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Front Desk Agent Interview Questions

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  1. How do you prioritize your duties at the front desk, particularly during high occupancy periods? See answer
  2. How would you deal with an upset guest and their complaints? See answer
  3. What will be your response if a guest asks you for directions to a nightclub close to the hotel? See answer
  4. In the past, how did you handle a situation in which you couldn’t solve a guest’s problem? See answer
  5. How do you handle important front desk decisions without a supervisor present? See answer
  6. What would you do if someone approached the front desk and said they lost the key to their room, but their name wasn’t on the reservation and they did not have ID?
  7. What would you do if a guest requested an early check-in time but you had another reservation staying in that room from the night before?
  8. How do you keep guests happy when there is a long wait line at the front desk and you don’t have any coworkers around to help you?
  9. Have you ever worked an overnight shift and are you comfortable staffing the front desk at night?
  10. What would you do if you were taking a reservation over the phone and a guest came up to you and started complaining about their room?
  11. How would you respond if a guest insisted that the price of their room was cheaper online or through a third-party booking?
  12. Do you have experience working with third-party booking sites and processing cancellations and upgrades through these channels?
  13. What would you do if a company was hosting a large event in a conference room and one of the other guests complained about the noise?
  14. What strategies do you use to calm guests down when they are upset or frustrated?
  15. Have you ever had to enforce a hotel policy that you disagreed with?
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6 Front Desk Agent Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How do you prioritize your duties at the front desk, particularly during high occupancy periods?

A:

Front desk agents have many duties as the face of a hotel’s lobby. Finding a good system for prioritizing their tasks is integral to keeping up with work, so asking about how they plan to handle this is a good way to gauge a candidate’s ability for the position. Additionally, any good answer should impress upon you the importance of putting a guest first above anything else. What to look for in an answer:

  • Prioritizes guests first and foremost in their work
  • Ability to order tasks by importance
  • Organized and methodical in carrying out job duties

Example:

“My first priority will be keeping guests happy, attending to those who come to the front desk before proceeding with anything else. Beyond that, I’d typically prioritize things like answering the phone and company emails as these typically lead to room bookings.”

Q:

How would you deal with an upset guest and their complaints?

A:

Front desk agents will often need to deal with upset guests given their position as the first person most will see when entering the building. This means they will need to stay cool under pressure and respond well to criticism and complaints. The ideal candidate will have good communication skills and a talent for deescalating situations. What to look for in an answer:

  • Excellent customer service and communication skills
  • Conflict resolution and de-escalation abilities
  • Independence and confidence in their ability to handle guests

Example:

“When dealing with upset guests, I always want to use a friendly but neutral tone of voice. I’d try to solve whatever problems they were having to the best of my ability and validate their concerns, asking if there’s anything else I’d be able to do after the issue is resolved to hopefully leave a good impression. If they had any complaints or advice on how to improve in the future, I would make a note of them and pass them along to whom it may concern.”

Q:

What will be your response if a guest asks you for directions to a nightclub close to the hotel?

A:

One of the duties of a front desk agent in a hotel is helping guests find things to do in and around the hotel. Asking a candidate for directions will show you how capable they are of fulfilling this responsibility. It also demonstrates a connection to the area at large. This also gives you a chance to gauge the candidate’s ability for explaining things in a friendly and professional manner. What to look for in an answer:

  • Friendly and professional conversation skills
  • Knowledge of the area and various local attractions
  • Ability to clearly and concisely convey information

Example:

“There’s a nightclub a few blocks from here called [Club Name]. The cover charge isn’t too steep and they serve good drinks. Just turn left when you exit the hotel and follow the sidewalk before going right at the intersection. After that, just keep going straight until you see the club’s sign on your left.”

Q:

In the past, how did you handle a situation in which you couldn’t solve a guest’s problem?

A:

Front desk agents are often called upon to solve many issues guests have at the hotel. Responses to this question will give you an idea as to how they treat guests they can’t help, ensuring they display a sympathetic demeanor and search for ways to help even when the main issue is beyond their control. What to look for in an answer:

  • Sympathetic and friendly communication skills
  • Willingness to help and to find new solutions to problems
  • Determination and generally helpful attitude

Example:

“At my previous place of employment, I regretfully had to tell a family that walked in without a room reservation that there were no vacancies at the hotel. To try to find them a place to stay, I called up a few of our other locations nearby to see if any would be able to take them in our place.”

Q:

How do you handle important front desk decisions without a supervisor present?

A:

There will often be times when a front desk agent must make decisions regarding how to manage the front desk without a superior to ask for guidance. Being able to handle these situations is a mark of a good employee, showing they have the quick thinking skills needed to make good decisions. Ultimately, a good answer should emphasize that decisions are made with the guests in mind. What to look for in an answer:

  • Quick thinking
  • Good decision making skills
  • A “guests first” mentality

Example:

“A few guests arrived at the hotel asking to change the type of rooms they reserved at the last minute. While this is usually not allowed, I made the exception given we had plenty of available space at the time.”

Q:

What would you do if someone approached the front desk and said they lost the key to their room, but their name wasn't on the reservation and they did not have ID?

A:

Front desk clerks are responsible for upholding confidentiality for their guests and protecting their security and privacy when it comes to who is allowed in their rooms. At the same time, they need to be respectful when interacting with the public. Strong candidates are highly tactful and are able to mediate potential issues at the front desk. This question allows the interviewer to assess each candidate's problem-solving skills and to determine if they understand best practices for hotel security.

Good answers generally include these elements:

  • Adherence to company policy
  • Clear communication
  • Caution

Here is one possible answer to this question:

Example:

"I would first apologize for the inconvenience but explain the hotel's security policy about having identification. I'd ask if they had a confirmation email or payment details that I could use to verify their identity, before calling up to the room and asking if they were expecting an additional guest."

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