Skills Receptionist near Rimouski (QC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a receptionist in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Receptionists (NOC 1414).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Greet people and direct them to contacts or service areas
  • Obtain and process information required to provide services
  • Operate switchboard or telephone system
  • Record and relay information
  • Schedule and confirm appointments
  • Send invoices
  • Receive and issue payments
  • Perform clerical duties, such as filing and sorting and distributing mail
  • Answer telephone and relay telephone calls and messages
  • Calculate billing charges
  • Monitor mobile radio or telephone
  • Provide directory assistance
  • Arrange teleconferences
  • Relay service to persons with disabilities
  • Provide emergency services

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

ReadingReceptionists and Switchboard Operators
  • Read phone messages and pass them along to the appropriate individual. (1)
  • Read memos regarding policy, procedures, security, personnel changes or daily events. (1)
  • Read mail and forward it to the appropriate individual, along with any necessary forms. (1)
  • Read forms related to the office, such as insurance forms and hospital admitting forms. (2)
  • Read notes from supervisors explaining job tasks or giving instructions. (2)
  • Read brochures and letters from companies describing their products, such as service brochures from telephone companies. (2)
  • Read operating manuals for computer systems and software to fix equipment when it breaks down or learn new software functions. (3)
Medical and Dental Receptionists
  • Read client files to answer client questions and to prepare the physicians or dentists for appointments with clients. (3)
Document useReceptionists and Switchboard Operators
  • Read labels on parcels in order to deliver them to the appropriate recipients. (1)
  • Read phone lists of employees, major clients and suppliers. (1)
  • Scan various forms and forward them to the appropriate recipients. (1)
  • Read courier forms and bills of lading to receive and direct incoming parcels or letters. (2)
  • May read charts on the switchboard computer screen showing the status of incoming phone calls. (2)
  • Use maps to direct visitors. (2)
  • Complete various forms, such as supply order forms, customer receipts and forms regarding the use of machinery such as the photocopier. (2)
  • Refer to diagrams or drawings when maintaining equipment, such as when inserting a new tape into a cash register. (3)
  • May input time sheet information on spreadsheets. (3)
Medical and Dental Receptionists
  • Refer to physician directories. (1)
  • Read medication lists and fee guides. (2)
  • Read medical forms, such as pre-hospital admission, consent for treatment and test request forms. (2)
WritingReceptionists and Switchboard Operators
  • Write telephone messages to pass them on to other staff. (1)
  • May complete receipts for customers and record billing information in account books. (1)
  • Complete forms, such as worker compensation forms and customer complaint forms. (2)
  • May write letters to clients regarding overdue accounts. (2)
  • Write letters to outside agencies relaying client information. (3)
Medical and Dental Receptionists
  • Write notes in patients' files to keep them current. (2)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • May accept payments from customers for services, verify the amount received and give change. (1)
  • Keep records of bills, such as telephone and credit card bills, checking the calculations and discounts and cross referencing them with internal documents. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Enter information on the accounting day sheet including the patient's name, receipt number, date, description of services, fees charged, payment, current and previous balances. (1)
  • Enter purchases and payments into account books and prepare accounts receivable lists. (2)
  • Schedule when new supplies are needed, review supply catalogues to compare costs and make purchasing decisions, based on set budgets. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Weigh mail to calculate appropriate postage for parcels and letters. (1)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare the number of incoming calls to outgoing calls on certain projects to clarify workload requirements. (1)
  • Calculate the average number of medical tests completed or products created in a month for reports. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the length of meetings to inform staff when rooms will be available. (1)
  • Estimate the cost of services, such as medical or dental procedures, by speaking with staff or referring to fee guides. (2)
  • Estimate how long a client will have to wait for services and when staff members who are away from the office will return. (2)
Oral communication
  • Book appointments, speak to clients and servicers on the phone and transfer calls to other employees. (1)
  • Relay messages to co-workers and other staff and exchange information with them. (1)
  • Greet clients, determine the reason for their visit, provide them with basic information and direct them to the appropriate individual or department. (1)
  • Speak with suppliers to order services, materials and equipment. (1)
  • May show clients to waiting rooms. (1)
  • Receive instructions and updates on daily activities from supervisors and ask opinions regarding procedures and materials to purchase. (1)
  • Handle hostile customers on the phone or in-person, referring the situation to supervisors if necessary. (2)
  • May instruct clients on treatment procedures and call them to relay test results. (2)
  • May speak to outside agencies to arrange services for clients, such as home care services. (2)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May receive requests from clients or staff on short notice. They examine the schedule to determine if requests can be met. (1)
  • May find errors in billing. They recheck paperwork to find the source of the error. (1)
  • May be asked for information that is not readily available. They must search for the appropriate information within the office or contact outside sources. (2)
  • May find that visitors arrive unexpectedly and demand to speak to staff who are unavailable. They establish whether another staff members would be able to help. (2)
  • Encounter problems when appointments have been overbooked or clients have cancelled appointments on short notice. Appointments must be re-scheduled to best fit staff and client needs. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide when to interrupt phone calls or put people on hold. (1)
  • Decide which clients to serve first when overbooking occurs or when there are numerous visitors requesting services at the same time. (2)
  • Decide which staff to refer clients to and the length of time to schedule for appointments based on information provided by the clients. (2)
  • Decide from which suppliers to purchase services. (2)
  • Decide the order in which they will carry out tasks, based on which staff members make requests, what deadlines have to be met and the order in which the work was received. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Receptionists and switchboard operators organize their work to respond to the demands of phone lines and clients coming to the front desk, staff needs and required paperwork. The days are routine, but disruptions are frequent, requiring flexible schedules and the ability to adjust priorities.

Receptionists and switchboard operators must ensure they allot enough time to complete essential activities, such as completing paper work or covering breaks for other staff. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the names and faces of clients and suppliers.
  • Remember office administrative information, such as codes for transferring calls and completing bills and the location of particular files.
  • Remember the names of medical tests, what they are for and special requirements. For example, medical receptionists may inform patients to fast before certain tests.

Finding Information

  • Receptionists and Switchboard Operators
    • Find names, addresses and telephone numbers in phone books and directories. (1)
    • Find billing numbers. For example, the medical receptionist refers to the physician registry for billing numbers and addresses. (1)
    • Refer to software manuals or speak with co-workers when experiencing computer difficulties. (2)
    Medical and Dental Receptionists
    • Refer to client files to find information regarding a client's treatment. (2)
    • May look up pharmaceutical equivalency data in reference books. (2)
  • Digital technology
    • Use other computer applications. They may use computerized switchboard equipment. (1)
    • They enter data to complete forms. (2)
    • They may locate information on a client database. (2)
    • They may input data for billing purposes. (2)
    • They may use e-mail and the Internet. (2)
    • They may prepare visual aids using software such as Power Point. (3)
    • They may prepare tables using software such as Excel. (3)
    Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

    Working with Others

    Receptionists and switchboard operators mainly work independently, co-ordinating their work with others. They are members of a team, co-operating to ensure a smoothly functioning and efficient office environment.

    Continuous Learning

    Receptionists and switchboard operators have an ongoing need to learn. They upgrade their computer skills, take client service training and learn about new products.

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