“Quite frankly, it is the first time in my life that I undergo a 90 minute interview for a job placement. You really made me feel important!”.
The polite 35 year old candidate attending the interview for the recently vacated law firm receptionist post didn’t know what laid in store for her.
One of my clients, a reputable local law firm, hired me to help them improve their procedures, processes and systems as well as help with the efficient allocation of resources and the deployment (or employment such as in this case) of the right people to serve the firm in the right positions.
The managing partner of the firm remarked on the depth and breadth of questions used during the 90 minute interview process.
He remarked that “one would expect that such thorough interviews are only kept for lawyers or senior staff” and then added that “this is a fiction as the receptionist’s post is a vital post that can often make or break a firm and I talk from experience”.
A few of the questions I asked the receptionist during the interview:
“Tell me about your previous work experience as a receptionist.”
“What were your primary responsibilities?”
“Law firm staff often need to cater for emergencies and urgent cases. Will you be willing to work extra hours when needed?
“Clients of law firms often carry stress with them. What do you feel about this?”
“Do you enjoy interacting with the public in general?”
“How do you intend to add value to your role as receptionist?”
“Why are you leaving your current job?”
“What do you know about this specific law firm and its services”?
Every employee in a law firm -as in any business- counts.
That being said, the receptionist is a vivid case in point:
The receptionist works at the front desk in the law firm lobby welcoming clients and visitors and answering calls. Since she or he is often the first point of contact with whom visitors interact, their role, behaviour and overall presence are of vital importance to the image of the firm and must be polished, professional and articulate.
Remember that as they say, first impressions last and last impressions count!