can also check my notes below the list of answers, for additional explanations and hints.


7 sample answers to “Why should we hire you?” interview question for receptionist

  1. You should hire me because I am responsible, motivated, and because I really like your hotel. I have always wanted to work in this location, and in your place in particular. As you for sure know, job hopping is extremely common in the hospitality sector. But you can be sure I won’t leave this job in a few weeks or months, because, as I’ve already mentioned, I love this place, the shift patterns fit me well, and I just see this as a great opportunity.
  2. Why should you hire me as your new receptionist? Perhaps because I have worked in a similar place for two years, have some relevant experience, and can benefit from it from day in one in my new job. What’s more, I have a great reference from my previous employer (you can show it to them at this point, or attach a copy if you are answering this question on some online form), which can give you a clear idea of what I am capable of, and how hard I try. That can be my advantage when you compare me to other applicants.
  3. You should hire me because I speak three foreign languages–French, Spanish, and Italian. This is popular tourist location and I am sure you have many international guests. People appreciate when they can talk to the staff in their native language. They will later post positive reviews online, which will benefit the hotel. Of course, I am aware that knowing languages alone won’t make one a great receptionist. I believe to have great communication and organizational skills as well. But my language skills do perhaps set me apart from other candidates.
  4. I would say you should hire me because of my attitude to this work. My personal motto is to “try the very best for every guest, from the moment they enter the hotel, until the moment they leave it”. And these are no empty words. On the contrary, they help me find a meaningful purpose in my work, because one feels much better going to sleep when they know that they actually made someone’s day with a quality service, or with going above and beyond for them. In my opinion, our job shouldn’t be just a means to an end–to earn money. We should always try to do something good for others, regardless of our position.
  5. You should hire me because I am willing to work for a lower salary than other applicants. This is my first ever job application, I have no experience, and hence I am ready to accept the salary others would reject. At the same time I believe that after initial training and first few weeks in the job, I can provide the same level of service to the guests as any other, more experienced receptionist. Still, you can have me in your team for less, and considering the difficult situation most payers in the hospitality sector face right now, it is without a doubt a competitive advantage.
  6. Speaking honestly, I try to be humble, and I have a lot of respect for other job candidates. Without a doubt I have my strengths. I am great in communication with people, can solve problems and handle conflicts, I am a team player and I believe that with my personality I will be a good fit for this place, and the job of a receptionist. Having said that, I am sure other candidates also have their strengths, and also their dreams, and at least some of them deserve the job as much as I do. Hence I will leave it to you to decide whether you should hire me, or one of the other candidates. Without a doubt it won’t be an easy decision to make.
  7. Better question would be why shouldn’t you hire me. And it will hard to find one reason. Honestly, I have the complete package. Relevant experience, recommendations from my previous employers, ability to deal even with the most difficult customer with tact and courtesy. I speak two foreign languages, and I can imagine my future career with your hotel. I believe I can grow here as a person, and I can help your hotel grow. So, why shouldn’t you hire me?


Picking something unique is great, but it isn’t necessary to succeed

Of course it is great if you can come up with something unique. Maybe you speak five languages, or you’ve worked for the same hotel chain in another location, or you have some amazing written recommendations from your previous employers. If it is the case, you can center your answer around it.

But even if not, if you are just starting in your career or speak no languages, and cannot offer anything tangible at the moment, you can always talk about your attitude (check sample answer no. 4), or even about your willingness to accept a lower wage for the start (sample answer no. 5). The worst thing you can do is remaining silent, so keep it on your mind and give them a good reason to hire you.

Giving credit to other applicants can do wonders at times

Sample answer no. 6 is a great example of indirectly showing great attitude to work, and to people in general, including your colleagues. Most people will simply boast about their skills, experience, resume, and whatever.

If you dare to admit that maybe someone else is a better candidate than you, and show the hiring managers that you are attentive to feelings and desires of other people, and can recognize their strengths, they may eventually decide to give the job to you–though you may lack some skills or experience of other candidates…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! But it isn’t the only tough question you may face in your receptionist interview! Check also sample answers to the following questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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