Interview Question: On Dealing with Stress and Angry Clients as a Receptionist

Receptionist Interview QuestionAmong other essential traits, receptionists need to possess outstanding communication skills since they spend so much of their time greeting visitors and talking to them. They deal with many customers day in and day out, so they have to cope with a lot of stressors. Furthermore, a good receptionist should have strong interpersonal skills as well as a great deal of patience.


Since dealing with a customer is not always a pleasant experience, receptionists should have their own ways of coping with stress. Plus, they also have to be highly diplomatic and courteous. If you are applying for the position of a receptionist, your interviewer will be interested in these qualities, and if you’re wondering why, it is because:

  • They want to know how you will behave when faced with an angry customer;
  • They want to know if you will do the right thing;
  • They want to know how patient you are; and,
  • They want to know what your approach toward the customer will be.

The question is, how will you answer this: “How do you deal with stress and angry clients?” Here are few ideas that can help you respond to this question.

1. If it’s your first job or you have not experienced this situation yet, try to imagine a scenario in which a client gets angry. Ask yourself how you would cope with it if you were trapped in that type of situation. Use your stress coping mechanisms to answer this question.

If it’s not the first time you’ve encountered this scenario and you dealt with it successfully, describe that scene to your interviewer: what happened, and how you overcame it.

2. Make your explanation clear. Strive to create a clear picture in your interviewer’s mind. See to it that you don’t miss an important detail that will trigger your interviewer’s interest.

Eliminate unnecessary information or any detail that will cast you in a negative light. You don’t want your interviewer doubting your integrity or attitude.

3. Don’t forget to say that you can handle stressful events such as dealing with angry customers. Show the interviewer that you can do the job well without any complaints. Express how willing and persistent you are in following the company’s rules, and demonstrate your understanding that “the customer is always right.”

4. Tell the interviewer that you can keep yourself calm when dealing with stressful situations. Talk about how patient and calm you are. Discuss your communication skills, and be extra polite and diplomatic to show how you connect to other people, especially people in positions of authority.

Being a receptionist is a tough job. That’s why interviewers look for applicants who have a deep reservoir of patience and who are courteous in dealing with customers. Show the interviewer what you’ve got to offer to the company, and that receptionist position could be yours.

Read 17692 times Last modified on Monday, 07 March 2016 20:18
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.