Receptionists are employees who work in an office setting. They are often the first people visitors will interact with, so they are often considered the public faces of various companies. A trainee receptionist is a new employee who is being trained to perform the job duties of a receptionist. These job duties can vary by office, but generally the trainee receptionist will learn clerical tasks such as typing, logging into and using computer programs, answering phones, filing paperwork, and performing other duties necessary to keep the office functioning properly. The trainee will usually be guided by a more experienced receptionist or by a manager.
The level of education a trainee receptionist will need in order to get hired can vary by company, though generally, he or she will need some post-secondary training. Other businesses may be willing to hire a trainee receptionist with no post-secondary training, though a high school diploma or equivalent qualification is almost always required. Basic math skills and exceptional communications skills will both be necessary. The receptionist will spend a significant part of the day communicating with other employees as well as visitors and clients, so he or she must be able to communicate effectively and professionally at all times.
The trainee receptionist will often learn the basic skills necessary to be successful in the job, but more importantly, he or she will learn about the specific tasks and processes associated with the business for which he or she works. This may mean learning specific terminology or learning how to use a specific type of computer program. In the medical field, for example, the receptionist may be required to take a medical terminology course in order to become better prepared to understand the various tasks he or she will perform as a receptionist. Law receptionists may also need to learn terminology specific to the legal profession.
Just as importantly, the trainee receptionist must learn how to deal with customers on a regular basis. This may mean accommodating basic requests or inquiries, or it may involve dealing with hostile or otherwise unhappy customers. The receptionist may be responsible for scheduling meetings or keeping track of events, and he or she will likely be responsible for filing duties. This means he or she will manage privileged information and be responsible for ensuring its safe keeping. Dictation may be another responsibility of the trainee receptionist, and he or she may be tasked with writing documents for professional use.