Recruitment tests

Hi guys,

We're recruiting for a new receptionist / secretary. She'll be handling telephone calls, writing letters and looking after some aspects of the practice management (like booking in work and organising workflow).

We've got two candidates coming in for interview on Friday and I just wonder whether anyone knows of some useful tests we can ask them to sit as relating to computer skills and the suchlike. What do you guys use?

Cheers everyone,



  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Don't have any specific test as such but how about making up some mack set of records to book in with some obvious mistakes such as a few bank statements missing or a cheque book?

    You could do a mock phone call - one I have heard of is getting someone else in the office to call the interview room phone off the cuff and then getting the interviewee to answer the phone and you get an idea of their telephone manner.

    I have done a handwriting test of some sort before at interview but it was disguised as a mini questionnaire but the questions were somewhat pointless it was about handwriting but without being told so.

    You can expect some mistakes from interview pressure but you can get an idea if they can do whats required.

  • SashaDella
    SashaDella Registered Posts: 362
    I don't know about computer tests but it would be a good idea to do some role play scenarios, or get them to answer a fake call and see how they handle it etc.

    Put them in the deep end and one will come definitely out shine the other!
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Definitely do a typing test. Just give her a piece of paper with a paragraph of text and ask her to type it and save it. Time her. And maybe throw in some spelling/grammar errors and see if she notices.
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    Maybe also try a spot of dictation and then ask them to type it up afterwards. This will not only test their ability to listen and record but also their written word ability - vital if you'll be asking them to send out letters on behalf of the company since basic spelling errors are an embarrassment when committed in a professional capacity. Obvious words to test for are they're/their/there, we're/where/were, your/you're and lose/loose - frustrating how many people get the last one wrong.

    I temped as a receptionist years ago and it was bloody difficult: much harder than you think and although it's easy to overlook them, excellent front desk people are worth their weight in gold.
  • jamesm96
    jamesm96 Registered Posts: 523
    blobbyh wrote: »
    excellent front desk people are worth their weight in gold.

    Thanks Robert, I couldn't agree more. How can you claim to offer a premium service and then employ the first applicant to walk through the door to be the first (and probably most regular) person that all of the clients will come in to contact with!?
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