When hiring a Hotel Front Desk Agent, remember that your chosen candidate will be the first point of contact for your arriving guests. Their customer service skills and general efficiency can help make or break customer satisfaction levels and your establishment’s reputation.
During your Hotel Front Desk Agent interview, gauge your candidate’s passion for a guest-facing role. Look for someone who truly enjoys doing what it takes to ensure the best possible guest experience. Whether handling check-in or check-out, responding to inquiries about local attractions, or fielding guest complaints, a strong candidate will demonstrate the ability to always maintain a friendly demeanor, handle multiple guests and tasks at once, and generally be a good fit with the culture and style of your establishment.
General interview questions (such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you looking for another job?”) are a great way to get to know your candidate’s personal history, interests and goals. However, be sure to add inquiries specific to the role they’re interviewing for, so you can gain valuable insights into their likelihood of success in that position.
Below are Hotel Front Desk Agent interview questions to help you get started:
1. How do you ensure that guests feel welcome upon arrival?
What you want to hear: A strong candidate will cite techniques such as establishing eye contact, smiling, engaging as soon as the guest approaches the desk, and speaking in a clear and relaxed manner as highly effective ways to greet your guests.
2. How do you prioritize your tasks during periods of high activity?
What you want to hear: Hotel Front Desk Agents are typically multitasking between guest service and administrative duties. During holidays and events, the pressure can dramatically increase. Your candidate should be able to explain the techniques they’ve used in the past to effectively handle high levels of activity.
Red flag: Just winging it won’t do! Your Hotel Front Desk Agent must be organized and focused to succeed in the role. And listen for where the candidate prioritizes guest when managing their activities. A candidate who does not appear to place the guest at the top of their list under all circumstances is a risk for poor customer service.
3. What parts of the Hotel Front Desk Agent role do you enjoy and dislike?
What you want to hear: Over time, some of the hotel front desk tasks may become repetitive. Listen for how the candidate views the tasks they enjoy and dislike. Do they dislike a particular task that is central to the role as you’ve defined it? A strong candidate is always eager to improve on their individual performance and perfect their skills over time.
4. Tell me about a time you managed a situation involving an angry hotel guest.
What you want to hear: It is inevitable that a Hotel Front Desk Agent will have to engage with an angry guest from time to time, perhaps even daily or weekly. It could be an excessive room charge, or a parking dispute, or noisy neighbors, or slow room service. A qualified candidate will have stories to tell about issues they had to handle. Listen for issue details, active listening skills, approaches to comfort the guest, and problem solving abilities.
5. What computer software are you comfortable working with?
What you want to hear: A candidate should be able to discuss their skills with operating systems such as Windows or Mac. An experienced candidate may already be trained as well on hospitality systems like Cloudbeds or RoomKeyPMS. Properly assess your candidate’s software skills in relation to your desired training time.
Red flag: A candidate who brings no relevant computer experience, or doesn’t appear eager to learn new systems quickly, may be an unproductive addition to your team. Check for a level of enthusiasm when discussing software systems training in your organization.
6. Tell me about a time in your last position when you encountered a problem and solved it.
What you want to hear: The candidate’s response to this question will help you assess their creative and critical thinking skills. You should be told enough details to understand the scope of the problem, the candidate’s role in identifying and resolving the problem, and the outcome of any solutions. Listen for whether your candidate tried handling the situation independently, or was quick to solicit help from a supervisor.
Red flag: Saying they can’t think of a problem is a problem! It’s also not a good sign if their first reaction upon discovering a problem was to contact a supervisor. Someone who can’t think independently on their feet is a risk for slowing the productivity of co-workers and supervisors they constantly reach out to.
Every interview question can help get you closer to the right fit for your Hotel Front Desk Agent position.
Be sure to keep an eye out for candidates who:
- Have a friendly and outgoing demeanor
- Can multitask and problem solve under pressure
- Understand all hotel policies and procedures
Need help writing a Hotel Front Desk Agent job description? Check out our Hotel Front Desk Agent job description template.
What three personal qualities do you consider to be essential to this role?
What is your method for helping guests feel welcome while waiting for service?
Imagine that a manager is unavailable at a moment when a guest requests to see them with an issue. How would you react?
What digital tools do you find useful for staying organized and efficient at work?
Conflict with a co-worker or manager is inevitable. Tell me about a conflict you experienced with a co-worker or manager, and how it was resolved.
Describe a time when you had to make a decision when no co-worker assistance was available to you. What was the outcome, and what did you learn?
I need a recommendation for a restaurant nearby, and directions to get there. How would you help me with that?
What techniques do you find helpful to prevent stress from impacting your productivity at work?
From a guest’s perspective, do you believe they are immediately judging the hotel based on their initial experience with the Front Desk Agent? Why or why not?
You are the only Front Desk Agent on duty at the moment. Let’s say you are checking in a new guest when the phone rings from a guest room line? How would you handle the situation?